Plans for up to 165 homes at Pincents Lane in Calcot have been unanimously thrown out by West Berkshire Council.

The authority’s eastern area planning committee rejected the proposed scheme by U+I and Town at a special meeting on January 19, over highways and traffic concerns. More than 3,000 people had objected to the development.

The single access road off Pincents Lane, councillors said, would increase problems of a pinchpoint in Pincents Lane, leading to unacceptable queues and safety risks.

Cllr Alan Law referred to the traffic modelling for the scheme which, he said effectively shown the development would be landlocked.

He added: “The averages are fine, it’s the peaks. You just have to go up that road and look at that pinchpoint and look at the parking – and come via Ikea.

“I suspect this may go to appeal and I do hope it does because the inspector, when he goes there, will see exactly what we are talking about.”

Reading West MP Alok Sharma spoke against the development. He told the meeting he has opposed development on the site, a former golf course and agricultural land, since 2008 and has called the Secretary of State to call the proposal in, should it be voted through.

Cllr Richard Somner said: “I think we have to consider the pinchpoint as a matter of safety above everything else. There’s a very large question mark with regard to the safety of users and future users of that point of access, that I’m not prepared to accept.”

In a statement Town director Jonny Anstead said: “We are surprised and disappointed with the result, against the officers’ recommendation.

“Granting permission would have helped many local residents who are stuck in unsuitable accommodation achieve their dream of getting a home of their own.

“Some 66 of the 165 homes would have been available at below market rent or shared ownership to meet the needs of young families and key workers.

“The wider community would also have benefited through a new healthcare hub and a 22 acre public park.

“We would like to thank officers for their strong recommendation to the committee for approval and will be very interested to read the final wording of the decision notice before considering our next steps.”

Campaigners against the scheme have made enquiries to Town about buying the site but neither the campaigners nor Town would comment further.

© Thames Tap (powered by

Sign up to receive your free weekly Thames Tap journal here.