Monday, 23 November 2020

Residents worried about new housing

HOUSING types and a lack of retail space were some of the concerns raised at a meeting

HOUSING types and a lack of retail space were some of the concerns raised at a meeting to discuss Sonning Common’s neighbourhood development plan.

More than 100 people attended the meeting at the village hall in Wood Lane.

The parish council organised it to explain why another 55 homes had been added to the plan, increasing the total from a minimum of 138 to 193.

Councillor Barrie Greenwood,  who chairs the neighbourhood plan working group, said the village’s allocation for homes was likely to be increased when the strategic housing market assessment was published in the autumn.

Catherine Ample, of Grove Road, asked what would be done to ensure there was more affordable housing in the village.

“I am a young professional and I can’t afford a house here,” she said.

Cllr Greenwood replied that 40 per cent of the total housing mix had to be classed as “affordable”.

Councillor Lee Rawlings added: “We’ve tried to make a housing mix which is  balanced. We want people to be able to enter the housing market.”

Roddy Young, of Vines Farm in Cane End, expressed concerns about the lack of retail sites in the village.

Cllr Rawlings said they had tried to reserve some land off Wood Lane for more shops but planning permission had already been granted for houses on that site.

The new draft plan has proposed sites for homes as follows: Lea Meadow — 60 homes; land off the back of Ashford Avenue (50) with a recreation area next door; land currently a Chiltern Edge School playing field (37); Kennylands Road (26); and land behind Kennylands Road (20).

• A couple have written to Sonning Common Parish Council’s planning committee thanking members for their professionalism and friendliness at a meeting. Philip and Joanne Portch, of Belle Vue Road, Henley, have received planning permission to turn a former business space in Wood Lane into a house.

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