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Since the 5th of May, Newbury Town Council (NTC) has been participating in the Sandleford planning appeal Inquiry over the proposed development of 1,080 new homes on Sandleford Park, Newbury.

The developers appealed against West Berkshire Council’s (WBC) decision last June to refuse planning permission for the development.  Throughout the appeal, NTC has emphasised key points which lead us to the conclusion that the appeal should be dismissed: These points include the fact that the application is based on outdated planning principles, the fact that the site is required to be developed in one application but is not, and that it pays insufficient attention to sustainable transport or environmental and ecological considerations.

Speaking at the close of the inquiry on Friday the 28th of May, Cllr Roger Hunneman said, “In our closing statement, we emphasised the need for a wider buffer zone between the development and the woodland than the 15 metres provided. We believe a buffer of 30m would be more appropriate as it would mitigate potential damage to the treasured ancient woodlands. In addition, we believe that the orientation and layout of the buildings needs to be adjusted in order to maximize the potential for solar power generation.

We also reemphasised the fact that the Sandleford Farm site is required by WBC to be brought forward as a single planning application, but currently is not. Finally, we noted that the proposed management of the new public opens spaces that would be created by the development are destined to be controlled by a Management Company. This arrangement requires the future residents of Sandleford Park to be liable for any future costs arising from large areas of public open space, over which they have no ownership or control. We believe that a more sustainable and equitable solution would be for public spaces to be funded and run by public bodies – such as the Local Planning Authority.”

Cllr Martin Colston, the Leader of Newbury Town Council said, “We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Cllr Roger Hunneman, who acted as NTC’s advocate and was indispensable to our presence at the Inquiry, Cllr Tony Vickers who worked alongside Cllr Hunneman as Greenham Parish Council’s advocate and who spoke on Transport and Active Travel, Cllr Chris Foster for his input on Woodland, Trees, Habitats, and Biodiversity issues, as well as all the other members of the Sandleford Joint Working Group, Cllrs David Marsh, Phil Barnett, Adrian Abbs, and Ken Neal for their invaluable contributions.

As all of the Councillors are unpaid, and their services voluntary, we would like to give them special recognition and thanks for their work to both the Council and the people of Newbury.”

The full proceedings have been uploaded to the Planning Inspectorate’s YouTube Channel, and can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQqDetL1R5aRgbNm8PDViNw/videos

All of the documents submitted to the Inquiry can be viewed on the West Berkshire Council website here: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/sandlefordappeal  (Planning application Ref. No. 20/01238/OUTMAJ)



Cllr Martin Colston, Leader of the Council, martin.colston@newbury.gov.uk 01635 36591

Hugh Peacocke, CEO Newbury Town Council hugh.peacocke@newbury.gov.uk 01635 780202