Councillors in West Berkshire are to be asked to withdraw the district’s Local Plan Review.

An extraordinary council meeting is to be held on Tuesday, December 19 so that councillors can be asked to consider a new approach.

The Local Plan Review 2022-2039 is proposed to be withdrawn in favour of a new approach which focuses on new developments within existing town and village boundaries.

It follows a commitment made in the council strategy, adopted in September, to revise the Local Plan over concerns about greenfield development.

The LibDem administration, which took control in May, raised specific objections to developments in north-east Thatcham and Theale. It now seeks to have the Local Plan Review withdrawn and a new one begun.

Cllr Tony Vickers, executive member for planning, said: “The existing Local Plan Review allows too much development on our valuable green spaces and without the necessary infrastructure to support such large developments.

“We have said all along that we will look to make changes which put the environment front and centre, while prioritising new homes and employment spaces within our existing town and village boundaries.

“After looking carefully, we have concluded that this cannot be done without withdrawing the plan and starting again. It is not a decision we have taken lightly but we know this is an important issue for local people and we are determined to follow through on the commitments we have made.”

Cllr Lee Dillon, leader of the council, said: “The decision to ask Council to withdraw the plan has been considered very carefully, and it is not without its risks, but we feel these are outweighed by the benefits of pausing now and developing a better plan for the coming years.”

© Thames Tap (powered by

Sign up to receive our weekly free journal, The Forum here.