Statement by Hungerford Town Council regarding the new development off Salisbury Road (Lancaster Park), 13 May 2021

The following statement was made by Hungerford Town Council on 13 May 2021:

Planning decision – Land south of Priory Road: motion relating to Planning Application 20/01023/MDOPO

HTC is pleased to advise that West Berkshire Council has refused the application from Wates to modify the original planning obligations for the new development off Salisbury Road. The developers will now need to abide by the S106 agreement made to provide 40 affordable dwellings, 28 of these being social rented dwellings and 12 shared ownership.

Following an independent viability study West Berkshire Council concluded that the previously agreed provision of affordable housing is viable. Wates had wished to change the split of affordable housing so that all 40 affordable dwellings were of intermediate/shared ownership tenure.

Hungerford Town Council strongly objected to Wates application back in May 2020 on the following grounds:

  • The percentage of social rent dwellings was a crucial part of the original approved planning application 16/03061/OUTMAJ
  • The reduction in number of social rent dwellings will have a negative impact on local residents and local house rental prices
  • This application undermines WBC’s own Local Plan which states there should be 40% affordable housing on greenfield sites
  • The developers have already signed a legal agreement of S106
  • The Viability Appraisal was not undertaken by an independent consultant. HTC urged WBC to request a non-biased, independent Viability Appraisal.

At our Full Council meeting in December 2020, we further voiced our concern to West Berkshire Council at the attempt being made by Bewley Homes, Wates Management and the owners of the land south of Priory Road to deprive West Berkshire families of much needed social rented homes, and to renege on the formal contractual commitments they signed in 2017 and their promises made to the town via press releases and public meetings.

A large number of residents had also expressed their concerns about the application through the planning portal, further underlining the position taken by Hungerford Town Council.

This is a fantastic outcome for the town and we wish to thank West Berkshire Council and our District Councillors for their actions in bringing forward the right decision.

The image at the top of this post is of a public meeting held in the Hungerford Corn Exchange in January 2017 to discuss the proposed plans for the Salisbury Road site.

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