Friday, 27 November 2020

Developer says 95 homes would help fill district shortage

DEVELOPER wants to build 95 homes in Sonning Common.

DEVELOPER wants to build 95 homes in Sonning Common.

Gallagher Estates, of Warwick, has applied for outline planning permission to develop 6.65 hectares of land off Kennylands Road.

The site is owned by Mark Woods, from Newbury, and 1.5 hectares of it were allocated for 26 homes in the village’s neighbourhood development plan, which was approved last week.

Gallagher’s development would include 40 per cent affordable homes which would be for sale or rent below market levels, as required by South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority.

The application refers to a public consultation evening that the company held in March, which was attended by about 100 people with 27 making comments. It says: “The majority of the feedback was negative but a few positive comments were received. Most of the comments focused on the scale and density of the development, saying the proposal should comply with the allocation in the neighbourhood plan.

“Comments also related to other issues, including design, impact on transport, the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and local character.”

The developer says that as a result of this feedback it has made a number of changes to the application, including relocation of the children’s play area to the centre of the development.

A design and access statement by Define Planning and Design, of Birmingham, says: “[The] development edge to the south has been pulled back to create a more linear building line which is considered to be more characteristic of the development boundaries elsewhere within the village.

“This also creates a greater offset from the public footpath and area of landscaping for informal recreation, additional buffer planting, attenuation and ecological habitat creation.

“Dwellings have been pulled closer to Kennylands Road so that they have a greater presence on the street and create an infill to existing development.”

The application also points out the failure of the district council to identify enough available land in South Oxfordshire to meet housing demand for the next five years.

A planning statement by consultants Barton Willmore, of Reading, says: “The proposed development would deliver up to 95 new homes in a sustainable location, as acknowledged by the allocation of part of the site in the neighbourhood development plan and the status afforded to Sonning Common in the adopted core strategy as a ‘larger village’.

“The site benefits from close proximity to existing bus stops on Kennylands Road, with frequent bus services connecting the site with surrounding centres, including Reading.

“The site is within a reasonable walk and cycle distance of the facilities and amenities available within Sonning Common. Non-car modes of travel will be encouraged through the the provision of a new footpath on the site frontage along Kennylands Road.”

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