Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Objectors lose fight against new homes

A DEVELOPER has been granted permission to enlarge a new housing scheme in Wargrave despite objections from residents and parish councillors.

Oraclemarker was given consent by Wokingham Borough Council to redevelop the site of Wargrave Village Car Sales in High Street into 10 homes in August.

The company then applied for an amendment to add extra rooms to six of the properties as well as balconies on two others.

Wargrave Parish Council objected, saying this would be over-intensive development of the site.

Members said the original approved plans had made no provision for affordable housing, which had been deemed unviable by planning officers, and they were worried about the increase in traffic and the loss of a village business.

The borough council still approved the application.

Now the development will comprise six houses with two bedrooms, two two-bedroom flats and two three-bedroom duplex properties.

Eight of the properties will be in a terrace at the front of the site and the other two at the back where there is already a house. There will be access at both sides.

Oraclemarker has agreed to retain a boundary wall and increase the size of the gardens.

The company withdrew a previous application for 11 homes after the planning officers recommended reducing the number of homes and parking spaces.

It was granted consent for 10 homes on the condition that an access point at the north end of the site was removed and it provided more information on parking and provision of vision splays for access on to High Street.

The site had been home to a car showroom for 70 years but has now been vacated and cleared ahead of construction work.

Pete Palmer, who ran Wargrave Village Car Sales on the site was given six months’ notice by Oraclemarker in December 2016, a month after the developer bought the land.

Mr Palmer, 56, from Maidenhead, had run the business since 2014 and signed a lease for another two-and-a-half years in August 2016 when the site still belonged to the previous owner.

He claimed he was being forced out and that there were no alternative sites in Wargrave.

Oraclemarker said the site was of poor quality and was “not considered to make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the conservation area”.

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