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Column 14th April 2021

Developers always want more

In the column a few weeks ago I mentioned that developers often want to change agreed plans between gaining approval and finishing the developments.

One example is the Crest Nicholson development at Park Farm in East Challow.

An outline application was submitted in 2016 for up to 88 homes on a site which wasn’t included in the Local Plan at the time but as the Plan hadn’t been approved and there wasn’t a 5-year land supply, it was very difficult for the District Council to refuse it.

This was a very contentious site because of lack of infrastructure in the village and the difficulty in getting safe access to the site with the speed of traffic along the A417.

It was eventually given permission with the requirement to put a roundabout at the entrance to the development.

In 2017, a further application was submitted to turn the roundabout into a priority junction. This was approved on the recommendation of the Highways Department of the County Council.

In 2018, a detailed application was submitted for the 88 homes without the village parking which had been a feature of the original outline plans. This was approved.

Later in 2018, a further application was submitted wanting to increase the number of homes on the development by 27 more homes.

This was refused on the grounds that it was “considered a poorly designed, cramped and congested scheme that is highway and parking dominated”.

The Council also pointed out that there were not sufficient unallocated car parking spaces and that the resulting design provided inadequate living conditions for future residents.

Undeterred, the developers then tried again to increase the number of homes to 101 with a further application in 2020.

Once again this was refused on the grounds of being a poorly designed, cramped and congested scheme.

Now two new applications have been submitted increasing the original number of homes from 88 to 99.

The first changes the design of several homes and replaces one 2 bedroom home with a 5 bedroom home.

The second increases the density of the site squeezing in additional homes again.

The site is still the same size and they have to ensure that size of the public open space is maintained so the only way they can add additional homes is to make the homes and gardens smaller.

Will the District Council have the gumption to turn this application down as well?


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