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LDO approved for Berkshire business park

Words: Laura Edgar
Greenham Business Park / Greenham Trust

West Berkshire Council has approved a Local Development Order (LDO) for a business park near Newbury, in an attempt to make the site grow faster.

The site of Greenham Business Park was a US airbase. It has been subject to a masterplan for its development since the early 2000s, but only 40 per cent of the 152,000 square metre-site is occupied.

The LDO aims to increase the pace at which the park grows by removing the need to apply for planning permission. It will last for 15 years.

Drawn up by planning consultancy Pro Vision in collaboration with owners Greenham Trust and the council, the LDO is subject to a few conditions, including permitted uses; maximum height of buildings; and measures to protect the landscape and neighbouring homes.

James Iles, planning director at Pro Vision, said: “A lot of careful thought has gone into the preparation of this simplified planning regime for the business park, which as well as helping to unlock the development potential of the former airbase, also provides strong protection of the neighbouring common, the local historic interest, and the amenity of neighbours.”

Business owners will receive greater certainty through the LDO, Pro Vision explained, as it will take just 21 days to fast-track pre-development notifications.

The LDO was approved and adopted after two public consultations, which led to a number of key amendments. It is the first of its kind in the district.

Chris Boulton, chief executive of Greenham Trust and Greenham Business Park Ltd, said: “In a competitive economy, an LDO can be key to businesses deciding whether to invest in our area or not.

“It also benefits the local planning authority and other local stakeholders by managing the site in a comprehensive, rather than piecemeal way and reduces the need to assess similar planning issues over and over again.”

Image credit | Greenham Trust