09:23AM, Friday 06 March 2020
Medina Dairy in Vale Road (Ref:131551-2)
Plans for 87 new homes and a community centre at the Medina Dairy site in Dedworth have been approved.
The application for the development at the industrial site in Shirley Avenue was submitted to the council by Medina Property Development in July.
It is the third attempt to redevelop the site.
A previous application for 93 homes was refused by the council in July 2016, and a second application for 89 homes on the site was refused in June 2017.
The plans, which were approved by councillors at a meeting in York House on Wednesday, respond to previous concerns by providing a community centre and avoiding harm to protected trees in the development area.
They also include a legal agreement to secure affordable housing, with the number of units dependent on a viability assessment conducted by the council’s independent consultant.
A statement produced for the application stated affordable housing was not viable.
But Nick Baker, planning director at Lichfield, the agent for the applicant, told the meeting affordable housing was not considered viable due to the addition of a community centre but added it was hoped it could be included in the scheme in future.
Cllr Julian Sharpe (Con, Ascot and Sunninghill), criticised the plans.
He said: “I think it is a poor application which seems to lack ambition, scale and everything else that we would want for a flourishing borough.”
He added: “While they are talking about an affordable housing contribution later on, that is not the same as having real houses for real people.”
Cllr David Hilton (Con, Ascot and Sunninghill) also raised concerns about affordable housing but said: “In every other regard I have no objections to the planning application.”
Cllr Wisdom Da Costa (WWRA, Clewer and Dedworth West) put forward a motion to approve the plans with a condition to regulate noise and opening hours of the community centre.
Under the plans, the community centre will only be used for purposes of prayer, education and community meetings.
Subject to negotiations, it is proposed the centre will be open from 8am-9pm on Monday to Friday, except for Ramadan when it will be open until 10.45pm, and 9.30am to 3.30pm on the weekends.
Councillors voted to approve the application, except for Cllr Sharpe and Cllr John Bowden (Con, Eton and Castle), who voted against it.
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