Wednesday, 4 January 2017

My representation against the Theale Lakeside planning application appeal

Appeal reference APP/W0340/W/16/3159722
Representation by:
Alan Macro
Councillor for Theale
West Berkshire Council

The site is a prominent one on the edge of the village of Theale. It is separated from the North Wessex Downs AONB by the A340. It forms the setting to Theale when approaching on the A4 from the Newbury direction, from the A340 and when entering Theale from these directions. A development of this edge-of-village location should provide a “soft edge” to the village, marking the change from AONB and countryside to the more suburban nature of this end of the village.

The proposed development is not suitable for this edge-of-village location adjacent to the AONB because:
  • ·       It is of high density
  • ·       It contains three, four and five storey accommodation blocks that will dominate views from approaches to the village and from the AONB. These multi-storey blocks are required to achieve the number of units in the proposal.
  • ·       The proposed four-storey sheltered housing block will dominate views when approaching from the Newbury direction and from the AONB.
  • ·       The proposed four-storey apartment blocks alongside the Theale bypass (A4) will dominate and block views into the site from this busy road
  • ·       Its layout is mainly of an unsuitable urban grid-pattern of roads.

It would not therefore form the required soft edge to the village and would adversely affect the setting of the AONB.

The lake forms an important part of the site and its setting is very important. The proposed multi-storey apartment blocks on the south side of the lake are inappropriate as they would dominate the landscape and form a high and hard backdrop to views across the lake from the north and east.
The proposed access the to the angler’s car park would provide a short cut for pedestrians from the proposed development to access The Green (to get to Theale Green School or the library, for example). This would be to the detriment of the amenity of residents of the housing alongside this unmade-up lane.

Residents of the proposed four-storey apartment blocks adjacent to the Theale bypass would be subject to disturbance by significant traffic noise. Residents of the upper floors of these blocks would look out over the rail depots and associated industry on the other side of the bypass, as their windows would be higher than the trees screening the depots.





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