About SayNoToSandleford

SayNOtoSandleford (SNTS) is a campaign group set up in 2012 to oppose the development of 2,000 homes at Sandleford Park, a green field site in south Newbury. We call on West Berkshire Council to develop smaller more sustainable mixed use brownfield sites and sustainable housing in the surrounding villages.

Sandleford is an historic site in South Newbury that contains a number of ancient woodlands, and is adjacent to a number of sites of Special Scientific Interest. Part of it was parkland for the Grade II listed Sandleford Priory landscaped by Capability Brown some 300 years ago. It borders the site of the First Battle of Newbury in 1643. It is probably best known as housing the warren in the opening chapters of Richard Adams much loved novel Watership Down, which is destroyed by developers. We are fighting to stop fiction turning into fact.

Sign our Petition at change.org

Please show your support by signing our petition at Save Sandleford. As of today we have nearly 6000 signatures.

Sandleford Park West Gets Go-Ahead

25 Mar 2024: We are disappointed to report that the 350 home development of Sandleford West by Donnington New Homes has been approved yesterday by the planning committee 6-2 with 1 absention. We are especially disappointed that local Wash Common Ward member Patrick Clark, who is well aware of the problems and the strength of local feeling, voted for this development. The main access will now be the junction of Andover road and Warren Road, with all the traffic problems that entails near the entrance of two schools. It is unclear whether future action can be taken to oppose this development.

Bloor Homes Presentation Evening

26 Mar 2024: After a long wait, the Bloor Homes presentation on Friday 15 March was our first glimpse of their plans since the appeal to government. We're very aware that with the granting of outline planning permission this part of the site is very likely to go ahead, so our approach must be very much about mitigating the impact of building work and ensuring that all promised amenities are actually delivered.In terms of next steps, we understand that a new planning application is expected towards the end of the year or early 2025 to flesh out these plans. Prior to that Bloor Homes will make a submission to West Berkshire Council (WBC) to cover "reserved matters" - e.g. more details infrastructure planning not covered by the outline planning - which will not be require full consultation as it's apparently a technical update. However if this is agree then initial work of putting in the infrastructure (e.g. utilities, drainage and maybe the first access point) could start in 2025 before the detailed planning application is submitted.

SayNoToSandford Publishes Response to Donnington New Homes

22 Aug 2023: SayNoToSandleford has published detailed objections to the proposed development of 360 houses by Donnington New Homes.

This can be downloaded from here: SNTS Response to 23-01585-OUTMAJ

Object to Warren Road access

1 Aug 2023: You can object in writing until 19 August to the proposed application by Donnington New Homes for 360 additional dwellings.

This will use Warren Road as an access route causing dangerous traffic at peak times near two schools. To object please use the following link: West Berkshire Planning Application. Search for Planning Application reference number 23/01585/OUTMAJ.

Decision made in favour of development

6 May 2022: A decision in favour of the development has been made by the Minister of State for Housing. This is a severe setback to the campaign, and SayNOtoSandleford will consider what further steps if any can be taken.

Decision deadline postponed

9 Feb 2022: The decision has been postponed and will be issued no later than 28 March 2022

Decision deadline announced

29 Nov 2021: The planning inspector's report has of today been sent to the Secretary of State for Housing, the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP. In accordance with required timetable, a decision will be issued no later than 28 February 2022

SNTS Opening Statement

8 May 2021: SayNOtoSandleford (SNTS) has made its Opening Statement at the ongoing planning appeal. Highlights are:
- The development harms the environment.
- Allowing the development makes a nonsense of climate change targets
- Air quality on the main routes through Newbury will degrade

SNTS States its Case

22 March 2021: SayNOtoSandleford (SNTS) has published its Statement of Case which will support its position at the forthcoming Planning Enquiry to take place starting 5 May. Highlights are:
- The unique ancient woodlands that stand within the site will be degraded, since woodland next to large developments is impacted by noise, pets, activity and pollution.
- Access roads to the development are completely inadequate.
- The Sandleford Park development is entirely based on car travel and drives a coach and horses through the council's policy of carbon neutrality.
- Since huge housing developments are already underway in Andover and Basingstoke, the additional traffic will cause jams and chaos on the A339 and A343.

Minister Joins the Fray

25 Feb 2021: The Secretary of State for Housing, the Right Honourable Robert Jenricks MP, has called in the Bloor Homes appeal against West Berkshire Council's refusal of their latest application for developing 1,000 homes on Sandleford. Rather than an independent planning inspector following a transparent process, the decision on Sandleford's future will be political. SNTS believes that any development called in by the Secretary of State will always be mired with suspicions as to the motivation behind it. We note that the owner of Bloor Homes, J S Bloor, donated 962,000 to the Conservative Party in the run up to the 2019 General Election, which may present the Secretary of State with an unfortunate appearance of conflict of interest in this matter.