In the autumn of 2010, Alok was contacted by the Underwood Road Community and Residents’ Action Group which was concerned about developer Bellway Homes’s planning application to build 74 homes on the Underwood Road site in Calcot, which had lain derelict for many years. Local residents wanted the site to be redeveloped but felt that the proposed development was inappropriate and on a scale completely out of keeping with the local area.
Achievements in the campaign:
- Alok attended a number of meetings with the Action Group, to which he provided advice and support, and various meetings with the developer Bellway Homes, Holybrook Parish Council and members of the local community.
- Alok made representations to all parties including West Berkshire Council to object to the planning application on the grounds that the planned development would be completely out of keeping with the surrounding area, too dominant at up to 4 storeys high, and too dense.
- Alok attended the West Berkshire Council Eastern Area Planning Committee meeting in December 2010, at which the Council rejected Bellway Homes’s planning application to build 74 homes on the Underwood Road site.
- Following further discussions Bellway Homes subsequently amended its proposals and reduced the number of homes on the development to 39.
- In August 2011, along with local residents Alok attended West Berkshire Council’s Eastern Area Planning Committee meeting at which the Council decided unanimously to approve the revised plans to redevelop the Underwood Road precinct site.
“I applaud West Berkshire Council for their common sense approach in approving this application which will result in a development in keeping with the local area and finally restore a site which has been an eyesore for years. I have had an opportunity to work on this issue with some of the local residents, including Marius Hopley, Elaine Rosier and Alan Jewell, who have all campaigned so hard to deliver a development which makes sense for the local community and I take my hat off to them for their perseverance.”