Homes England’s plans for 160 homes on the site of the former Institute For Animal Health in Compton, West Berkshire have approved.

The application, which includes 1.75 hectares of employment land and retention of a cricket pitch, were voted through by the council’s western area planning committee on February 23, following a deferral on January 12 to allow the Compton Neighbourhood Development Plan to be adopted.

Homes England applied for full planning permission to demolish buildings on the site and outline permission for the houses.

However, there was wide-ranging opposition including concerns over contaminated land and the new scheme’s housing mix.

Ward member, Cllr Carolyne Culver argued that people were unable to continue to live near their families in Compton because there are too few smaller homes and the application failed to provide them.

She said: “People are leaving villages like Compton because there is not the accommodation there that they need. They can’t buy a house and they can’t downsize.

“If you are going to have a robust, sustainable society in the future and deal with things like pandemics, we need people to be able to stay in the same area.

“We need young people to be able to look after the elderly and not have to move many miles away because the accommodation isn’t there.”

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