The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted at Common Farm

31st January 2024.

It is with deep regret and profound disappointment that we address you following the reversal of the initial refusal for Bewley Homes’ planning application at Common Farm (21/03394/OUT). This decision starkly exposes a worrying neglect for the health and integrity of both our cherished local environment and community.

The plan proposed by Bewley Homes, which we firmly maintain is unsustainable and unnecessary, represents a severe threat to the distinct character of our area and exacerbates the flood risk of an already susceptible location. The success of the planning appeal should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of the project’s merits. Instead, it reflects the local council’s failure to demonstrate an adequate five-year land supply.

In our opinion, this outcome underscores critical issues in regional planning policies. The government’s aggressive pursuit of arguably unrealistic land supply targets is detrimentally impacting our countryside and eroding the essence of our communities, a gap that Bewley Homes seems to be exploiting.

As volunteers., dedicated to protecting the Enborne River Valley, we implore the government to reconsider its strategies and priorities. Striking a balance between developmental needs and the preservation of our unique natural and communal heritage is crucial.

We are united with our community in seeking responsible solutions that safeguard our environment and residents’ well-being. The Enborne River Valley Preservation Society remains fervently committed to advocating for responsible, sustainable development that reflects our community’s values and needs. While reviewing the inspector’s report, we acknowledge that an appeal to the High Court is not feasible due to financial constraints. However, we remain hopeful that authorities like the West Berkshire Council might pursue this path.

For those that would like to read the appeal decision document, please click here.

At this juncture, we extend our heartfelt gratitude and share in your disappointment. Our deepest thanks go to each of you for your steadfast support. Your invaluable contributions, knowledge, and, notably, your generous donations have been crucial in our campaign. As six local homeowners, we have invested considerable time, effort, and personal resources in this cause, driven by our commitment to our community. While the outcome is not as hoped, we trust our efforts have made you proud and demonstrated our collective dedication to our neighborhood’s welfare. Your support has been fundamental in voicing our community’s concerns, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

With sincere appreciation,
The Committee | ERVPS