09:00AM, Friday 21 January 2022
Hurst Village Society (HVS) has welcomed Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC) decision to refuse an application to develop more than 30 homes in the village.
The application by Leaper Land Promotion proposed to erect up to 33 self-build and custom homes on land at Broadcommon Road in Hurst.
The plans included 14 affordable homes, as well as open public spaces with furnished play areas, landscaping and associated infrastructure.
A decision notice from Wokingham Borough Council states that the application was refused for a number of reasons, including that the site is ‘outside of settlement boundaries’ and represents ‘inappropriate and unsustainable form of development in the countryside’.
The notice also cites a loss of the ‘separate identity’ of the village, ‘scattered development’ to the south and ‘harm to the quality of the environment’.
Some of the other reasons given for refusal include the proposed development having a ‘major adverse’ visual impact upon the ‘landscape character of the area, a lack of open space, infrastructure, and affordable housing, ‘loss of agricultural land’, and the site not being ‘within convenient walking distance’ of everyday facilities and services, schools and public transport.
John Osborne, HVS committee member for planning, said: "Hurst Village Society (HVS) welcomes the decision of Wokingham Borough Council to refuse the planning application for up to 33 custom and self build homes on land at Broadcommon Road, and notes that their decision letter identifies as the reasons for refusal many of the material planning considerations that were raised by the society and indeed numerous other local residents.
“It is fully expected that the applicant will appeal this decision at which time it will be necessary for the planning authority, HVS and local objectors to sustain their objections in the light of any reasons as to the appeal that are raised by the applicant at the time."
MP Theresa May said: “One of the reasons this application was rejected by Wokingham Borough Council was because the site was not within walking distance of facilities and services, and it would not have contributed to the shift to “more sustainable modes.
“This would have inevitably resulted in high dependence on private vehicle use and increased carbon emissions. I am pleased to see the council including sustainability in their approach.”
Leaper Land Promotion have been contacted for comment.
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