Homes bid goes to appeal

Published: 19 Jun 2012 09:304 comments

AN APPEAL has been lodged against a popular decision to reject controversial plans to build more than 100 homes in Shinfield.

Reading University revealed its plans to appeal yesterday - three weeks after Wokingham Borough Council's planning committee refused an outline application to demolish buildings on land at The Manor in Shinfield to build up to 126 homes.

Councillors turned down the application by a majority of 5-4 after concerns were raised about the site size, impact on nearby properties, and loss of light and privacy.

Wokingham's planning officers had recommended approval, and Ian Tant, from the university's planning consultants Barton Willmore, said: "Reading University has been working alongside Wokingham Borough Council officers on this planning application for well over a year and taken special care to ensure that the details of the application met all of the council's requirements.

"The council's objection can be no more than a temporary issue: we see no benefit in holding up what everyone agrees is a much-needed

redevelopment of this brownfield site."

The land is bordered by Brookers Hill, Hollow Lane and Church Lane, and the university stated it was appealing against the decision on the basis that the council has already established the principle of Shinfield becoming a Major Development Location in its core strategy.

An outline planning application for 126 homes - which proposed to replace disused buildings with housing, while also providing areas of open space, sports pitches, children's play areas and allotments - was submitted in January last year.

Mr Tant added: "We are surprised and disappointed that the committee voted to reject the application as this has left the university with no realistic option but to appeal the decision."

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  • OddJob
    Unregistered User
    Jun 20, 09:08
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    Why should a university be building homes let alone during an economic crisis? If anything the land should be sold off and put back into public services. But hey what do I know, I'm just an economist.

    Recommend?   Yes 18     No 3

  • Rachel
    Unregistered User
    Jun 20, 10:25
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    A university should be building homes during an economic crisis because they are major land holders and need to capitalise on their land assets to make up for the shortfall in subsidies they are now receiving from the government. The land does not belong to the government, so why should the univerisities hand it over to them? Since we're conveniently also in a housing crisis, more people are able to afford homes due to greater supply to meet demand. But hey what do I know, I just took two courses in economics 10 years ago.

    Recommend?   Yes 5     No 16

  • Charles
    Unregistered User
    Jun 20, 15:31
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    Rachel, clearly the local planning officers didn't think so. Smirk.

    Recommend?   Yes 18     No 1

  • theeternalwheel
    Unregistered User
    Jun 20, 20:57
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    They'd be better off building a campus out in the middle of nowhere for all the drunken Whiteknight campus mob to live on. Spare me old dahlias a bit of vomit why dontcha?

    Recommend?   Yes 7     No 1