ALMOST 250 homes will be built in Shinfield despite controversial plans being thrown out by council bosses last year.

Bellway Homes received planning permission to build 249 houses on land south of Cutbush Lane from inspectors based in Bristol after an appeal in January.

Planning inspectors overruled Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) planning chiefs’ June 2019 decision to reject the proposals, which outlined concerns about out-of-character three-storey apartments and whether the site’s play area was in a safe location.

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The verdict means the homes will go up despite residents’ fears about flooding, gridlock and overdevelopment in the area.

Reading Chronicle:

Shinfield South councillor Jim Frewin told the News: “I’m not surprised [about the decision]. We were always up against it.

“The reasons for refusal were almost an afterthought by Wokingham [Borough Council].

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“It is unfortunate that the planning process favours the big developers.

“We may have lost this fight but there are many more to come.”

Reading Chronicle:

Wokingham Borough Council set aside around £100,000 to fight the planning appeal brought forward by Bellway Homes.

Authority leader Cllr John Halsall said he was “disappointed” by the decision, but added the case “wasn’t one we expected to win.”

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He continued: “The platform of my administration is to minimise the homes which we have to build and to ensure those that are planned are infrastructure-rich.

“The unplanned developments are what really upset our residents.

Reading Chronicle:

“We will fight every appeal and hopefully we will start turning the corner.”

The Planning Inspectorate gave the go-ahead to the controversial plans but added a number of rules developers must follow.

Landscaping work must be in the interests of the surroundings, measures must be taken to reduce the flood risk at the site and developers must take action to make sure the likelihood of roadside parking is reduced.

The decision comes after a public inquiry which ran from Monday, January 20 to Thursday, January 23, following Bellway Homes’ appeal.

In his closing statement at the inquiry, Shinfield South councillor Jim Frewin said: “It is residents that have to live with the consequences of development.”