Dear All,

We would like to update you all on the latest events and share with you this statement :

"West Berkshire Council issued a challenge on 13th August 2015 in the High Court of Justice to quash the decision of the Planning Inspector in the granting of planning permission for a development of up to 90 houses at Firlands Farm.
The appeal follows an initial application from HDD Burghfield Common Limited in June 2014 for up to 129 dwellings at Firlands Farm in Burghfield Common. This application was refused by West Berkshire Council in October 2014 and subsequently appealed. During the appeal process the development was amended to 90 dwellings and was approved by a Planning Inspector (appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) in July 2015.
The Council is of the view that the Inspector has failed to apply the correct planning tests in determining the appeal and the Council has been substantially prejudiced as a result. The Council has asked the Court to quash the decision.
Alan Law the Portfolio Holder for Planning said ”It is very important that Planning Inspectors are challenged when we believe they get things so wrong that it prejudices the Council in determining other planning applications for housing. The Council has worked hard over many years to get the Core Strategy Adopted following stringent Government guidelines. We are currently doing this again, following unprecedented evidence gathering and public consultation, with the forthcoming Housing Site Allocations Development Plan Document. This will complete the picture for West Berkshire regarding future housing. We simply cannot allow all that effort and proper process to be totally disregarded and overturned by an individual Planning Inspector. We owe that duty to the people of West Berkshire who would not expect any less from us”".

For West Berks to embark on the costly route we feel that West Berks must have compelling evidence and sincerely hope that the High Courts agree with them. If nothing else, this action will put a delay on the proposed development for many months and probably well over a year.

RAFS support West Berks Council with this because house building in any area should be planned properly not be the decision of an Inspectorate at individual appeal Hearings from a developer. However we need West Berks planning to update their housing plans as soon as possible, that would not only help when the challenge is heard at the High Courts but would also help prevent future developers taking advantage of a lack in a finalised West Berks housing policy.

We shall continue to keep our ears to the ground and will update you with any new information as we hear it.

Kind Regards,


Planning Granted
FIRLANDS Planning Application
90 houses called "Hollybush Oaks"
NEWS - JUNE 2015
Dear All,
It is with great disappointment that we have to advise that the appeal decision was found in favour of Pegasus - we have lost.
Outline Planning Permission has been granted for up to 90 dwellings.
Please refer to the attached notification.

Firlands Appeal Decision

We can take heart in the fact that we all had a hand in preventing the original Supermarket Scheme and likewise have helped in reducing the potential number of dwellings from the previous application by some 30%.
Due process is still required and more work to be done by Pegasus to convert the outline planning approval to full approval, so it should be some time yet before we see the first shovels breaking ground.
The Inspector did note in paragraph 66 of his report the high level of local opposition and acknowledged that there is a concern that the development could grow on the site beyond the 90 dwellings. However, he also states that he can only rule on the submission put before him. We think there is a strong likelihood that our battle will commence again at sometime in the future.
We thank all of you for your help and support over the last few years and wish you well.

Kindest of regards,

Adobe Acrobat Icon
Firlands Appeal
Adobe Acrobat PDF format

Below is Sulhamstead Parish Council ObjectionStatement