Sunday, 14 August 2022

Neighbours still unhappy at 50 homes next door

RESIDENTS have attacked revised plans for 50 new homes in Sonning Common.

Linden Homes wants to develop a 7.7-hectare field to the north of Reades Lane and west of Ashford Avenue.

The development would comprise 46 houses with between two and four bedrooms and four one-bedroom flats. Forty per cent of the units would be classed as “affordable”.

The developer and Patricia Pelly, who owns the neighbouring Bishopswood Farm, have submitted a revised planning application to South Oxfordshire District Council following criticism by residents and parish councillors of its originals plans.

The changes include:

l A new layout for the housing.

lRemoval of the boundary hedging between the proposed houses and existing homes in Ashford Avenue, Lambourne Road and Russet Close.

But neighbours say the new plans are worse than the original, claiming that the afforable housing is more clustered.

About a dozen people attended a meeting of Sonning Common Parish Council planning’s committee last week to express their concerns.

Martin Rose, of Lambourne Road, said: “The original proposal had buffer zones and we had no problem with that.  With the new plans they seem to have taken the development and moved the whole thing north and east, which has taken the buffer zones out. 

“It seems they could have moved the whole thing southwards and towards the western edge. They could bring the whole development back 10 yards and then recreate the screening zones. It makes sense to move it south-west so it would intrude less.”

David Case, also of Lamboure Road, said: “I’m concerned about the new buildings being up against existing properties. It seems the affordable homes have been moved closer to existing properties than the more executive houses.”

Paddy Lunn, of Lambourne Road, said: “From what I can see the whole plan has been shoved into the corner with gardens backing on to the boundary. On my side I now have two parking lots and two gardens.”

John Saunders, also of Lambourne Road, said: “If the development was further south towards the field it would benefit people who are worried about overlooking into their gardens. The whole site should be moved away to benefit everybody.”

Sharon Garnett, of Ashford Avenue, said she was also worried about overlooking.

She said: “Doing away with the hedges means there is more intrusion into my garden. I bought my bungalow because it would be privately owned and look out on to open fields. I’m not happy with the new plans.

“This is going to have an impact on the area with more cars, busier roads and more strain on the buses.”

Councillor Tom Fort said he was concerned about opposing the applicationas the number of homes was in line with the Sonning Common neighbourhood development plan.

Councillor Leigh Rawlins said some of the changes were at the request of the Chilterns Conservation Board. He added: “They want to make sure the housing does not stick out into the landscape.”

A field to the south-west of the site has been set aside for recreation and would be given to the parish council or a community charity.

A legal agreement to transfer ownership of the field from Bishopswood Farm is still being negotiated.

At a meeting on Monday the committee voted to recommend the application for approval.

Councillor Douglas Kedge said: “This development works well and we can’t keep saying we want this and that.

“It would be detrimental to our good relationship with the developer.”

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