Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Unlucky for some as 13 homes at golf club approved

PLANS for new houses on land at Sonning Golf Club have been passed despite local opposition.

Wokingham Borough Council approved the application submitted by Chris Rees for 13 “family homes” at the junction of Pound Lane and Duffield Road.

Sonning Parish Council and villagers had raised objections.

The principle for developing the site was approved when a previous application passed on appeal in 2018.

Mr Rees’ application said: “There are few opportunities to construct new homes within the locality but this site is eminently suitable for such a development and would obviously help provide much-needed housing within the borough.” The proposal “optimises the site’s potential” and would create “a high-quality pleasant living environment for the future occupiers”.  

Sonning Parish Council objected on the grounds of the size of the homes and the loss of green space.

It said: “[They] are large, two- and-a-half storey dwellings of some height, which will tower over neighbouring dwellings, [and] out of keeping with the area due to their height and size.

“The golf club is set within the countryside and currently acts as an important  green buffer between the settlement areas of Sonning and Woodley.  

“Given the proposed size of this proposal for 13 dwellings aimed at large families, it is likely to promote an increase in the flow of traffic on to this busy road in a dangerous location.”

Councillor Michael Firmager said the development would be out of character with neighbouring properties and described Pound Lane, the point of access, as being on an “extremely dangerous” bend.

The Sonning & Eye Society also objected, saying the size of the houses had been increased from the previous application.

Chairman Mike Hart said: “This increase from the original design concept results in a more bulky appearance. Furthermore, it would have an impact on the potential size of the family units with a increase in amenity, car parking provision and increased traffic- related movement issues.”

The borough council was recommended by planning officers to approve the application.

They pointed out that planning permission had already been granted once, adding: “The proposal would deliver a high-quality residential development that would contribute to Wokingham’s five-year housing land supply.

“There is no impact on existing residential amenities of neighbouring properties. The development comprises medium density residential units of two storeys, which is considered appropriate for the location.”

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