At a meeting of parish councils from North Hampshire, it was decided to invite those that wanted to to raise a fighting fund to oppose the planning application for a Sainsbury depot at Greenham Common.
"I was encouraged by what I heard at the meeting; it seems that West Berkshire Council are proceeding with caution as they have retained a barrister to advise them on whether the application can be dealt with under reserved powers - in other words without putting in a fresh planning application. If it cannot, then Sainsbury's will have to go back to square one and do a full environmental and traffic assessment.
It was also clear from the representative from Basingstoke and Deane that there was not enough information available about the scheme for authorities such as Hampshire County Council to work out the full impact on the A339."
Although the depot would be in the Newbury constituency, Sir George said the adverse impact would be felt on North West Hampshire. He had therefore told the neighbouring MP - who is understood not to be making any representations - that he (Sir George) would be opposing the application. There is a convention amongst MP's that they do not "poach" by dealing with matters in another's constituency, but Sir George said he wanted to support his constituents in this matter and he was sure David Rendel would understand.
Sir George congratulated Cllr John Clegg on putting together a consortium of local parish councils and residents to oppose the planning application and for meeting with the Board of Greenham Park to express the deep local anxieties. Sir George said he would like to attend the next joint meeting.