Home Up Concerns Whitehart Meadow Old Sewage Works

Local Plan Review Concerns

Published and promoted by Councillor Alan Macro, 17 The Green, Theale, RG7 5DR 8th February 2023.  Hosted by 1&1 Internet Limited

All views expressed on this site, on my blog and on my Twitter and Facebook accounts are my own and do not represent those of any organisation that I belong to or of the hosting company

West Berkshire Council are consulting on their review of their Local Plan. There are several major concerns about what they are proposing, especially as it relates to Theale:

  1. The 100 homes proposed for Theale would be on top of over 440 homes on the western side of Theale that have been given planning permission but not yet built.
  2. The plan is being been rushed through so as to meet artificial deadlines.
  3. Neither of the proposed sites in Theale have been included in either the Strategic Transport Model or the Air Quality Assessment
  4. The current Local Plan Core Strategy contained the following statement: “The Lakeside development has planning permission to provide 350 homes in a range of different sizes and types, which would become a well-integrated part of the Theale community. If this development goes ahead, Theale would need to undergo a period of consolidation to provide an opportunity for facilities and services to be upgraded”. No justification has been given as to why this requirement, which is still much needed, has not been carried forward into the Local Plan Review.
  5. It excludes developments of more than 10 homes from its estimates of the number of “windfall” sites (sites in towns and villages that are not on sites allocated in the plan). Many windfall sites are bigger than 10 homes - Cumber Place and Trafalgar Court in Theale both contain around 30 homes.
  6. The number of homes allocated in the plan ignores the 500 - 1000 flats likely to be built in Newbury at the London Road Industrial Estate, that the council owns, and at a re-developed Kennet Shopping Centre.
  7. Concerns (3) and (4) mean that more homes than necessary would be built on greenfield sites like those proposed for Theale.
  8. The plan depends on 1,500 homes being built at Sandleford, south of Newbury. This site was first allocated in 2012 and no houses have been built there yet. In fact only part of the site has planning permission and that was only granted recently.
  9. The proposed extra homes for Theale will put extra pressure on local health services that are already stretched to the limit.
  10. The plan also depends on another site for 1,500 homes being allocated in north east Thatcham (in the corner formed by the A4 and Floral Way). As experience with the site at Sandleford shows, large sites can be difficult to deliver.
  11. Traffic from the proposed extra homes in Theale, in conjunction with that generated by the north east Thatcham site, will make local road congestion worse.