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Wantage housing plan 'puts profits before people'
7:10am Wednesday 30th January 2013 in News
NEW plans for a controversial housing development in Wantage town centre have been branded as putting “profits before people”.
Vanderbilt Homes wants to build two shops, eight one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom flats on Stirlings Road, opposite Waitrose supermarket in Wallingford Street.
The developer’s planning application is a revision of one it submitted last August for two shops and 34 flats.
Vale of White Horse district councillor and Wallingford Street resident Jenny Hannaby said: “There are still too many flats.
“Here we are again and they still haven’t taken on board anything the residents have said. They are not community-minded.
“It is profits before people.”
In response to the last planning application the town council wrote: “The proposal represents gross over development of the site. The number of dwellings within the building is too high.”
Vanderbilt originally planned to refurbish the two 18th century buildings on the site, which formerly housed Blanchard Fabrics and James Heating Services and were the only two survivors of a row of timber-framed shops demolished in 1972 to make way for Waitrose.
But in 2011 the developer decided to demolish the shops, after a planning survey revealed the buildings were unsafe.
Since then, Vanderbilt has submitted three different planning applications with varying numbers of shops and flats.
Vanderbilt’s first planning application, which was approved by the district council before the buildings were found to be unsafe, was to create five shop units on Stirlings Road with 14 flats above.
Vale planning officers are now due to deliver their decision on the application on April 23.
Vanderbilt declined to comment.