Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Developer faces new opposition to homes

PLANS for 30 new homes off Kennylands Road in Sonning Common have been opposed by the parish council even though the site is in the village’s neighbourhood plan.

Councillors are worried that if the proposal by T A Fisher for the 1.5-hectare site is approved it could encourage development of a neighbouring field, which includes the Alpen Rose orchard.

The Theale company’s outline planning application includes a spur road at the southern edge of the site to enable refuse lorries to turn around but councillors fear that it could be used to link up with the other land.

Councillor Stan Rust, who lives in Kennylands Road, said the sour road should not be built.

“We think it’s saying we will go into the neighbouring field next,” he said. “I think the refuse vehicle could drive in backwards with a small turning point further up the road. It does not have to be done like this.”

Councillor Leigh Rawlins said: “The spatial strategy in the neighbourhood plan is very clear that vast development should not be happening. Alpen Rose should not be developed.”

Diana Pearman, who lives in Kennylands Road, said T A Fisher had previously agreed to build only 22 homes on the site, as recommended in the neighbourhood plan.

She said: “We went to great lengths, with talks and discussions, to get a commitment in writing and it has all been dismissed.

“I’m extremely concerned by the details in this application. I do not think outline applications should be allowed in areas with made neighbourhood plans.

“That took five years of work. Why should we do it if the developers are going to ride roughshod over it?”

Paul Mullin, also of Kennylands Road, said: “Trying to fit 30 houses on there is nonsense. We agreed to 22 and that was voted for by 94 per cent who agreed at the referendum.”

T A Fisher has amended its orginal plans to include more two-bedroom affordable homes, new paths and bigger street parking bays.

Katherine Myles, the agent for the developer, said: “A consultation took place after we submitted our application with feedback from council officers, the parish council and residents.

“We have done a considerable amount of work in the last four months. We had meetings and made amendments which are what are being considered.

“It has been suggested this application disregards the neighbourhood plan, which sets out the site for only 22 dwellings. The attempts to restrict the number of dwellings to 22 is contrary to advice from South Oxfordshire District Council.”

The parish council unanimously recommended thaqt the application is refused.

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