Planning applications are dealt with by the Environment and Planning Committee. It is mandatory that Hungerford Town Council be consulted by West Berks District Council as part of the planning process, although our role extends merely to expressing a local opinion in terms of support or otherwise for the application, with occasional comments. WBDC are under no obligation to act upon our advice or on the opinions we express.
Click here to go to the appropriate page in the West Berks website.
Development to the South of Hungerford - Land South of Priory Road
In April 2020, the developers submitted planning application 20/01023/MDOPO requesting a modification to the type of affordable housing provided on the site. They stated this was due to reasons of financial viability. When the original outline planning permission was granted in November 2017, a legal agreement was signed with West Berkshire Council stating the delivery of 40 affordable units, of which 28 would be rented homes and 12 would be offered as shared ownership to the community. This latest application is requesting that all 40 affordable units be shared ownership units.
In June 2020, HTC's Environment and Planning Committee objected to this application on a number of grounds, including: a legal agreement was signed in 2017 and the reduction in the number of social rent dwellings will have a negative impact on local housing needs.
At the HTC Full Council meeting on Monday 7th December 2020, a motion was unanimously agreed to further object to this application. The document can be viewed at the following link:
Land South of Priory Road - a summary of events
The following information is a summary of the main events since 2016 when the original planning application was submitted to develop the area of land South of Priory Road.
In January 2017, approximately 200 Hungerford residents attended a public meeting to voice their views on the planning application for 119 houses on land south of Priory Road. The meeting confirmed that the majority of those attended strongly object to the planning application with the main reasons being that it is 100% greenfield and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and alternative brownfield sites are available; the current road infrastructure is not adequate to accommodate the extra car journeys through the town; lack of Primary School places; pressure on an already stretched doctor's surgery as well as concerns voiced by residents adjoining the site regarding flooding.
After listening to the views of the residents, Hungerford Town Council felt compelled to act and put together their reasons of objection to West Berkshire Council - see following link:
In March 2017, an amended application was submitted to reduce the number of dwellings at this site to 100.
Judicial Review of Salisbury Road AONB Development
A call in to the Secretary of State about the application resulted in a delay to the period to challenge the application. Meanwhile WBC obtained official approval of their Development Plan Document, containing many of the issues that apply to the Salisbury Road site and HTC responded by challenging this as to not do so would have seriously compromised any case against Salisbury Road.
In June 2017, following many meetings attended by Councillors and members of the public, HTC voted to proceed with a Judicial Review to the permission stage. The Council were looking to raise £25,000 to pay legal fees and as well as contributing themselves, set up a just giving/crowd funding site asking for the public's help to try and stop this development.
In September 2017, HTC received an order from the Judge refusing HTC permission for Planning Statutory Review. This meant that having reached permission stage of the Judicial Review, we were unlikely to proceed any further. The Judge’s decision was to NOT allow the case to proceed to a full substantive hearing. The only possibility left was to challenge the planning application decision. However, after considerable thought the Town Council decided it couldn’t afford to go down the Judicial Review process again. Professional advice obtained also advised against this. The failure of the JR against the DPD would harm a challenge against the planning application and our chances of success were much lower than before. We would be up against an adopted DPD and the support of the town was waning.
The document below shows the Judge's decision.
In October 2017, HTC voted to not challenge the permission refusal.
The document below outlines the Statement of Facts & Grounds examined in the Judicial Review.
In November 2017, outline planning permission was granted for 100 homes, developers were CALA Homes/Wates Developments.
Change of Developer
In June 2019, new developers Bewley Homes, in association with Wates Developments, submitted application number 19/01406/RESMAJ - Appearance, landscaping, layout and scale which proposed an increase in building density on 5.6 hectares of the site as opposed to the original application which was granted for building on 7.2 hectares.
At a meeting of HTC's Environment and Planning Committee, representatives from Bewley Homes, CALA Homes and Wates Developments made a presentation to the Council and members of the public. Questions were submitted to Bewley Homes, their response can be seen at the following link:
HTC's Environment and Planning Committee objected to this application on a number of grounds, including: overcrowding and over development of the site in the AONB and an adverse impact on the properties immediately adjacent to the site.
In November 2019, this application was called in to the West Berkshire Council's Western Area Planning Committee and the application was granted.
West Berkshire Council's Preferred Options Housing Site Allocations - Development Plan Document - Hungerford Area
As part of its preferred Options and Housing Site’s Development Plan Document, West Berkshire Council is recommending that 100 dwellings are constructed south of the town off Salisbury Road. However, Hungerford Town Council believes there is a better option with less impact. The preferred Town Council option 'pepper-pots', or spreads the dwellings around the town with some at the rail station area, Smitham Bridge Road and Eddington.
Comments were due by 24th December 2015, and we hope that many of you have submitted your views to be considered.
Please find attached the response submitted by Hungerford Town Council
Please also find attached the report submitted by Ashburn Planning whose expertise in town planning is assisting Hungerford Town Council through this process.
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