Friday, 20 October 2017

Planning row centre to enter new talks

A SOLUTION to the planning dispute between Hare Hatch Sheeplands and Wokingham Borough Council could be in sight.

A SOLUTION to the planning dispute between Hare Hatch Sheeplands and Wokingham Borough Council could be in sight.

The garden centre, near Wargrave, is accused of using green belt land without permission and faces legal action by the council.

But Sheeplands owner Rob Scott has accepted an offer made by the council’s chief executive Andy Couldrick to enter into fresh discussions.

The offer was made by Mr Couldrick in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May and repeated in his response to a Sheeplands supporter who wrote to him.

In both letters he said: “The council are agreeable to a negotiated solution to the current issues on the site and would encourage an appropriate application for a comprehensive scheme.”

This week Mr Scott said: “I am happy to accept the offer of talks. As a gesture of goodwill I have dropped my appeal against the judicial review decision in connection with recent detailed planning applications.

“That will save both the council and Sheeplands the cost of expensive litigation and if we can reach a satisfactory agreement it will save a great deal more money in future legal costs which would further diminish the financial resources of both parties.”

Sheeplands planning consultants have now written formally to Mr Couldrick. They said: “With a view to finding a mutually acceptable way forward for this site we would like to organise a meeting with the council as soon as possible in order to begin pre-application discussions in relation to a comprehensive scheme.”

Mr Scott added: “This development brings about the real prospect of a solution to the dispute and we look forward to starting meaningful discussions just as soon as the council is ready.”



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