A decision on plans for a 150-space car park at Mortimer railway station has been delayed due to a lack of evidence of its suitability.

Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council want to build a 150-space car park at land by the station, which is on the Reading to Basingstoke Line, to allow more people to use the station.

But West Berkshire Council (WBC) Planning committee members said the requested size has not been justified and raised concerns about lack of clarity in several areas.

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Council officers had called for the ‘inappropriate’ scheme to be refused but committee members did not feel they had enough information to decide at last night’s meeting (Wednesday, August 5).

Speaking at the meeting, highways officer Paul Goddard questioned the need for 150 car spaces, saying it had not been proven such a large amount is needed and calling the choice “arbitrary”.

Cllr Law added: “On things like traffic capacity, parking capacity and lighting, officers don’t have all the information that they would like to have to make a proper recommendation.

“Had you had all the data you might have come to a different conclusion.”

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Planning officer David Pearson agreed, saying: “I am concerned about the amount of information that is unclear. My view the item should be deferred for more information.”

There are already 50 parking spaces at the station and WBC officers say 150 additional spaces would result in a similar capacity to urban transport hubs like Market Street, in Newbury, and Green Park Station.

Nine representations have been sent to the council, with seven opposing the plans and two in support.

The plan is on land south east of the station owned by the Englefield Estate, who have worked with SMPC and GWR to produce the plan.

SPMC say the car park would provide “a much-needed community facility” at Mortimer Station and believe growth in the use of Mortimer Station having been “supressed” due to the lack of parking.

But others say there “no credible justification” for such a big car park at the station.

Officers also raised concerns about some aspects of the design, including a bridge linking pedestrians and cars from the main road to the cark and recommended the plan be refused on that basis as well as the concerns over the necessity of 150 spaces.

While ward councillor Graham Bridgman called for the plan to be approved, saying it would improve access to the platform going to Basingstoke and has the support of the community.

But the committee agreed that a decision should be made after gathering more information.