West Berkshire Local Plan Review to 2037

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Planning policies for development in West Berkshire to 2037

West Berkshire has a current Local Plan that sets out planning policies up to 2026. West Berkshire Council have now begun a review of the Local Plan to cover the period up to 2037.

Details of the local plan review can be found on the West Berkshire Council website here.

West Berkshire Council says the new draft Local Plan:

Identifies the development that is required to meet our local needs, sets out our strategy for distributing development within the district, as well as outlines policies for conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment. It will help people in West Berkshire achieve sustainable development.

WBC Website: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/localplanreview2037

With regards to Cold Ash Parish, the draft Local Plan will allocate the number of houses to be built in our Parish. However, because Cold Ash Parish Council is creating a Neighbourhood Development Plan the allocation of housing sites is delegated to the NDP, so our sites are not allocated in the WBC draft Local Plan. The draft Local Plan will allocate sites in neighbouring areas including the large strategic site in Thatcham that could be up to 2500 houses.

Regulation 18 consultation on the emerging draft of the West Berkshire Local Plan Review (LPR) to 2037

West Berkshire Council carried out a public consultation on the emerging draft of the local plan between Friday 11 December 2020 to Friday 5 February 2021.

Cold Ash Parish Council reviewed the draft local plan and submitted comments. The CAPC submission can be read by clicking the following link:

In summary Cold Ash Parish Council had the following concerns about the emerging Local Plan:

We believe there are some fundamental flaws in the Plan, most especially its spatial and development strategies being too skewed to protecting the AONB, and its lack of recognition of the unique situation and challenges facing our parish, resulting in an over-allocation of dwellings here.

We ask West Berkshire Council (WBC) to consider carefully all the points raised in our response, but particularly draw their attention to the following key items:

  • We object to the number of 40 dwellings allocated to our Parish and ask WBC for a fairer, lower allocation akin to Lambourn or Hermitage.
  • We urge WBC to reconsider the Spatial Strategy and amend it to provide for greater (but still contained) development within the huge 74% of land within the AONB.
  • We strongly recommend a re-think and scaling back of the large strategic development in Thatcham to a sustainable number, both for Thatcham itself and neighbouring parishes such as ours.
  • We ask WBC to ensure that the Local Plan formally acknowledges Cold Ash Parish’s unique situation within the District and confirms that WBC will not allocate any strategic sites within our parish.
  • We request that WBC facilitate further additional processes of engagement between parishes regarding the large strategic site in Thatcham.