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> Sandleford row erupts again following letter to Wash Common residents
r.bartlett
post Dec 26 2014, 05:51 PM
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Council approves Warren Road upgrade despite Sandleford concerns
Thursday, 25th Dec 2014



QUOTE
PLANS to make improvements to Warren Road in Wash Common have been approved, despite concerns that the application is being used as a “back door route” to access the proposed housing development at Sandleford.

The improvements, which will see the road widened to accommodate a pedestrian footpath, were given the green light by West Berkshire Council officers last week.

However the decision has been met with scepticism from Newbury Town Council and some local residents due to the fact that the applicant, Mark Norgate, is also one of the landowners and developers of Sandleford Park.

Mr Norgate also owns Newbury-based property developer Donnington New Homes, which could be responsible for building up to 500 homes as part of the
2,000-home Sandleford development.

However, Mr Norgate said his application for Warren Road was to improve residents’ safety and insisted
it was “not linked to any application that may be forthcoming over Sandleford” despite the road having been identified by the district council as a possible all-vehicle access route into Sandleford.

He added that any suggestion he was playing “some sort of game” by linking the Warren Road and Sandleford applications was “ridiculous”.

However, the plans to improve Warren Road were unanimously shot down at a Newbury Town Council meeting in October – with councillors claiming that it was “as clear as day” that the application was intended to provide better access to the development.

One local resident, Ian Dyke, said: “Overall there seems to be very little merit in this application, or compelling reason for it, other than providing a bus route, or all-traffic access for the Sandleford development by default.”

He added: “I am not aware of any final decisions having been made on Warren Road either becoming a bus route or all-traffic access to Sandleford Park.

“It would seem, therefore, totally inappropriate for these proposed improvements to take place until such decisions are made.”

In a statement, granting permission for the improvements, West Berkshire Council said: “Whilst representations received refer to the future development of the Sandleford site, this application must be determined on its merits and any increase in traffic and need for road improvements as a result of the development of Sandleford will be assessed when an application for that development is submitted.”

It added: “It is considered that the proposed works to Warren Road under consideration here would not prejudice the development of the Sandleford site or any further works that may be necessary as a result of an application for the development of the Sandleford site.”

The council also said that although the works were considered to change the character and appearance of the road itself, it is considered to be limited and outweighed by the public benefit of highway safety.

The proposal involves the widening of the road to 4.8m between Park Cottage and the entrance to New Warren Farm together with a 1.5m-wide footway on the north side of Warren Road to tie in with the existing footway on the east side of Andover Road that would terminate at a new crossing point beside Park Cottage.

A new 1.5m-wide footway would also be introduced on the southern side of Warren Road opposite Park Cottage and run eastwards to the junction of the access road leading to Lynwood House and Ashton House.

Tactile paving and dropped kerbs would be provided at the crossing between the new footways by Park Cottage. Bollards are also proposed at the junction to the existing public right of way and the road.

The council said that the application was not considered to be significantly different from the improvements previously agreed in 2009.

Earlier this year, as reported by the Newbury Weekly News, Mr Norgate wrote to Wash Common residents asking if they would be interested in selling their homes and land to assist with access into Sandleford, despite Warren Road not being confirmed as an access route and no formal planning application being submitted.

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Exhausted
post Dec 26 2014, 09:48 PM
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Is this an effort by young Norgate to achieve the status of the parental Norgate who seemed to "Own" the local planners.
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On the edge
post Dec 26 2014, 10:49 PM
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Have a look at the West Berks LibDem website. The Say NO to Sandleford Campaign has its very own heading in the menu. Can't see any other NO to Development Campaigns being given similar treatment. Does this mean that the Sandleford Campaigners 'Own' the local LibDems? Not sure if this would go down too well with those opposing the developments elsewhere....


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r.bartlett
post Dec 27 2014, 10:12 AM
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It's the outright lies and duplicitousness that really irks.

the councils lie and cheat their way to smooth things over before announcing their latest fait au complit

The issue is because they go about this development in a totally dishonest way they are not able to admit there will be traffic issues and hence are unable to offer proper solutions

If they had the decency to say " Right, traffic in this area is going to be mad, long term solutions are needed" at least sensible discussion can be sought.
By lying about there being plenty of jobs within the area (there isn't) and that the new dwellers will cycle or walk to the train station because it's within this imaginary 2km limit just means they are storing up trouble for local residents to 'suck it up' for the next 20 years.



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Simon Kirby
post Dec 27 2014, 10:47 AM
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QUOTE (r.bartlett @ Dec 27 2014, 10:12 AM) *
It's the outright lies and duplicitousness that really irks.

the councils lie and cheat their way to smooth things over before announcing their latest fait au complit

The issue is because they go about this development in a totally dishonest way they are not able to admit there will be traffic issues and hence are unable to offer proper solutions

If they had the decency to say " Right, traffic in this area is going to be mad, long term solutions are needed" at least sensible discussion can be sought.
By lying about there being plenty of jobs within the area (there isn't) and that the new dwellers will cycle or walk to the train station because it's within this imaginary 2km limit just means they are storing up trouble for local residents to 'suck it up' for the next 20 years.

I largely agree, though we, the communities that will be stuffed by poor traffic planning, also need to take responsibility and engage positively with development. But largely, yes, the primary fault lies with our councils for being shifty and opaque.


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blackdog
post Dec 27 2014, 11:18 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Dec 27 2014, 10:47 AM) *
I largely agree, though we, the communities that will be stuffed by poor traffic planning, also need to take responsibility and engage positively with development. But largely, yes, the primary fault lies with our councils for being shifty and opaque.

Surely the primary fault lies with a government that is forcing councils to enable the building of enormous numbers of homes at the same time as preventing the same councils from spending on infrastructure by a combination of reducing government grants and measures to prevent council tax increases.

Mind you this shouldn't prevent councils from developing plans for new infrastructure and reserving the space for it - rather than building over it all.
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On the edge
post Dec 27 2014, 11:27 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Dec 27 2014, 11:18 AM) *
Surely the primary fault lies with a government that is forcing councils to enable the building of enormous numbers of homes at the same time as preventing the same councils from spending on infrastructure by a combination of reducing government grants and measures to prevent council tax increases.

Mind you this shouldn't prevent councils from developing plans for new infrastructure and reserving the space for it - rather than building over it all.


Certainly agree with your last point which is so often forgotten and glossed over. The 'spending cuts' issue is an important one. Our local CouncillorS would have a bit of trouble claiming they have no money to spend on infrastructure, given the amount they are squittering away on unnecessary infrastructure projects like restoring derelict buildings. Similarly, if we can afford the unnecessary and huge capital sums it's cost to feed kids at primary school we must have the cash to support development.


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Simon Kirby
post Dec 27 2014, 11:52 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Dec 27 2014, 11:18 AM) *
Surely the primary fault lies with a government that is forcing councils to enable the building of enormous numbers of homes at the same time as preventing the same councils from spending on infrastructure by a combination of reducing government grants and measures to prevent council tax increases.

Mind you this shouldn't prevent councils from developing plans for new infrastructure and reserving the space for it - rather than building over it all.

To be fair I don't know much about WBC and the restrictions that you mention so if this is true then yes, I agree with you to some extent.

But can't WBC pass on the entire cost of the transport infrastructure to the developer? I actually can't really see why building junctions into the estate should be a public cost at all.


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Exhausted
post Dec 27 2014, 02:56 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Dec 27 2014, 11:52 AM) *
But can't WBC pass on the entire cost of the transport infrastructure to the developer? I actually can't really see why building junctions into the estate should be a public cost at all.


That's what the S106 payments are all about. I think the name is about to change but it's the same thing.

Probably why WBC want a single application from the development. The problem is that they, WBC and the Government, want their cake and eat it. The cost to the developer can spiral once everybody marks the cards for how much they want. Schools. Social services, ecology, Roads and transport, Bike sheds, Bats, Police, Fire, and of course the libraries. Add on top of that the affordable housing quota and it's a wonder anything gets built these days.




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NWNREADER
post Dec 27 2014, 05:52 PM
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My thinking....

Developer (company) knows the planning application will struggle because of the road network. WBC not minded to fund in the absence of 'funding'. Developer may not pay the Council, so a benefactor comes forward to do the works purely for the benefit of the community (lucky!). The fact he has connections to the development company is pure chance.
WBC 'want' Sandleford, so will not look a gift horse in the mouth. Plans passed, now await the full planning application to arrive, with traffic problems all sorted.

I cannot ever remember a benefactor upgrading public roads at his/her own expense......
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On the edge
post Dec 27 2014, 07:02 PM
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Somewhat convoluted, as previous posts have explained, this is what S106 payments are actually for. What should also be remembered is that the council will get a substantial annual income from everyone who buys one of the houses in the development, so arguably the council should be paying the developer for bringing them more income.


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Exhausted
post Dec 27 2014, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Dec 27 2014, 05:52 PM) *
My thinking.... Developer (company) knows the planning application will struggle because of the road network. WBC not minded to fund in the absence of 'funding'. Developer may not pay the Council, so a benefactor comes forward to do the works purely for the benefit of the community (lucky!). The fact he has connections to the development company is pure chance. WBC 'want' Sandleford, so will not look a gift horse in the mouth. Plans passed, now await the full planning application to arrive, with traffic problems all sorted. I cannot ever remember a benefactor upgrading public roads at his/her own expense......


There is no way that this application will struggle. It's a council development in all but name. This will be nursed through to conclusion. There might be a bit of blood spilt on the carpet but that will be quickly cleared up and will be presented to the nodding councillors with a recommendation for approval. Done deal, the various bodies will take their S106 payments and the local roads will be sorted, the viability study will determine how many affordables will be pepperpotted around the development and how much the library will get.

Then the building will start and Newbury will have so much additional traffic along with the racecourse development that the A339 will become a nightmare even with the racecourse bridge and the Sterling Estate new road. That's what seems to be the way forward without any thought for alternative overall traffic planning. If the WBC bike body believe that in this day and age that every home with a bike store will use a bike to go shopping and travel to work it proves that they have no understanding of today's people. We are a global community, sixty years ago we all worked locally and the little shops down the end of the road served us well. Today,........?

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blackdog
post Dec 28 2014, 12:14 AM
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QUOTE (Exhausted @ Dec 27 2014, 02:56 PM) *
That's what the S106 payments are all about. I think the name is about to change but it's the same thing.

Probably why WBC want a single application from the development. The problem is that they, WBC and the Government, want their cake and eat it. The cost to the developer can spiral once everybody marks the cards for how much they want. Schools. Social services, ecology, Roads and transport, Bike sheds, Bats, Police, Fire, and of course the libraries. Add on top of that the affordable housing quota and it's a wonder anything gets built these days.

S106 is being abolished and a new system being put in place - which will reduce the amount paid by developers. All part of the government's policy of making development happen.

However, whichever system is in place there is no way it will pay for the sort of infrastructure needed to cope with a town the size of Newbury/Thatcham as it grows at the current rate. Things like a ring road, a bridge at Thatcham, or a proper replacement for the Robin Hood gyratory. The best we get is a revamp of a junction or two.
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Andy Capp
post Dec 28 2014, 01:34 AM
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Good old free enterprise: 'short-sighted capitalism'.
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On the edge
post Dec 28 2014, 07:32 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Dec 28 2014, 12:14 AM) *
S106 is being abolished and a new system being put in place - which will reduce the amount paid by developers. All part of the government's policy of making development happen.

However, whichever system is in place there is no way it will pay for the sort of infrastructure needed to cope with a town the size of Newbury/Thatcham as it grows at the current rate. Things like a ring road, a bridge at Thatcham, or a proper replacement for the Robin Hood gyratory. The best we get is a revamp of a junction or two.


Just like the capital all the other businesses and services will have to invest to support additional customers. There isn't anything different about the Council! Of course, one might have expected that to support those already living and breeding in the area the Councils would have kept up. After all, the effect of a few hundred new houses in support terms should be marginal. So, new developments are really just highlighting the incompetence of the local councils over the past decades.


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Simon Kirby
post Dec 28 2014, 09:30 AM
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QUOTE (blackdog @ Dec 28 2014, 12:14 AM) *
S106 is being abolished and a new system being put in place - which will reduce the amount paid by developers. All part of the government's policy of making development happen.

However, whichever system is in place there is no way it will pay for the sort of infrastructure needed to cope with a town the size of Newbury/Thatcham as it grows at the current rate. Things like a ring road, a bridge at Thatcham, or a proper replacement for the Robin Hood gyratory. The best we get is a revamp of a junction or two.

Let's put some rough figures to this: it costs in the order of £15M to build a mile of dual carriage way so lets guestimate that it would cost around £150M for a decent ring road. There are some 100,000 domestic council tax payers in west berkshire so if we let them fund half of that cost (business rates and central government can fund the other half) then we're talking about a £25 levy on our council tax over say 30 years. That feels like a reasonable pay-back period over which to spread such a significant capital scheme.

But in practice what does our local government spend £25 a head on? At the Town Council alone you can find that kind of self-serving waste on things like the charter market, the town hall, the mayoral pomp, the Christmas lights, and the allotments. This is the problem, our local government is self-serving and inept, and blaming that failure on central government is shabby.


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Andy Capp
post Dec 28 2014, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Dec 28 2014, 09:30 AM) *

Let's put some rough figures to this: it costs in the order of £15M to build a mile of dual carriage way so lets guestimate that it would cost around £150M for a decent ring road. There are some 100,000 domestic council tax payers in west berkshire so if we let them fund half of that cost (business rates and central government can fund the other half) then we're talking about a £25 levy on our council tax over say 30 years. That feels like a reasonable pay-back period over which to spread such a significant capital scheme.

But in practice what does our local government spend £25 a head on? At the Town Council alone you can find that kind of self-serving waste on things like the charter market, the town hall, the mayoral pomp, the Christmas lights, and the allotments. This is the problem, our local government is self-serving and inept, and blaming that failure on central government is shabby.

All that is fine if your figures are accurate; however, even the government shied away from building a ring-road that would have served the town better; presumably, because of cost.
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user23
post Dec 28 2014, 11:35 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Dec 28 2014, 09:30 AM) *
Let's put some rough figures to this: it costs in the order of £15M to build a mile of dual carriage way so lets guestimate that it would cost around £150M for a decent ring road. There are some 100,000 domestic council tax payers in west berkshire so if we let them fund half of that cost (business rates and central government can fund the other half) then we're talking about a £25 levy on our council tax over say 30 years. That feels like a reasonable pay-back period over which to spread such a significant capital scheme.

But in practice what does our local government spend £25 a head on? At the Town Council alone you can find that kind of self-serving waste on things like the charter market, the town hall, the mayoral pomp, the Christmas lights, and the allotments. This is the problem, our local government is self-serving and inept, and blaming that failure on central government is shabby.
You plan fails on two counts:

1) People like the market as they feel it retains Newbury's status as a "small market town".

2) People didn't want an Eastern bypass as it would remove the last green space between Newbury and Thatcham, effectively creating one urban area.

Whilst some politicians like yourself break arguments down purely into figures, others listen to the views of the people and base their views on both.

Thank goodness we don't live in Simon's Scroogetown, a locality where the market has been closed down, Christmas lights abandoned, graveyards privatised and civic buildings sold off for short term gain.
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blackdog
post Dec 28 2014, 11:41 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Dec 28 2014, 09:30 AM) *

Let's put some rough figures to this: it costs in the order of £15M to build a mile of dual carriage way so lets guestimate that it would cost around £150M for a decent ring road. There are some 100,000 domestic council tax payers in west berkshire so if we let them fund half of that cost (business rates and central government can fund the other half) then we're talking about a £25 levy on our council tax over say 30 years. That feels like a reasonable pay-back period over which to spread such a significant capital scheme.

It might cost £15m to build a mile of dual carriageway - but first you have to buy the land, land that in places short sighted planning has covered with buildings or turned into prime building land - very expensive. Then you need junctions and bridges - far more expensive than a bit of dual carriageway.

Then you need central government to fund the 'other half' (business rates are just an income stream for the Treasury, not an additional funding source) - in the current economic climate this won't happen for decades.

Of course they could just let WBC keep the Business Rates they collect - that would pay for a ring road in a very short time.
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blackdog
post Dec 28 2014, 11:52 AM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Dec 28 2014, 07:32 AM) *
After all, the effect of a few hundred new houses in support terms should be marginal.


I wouldn't dismiss a 30-40% increase in the size of Newbury as 'a few hundred houses' or kid myself that the effect is marginal. It's over 5,000 new houses and there will be more, a few hundred every year for the foreseeable future.
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