Monday, 16 July 2018

Meeting to discuss ‘crucial’ homes plan

A PUBLIC meeting will be held on Monday to discuss plans for 95 homes in Sonning Common.

A PUBLIC meeting will be held on Monday to discuss plans for 95 homes in Sonning Common.

Gallagher Estates, of Warwick, has applied for outline planning permission to develop a 6.65-hectare site off Kennylands Road.

The Sonning Common neighbourhood plan, which was passed in a referendum last month, earmarked only 1.5 hectares of the land for 26 homes.

Parish councillor John Stoves said the village should do “everything we can” to prevent the development.

“If they win this one we will be giving the biggest encouragement to every developer this side of Singapore trying to ride roughshod through our neighbourhood plan,” he said.

Councillor Tom Fort said: “It doesn’t just affect the people who live nearby because that field has a footpath down one side which belongs to the village.

“These developers wouldn’t spend all the money on these applications unless they were thinking about appeals with smart barristers. The earlier we rope people in the better. This is the crucial one.”

The plan sets out the locations for a minimum of 193 new homes to be built in the parish by 2027 in order to meet government targets.

Councillor Leigh Rawlins warned that the examiner’s report on the plan said the numbers of houses allocated to each site were “not sacrosanct”.

“Developers can put in the applications and they must be considered,” he said. “The numbers are subject to review by officers who are looking at the details.”

Representatives from Gallagher Estates will be invited to speak at Monday’s meeting, which will take place at the village hall in Wood Lane from 7.30pm.

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