Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Housing plan sites questioned

A PEPPARD parish councillor has questioned the choice of housing sites in the Sonning Common neighbourhood development plan.

Councillor Fiona Berry said land at Bishopswood Farm looked likely to have 50 homes built on it, even though it is in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, because it was in the neighbourhood plan.

Yet an application for 95 homes on land off Kennylands Road had been rejected, even though it was not in the AONB, because it was earmarked for just 26 homes in the plan.

Cllr Berry said: “It’s interesting because the land off Kennylands Road has better roads and good transport links. I think that’s a very sensible place for housing.

“I am trying to understand the planning committee because that was not acceptable yet 50 homes, in the AONB and on a narrow lane, look like they are acceptable.”

Linden Homes has applied to develop the land at Bishopswood Farm, north of the village, in a deal which would see the creation of a recreation ground in a neighbouring field.

Cllr Berry said: “It looks like that site will go ahead because it is in the neighbourhood plan.”

Council chairman Simon Crouch said he thought the Kennylands Road site was a “sensible” location for “lots of houses”.

In March, Gallagher Estates’ application for 95 homes was refused after after protests by residents and parish councillors. The planning committee said it would have a negative impact on the AONB.

South Oxfordshire district councillor David Nimmo Smith said the Bishopswood Farm site was favoured because it was chosen by the neighbourhood plan working party.

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