A DEVELOPER wants to build almost 100 homes on land earmarked for 26 in
A DEVELOPER wants to build almost 100 homes on land earmarked for 26 in Sonning Common’s neighbourhood development plan.
Gallagher Estates held a public exhibition on Monday to showcase its plans for the site to the south of the village off Kennylands Road.
The company is planning to apply to South Oxfordshire District Council for outline planning permission for Â 95 homes.
It comes just weeks before a report on the neighbourhood plan by an independent inspector. If the document is approved, a referendum is expected to take place in the summer.
The draft plan outlines an “infill” development to bridge a gap in the road where there is currently no housing and driveways for the houses would come out on to Kennylands Road.
The developer wants to create an estate with a single access to the site, which is owned by the Horden family, who used to run Vines Farm in Cane End.
Members of the plan’s working group say the plans are contrary to their policy as the development would be built southwards towards Reading.
They had earmarked a 1.5-hectare site for the 26 homes but the company’s development would require a larger piece of land.
Barrie Greenwood, a parish councillor and chairman of the working group, said: “We have never surveyed or consulted about this large site. We consulted over our plans and said no to their plan. This is not infill development and is extending the village southwards towards Reading. The village is defined by an entrance between two valleys on Peppard Road and Kennylands Road, which defines the south end of the village.
“It’s a truly rural entrance to the village and villagers like it so they don’t want to see anything done to it.”
The developer says the benefits of its plan include a high quality development, new public open space, environmental enhancements and improved access to the countryside. There could be a central play area and a network of swales and ponds to improve drainage.
Many of the 90 visitors to the exhibition were concerned about the plans.
Roger Simmons, of Essex Way, said: “I would like to know the mix of housing. If they’re going to put five-bedroom houses there it would be crazy. If we had 95 new homes it would mean more than 150 extra cars on the roads.”
Michael Coombes, of Ilex Close, said Kennylands Road would be unable to cope with the extra traffic.
Michael Knott, of planning consultants Barton Willmore, said: “We haven’t gone through the comments yet but there was a number made on the night about how the proposal relates to the neighbourhood development plan process.
“We were pleased we had a number of people saying the scheme was well presented.
“There was a number of concerns regarding the scale of development.
“We need to consider the feedback we have received and I think that will mean further discussions with the parish council, which we would welcome.
“It is our intention to move forward with a planning application which we will finalise in the next couple of months.”
Feedback forms were given out during the four-and-a-half hour exhibition and residents are able to respond until April 4.
Residents can respond by email to sissi.yang@bartonÂ willmore.co.uk or by post to: Sissi Yang, Barton Willmore, The Blade, Abbey Square, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3BE.
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