West Berkshire Council has today (Wednesday 8 November) refused a planning application for development of up to 2,000 homes at Sandleford Farm to the south of Newbury.
Bloor Homes and Sandleford Farm Partnership had submitted a planning application for the area with plans for up to 2,000 houses as well as retail and business space. After months of discussion with developers and some careful consideration, the council has refused the application because of the lack of detail in the proposals and plans for such a large development and no positive sign of that situation changing
West Berkshire Council has a duty to ensure applicants manage the impact of developments on the local community when it considers planning applications. Since the application was submitted in 2015 the council has been working with the developers in the hope of ensuring the comprehensive and successful progress of the important housing provision. However, uncertainty still remains around how, amongst other matters, the proposal would manage the impact on local roads, schools and other local infrastructure.
A smaller application, also from Bloor Homes and Sandleford Farm Partnership, for 321 homes on part of the large, allocated site has also been refused today on similar grounds.
Speaking about the decision Councillor Hilary Cole, West Berkshire Council’s Executive Member for Planning said: “This is a disappointing outcome to a saga which has continued for far too long. I am saddened that the landowners have not delivered on assurances they gave us that they would work together on one cohesive plan which benefits our community. They have failed to demonstrate that they can work together and have failed to put forward a comprehensive plan. As such we are not in a position where we can progress with this application.
“Whilst this is a disappointing outcome we are still on track to deliver the houses needed in the district over the coming years. During the delays, other applications have been approved so the housing local people need will continue to be delivered.”
The refusal of these two applications leaves under consideration one other application by the same developer and landowner, for up to 1,000 homes, as part of the Local Plan allocated housing site. A decision on that application will be made by the Western Area Planning Committee before Monday 18 December with a likely recommendation from planning officers that that proposal is also refused.
Despite these two applications being refused the area could still be developed in future if new applications are submitted. Sandleford Park will remain a chosen development site as part of West Berkshire Council’s Core Strategy – a document which sets the Council’s vision for the area until 2026, and how it will be delivered. The strategy provides a framework for more detailed policies which will be contained in future development plan documents and will be relied upon by the council when deciding on planning applications.
To find out more about the Core Strategy visit: http://info.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=28782