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SANDHURST residents have claimed victory after plans for more than 30 homes in the High Street were thrown out by a planning inspector.

David Asher dismissed two appeals by Bancroft Development Ltd, saying the proposed development would harm highway safety and be completely out of character and appearance with the rest of the area.

Residents joined forces with Sandhurst Town Council to fight two plans from Bancroft at a three-day public inquiry in May.

Mr Asher's decision, released on Monday, marks an end to the long-running battle between residents, who feared the plan would create safety hazards along the road, and Bancroft.

Cllr Bob Piggin, chairman of Sandhurst Town Council planning committee, said: "It's brilliant!

"I am absolutely ecstatic and hope this will send out a clear message to other developers who have over-ambitious development plans in the area.

"The inspector's decision came out a lot more quickly than expected which makes me feel he was very clear in his mind about this decision.

"The decision is hard and fast and the Planning Inspectorate has come down clearly against it."

Martin Horncastle, a Sandhurst resident who has fought tirelessly to block the plans, said: "Local residents are absolutely delighted at the inspector's decision to dismiss the appeals by Bancroft Developments.

"The residents have always strongly argued the fact that this development would harm highway safety on the A321 with land sitelines, together with the speed and volume of the traffic, producing a potential accident hotspot.

"In addition, the overdevelopment of the site would significantly change the character and appearance of the area. It's commendable that the inspector agrees with the residents' concerns.

"In the end, it's a victory for common sense."

The battle began after Bancroft put forward two applications, one for 32 homes and another for 35.

Bracknell Forest Borough Council refused permission in both cases, which prompted Bancroft to appeal.

The firm was unavailable to comment as the Times went to press.


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