Sunday, 17 December 2017

Developer cuts number of planned homes to 245 after neighbours protest

Developer cuts number of planned homes to 245 after neighbours protest

A PROPOSED housing development on the edge of Emmer Green has been reduced in size.

Gladman Land has cut the number of planned homes from 270 to 245 following public consultation in September.

Residents said the scheme would place intolerable pressure on schools, roads and GP surgeries in Emmer Green and Caversham, which were already struggling to cope and wouldn’t benefit from the developer’s statutory contributions as they are in Reading borough, not South Oxfordshire.

Gladman wants to develop three fields between Peppard Road and Kiln Road, with a main entrance off the former, a secondary access off the latter and a pedestrian entrance off Marchwood Avenue.

The estate would comprise detached, semi-detached and terraced homes, up to 40 per cent of which would be “affordable”.

Gladman, which is based in Cheshire, says the development would form a “logical extension” to the north of Emmer Green as there is already housing on the site’s southern and south-western edges.

It is to seek outline permission from South Oxfordshire District Council in a bid to establish the principle of development and then market the land, which is in Eye and Dunsden parish, to housebuilders who would have to submit full planning applications.

Gladman says the development would have areas of public open space, two play areas and a “sustainable drainage basin” designed to attract wildlife as well as retaining an existing public footpath.

A new belt of woodland would be planted at the northern edge of the site and there would be a network of public footpaths linked to the surrounding countryside.

A central “spine road” lined with trees would connect the two entrances with a series of smaller residential roads leading off it. Gladman says Emmer Green has gradually expanded northwards over the decades and developing the 13.5-hectare site would provide a “logical direction of growth” because neighbouring sites are protected.

Land to the east includes the ancient woodland and nature reserve at Clayfield Copse while the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is to the north-west.

The company says: “By contrast, the proposed site... is well contained by virtue of the existing built areas to the south and the established boundary vegetation to the north-east and east.

“The proposals show an average density of 30 dwellings per hectare, which achieves an efficient use of the site while providing a balanced approach to the provision of green infrastructure.”

It says the site is well served by local bus services and a new bus stop would be established near the Peppard Road entrance. Opponents say the two accesses would not be safe because both the streets are too narrow to cope with the increase in traffic.

But Gladman’s traffic consultant Ashley Helme Associates says the increase in traffic would have no impact on most junctions surrounding the site and only a slight impact on others.

A build-out could be installed in Kiln Road to discourage drivers approaching from the north from speeding. Gladman says the scheme would help offset a shortage of housing land in South Oxfordshire and it has discussed the plans with both the district council and Reading Borough Council.

Eye and Dunsden Parish Council is yet to comment on the application but Sonning Common Parish Council has expressed concern about “urban creep” from Reading.

The district council will decide the application by February 1.

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