PLANS to build 110 houses in Theale were published last week, causing some residents concern about more demand on infrastructure.

The houses would be built to the west of the village, on the triangle of land between the A340 and the Green.

That land had been considered for the site of the new Theale primary school, but was deemed too expensive. Both sites of land are owned by Englefield Estate. 

Councillor Alan Macro (Lib Dem, Theale) said: “The estate made it clear they weren’t prepared to go for a school because land for housing is far more valuable.”

The plans were submitted on behalf of Englefield, whose chairman is Richard Benyon, the MP for Newbury.

Edward Crookes, the estates director, said: “Our proposals include 40 per cent affordable housing, which means 44 new homes will be made available for local people whose housing needs are not being met by the market.”

Around 66 of the houses will go for the market rate, while around 31 will be social rented housing and 13 will be affordable housing, according to the estate.

Cllr Macro said: “There is a lot of concern in the village on the effect it will have on local services, like the doctors and so on.”

West Berkshire Council and Theale Parish Council will both receive money from a community infrastructure levy on the developers, and WBC will also receive a new homes bonus from central government.

Mr Crookes said: “We estimate this site will generate hundreds of thousands of pounds to be invested in the community, although we can’t calculate the final figure until the detailed design stage.”

The site was originally allocated for 70 homes, but that ‘was changed at the last minute’, Cllr Macro said.

“Now to come back with such a big increase, it will make live very difficult for people and I think the council should refuse it.”

Cllr Macro said he will ask the chairman of the planning committee at West Berkshire Council to take the application to committee, so councillors can decide whether to approve it, instead of officers. He said if it gets to committee, he will ask councillors to refuse the application.

The homes will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom flats, and houses with two, three, and four bedrooms. Most will be for family housing.

The development will include a ‘woodland buffer’ alongside the A340, on the west of the site, where two pipelines run below the site.

Building work could begin next year, and finish by 2023.