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."