Friday 6th August 2021
Article in the Penny Post
Click here to view there article in full
Update as of Thursday 5th August 2021
West Berkshire Planning meeting Wednesday 4th August
Phoenix have been granted planning permission for the whole of The Grange, including The Atrium to turn the site into a new SEN School.
They have said we do not have to leave The Atrium until November 2022 - so we have 16 months to find a new home.
As sad as this is, we always knew it would be a big ask to get planning permission stopped, even if for just our little corner so we could co-exist within The Grange...as of course every child has the right to the right type of education to meet their needs and we too didn't want to stand in the way of that but had hoped it could be focused on the empty buildings only. They will actually have two phases, phase one is occupying the empty buildings and phase two is to then occupy the two remaining and currently occupied buildings (one of which being us).
We were congratulated on drumming up all the support from our team, customers, patients and clients and our contribution to health and wellness for our local community was acknowledged too.
The good news is, that the Councillors were sympathetic to our circumstances and have said they will look to help us and to assist in relocating us more smoothly. An Economic Development Officer will be assigned to support us, this will make a huge difference to our next steps and we are very grateful for this support.
Had not so many people shouted and objected (in a very tight time frame) we would never have got the meeting last night, as this application was then forced to go in front of a committee - this is how you all helped in a massive way. Now the Councillors know about us and have offered to help us. This will make a positive difference, so this was a small win for us all. It was acknowledged that our landlords have been particularly unhelpful and that this was our only way to fight for our business.
We are happy for the local families and children that this new SEN School will support and now look forward to finding our new just as amazing new venue or possibly somehow an even better venue with the help of our local Council and Councillors.
Councillor Bridgeman; Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, Councillor Linden & Councillor Somner; Planning and Transport all offered their support and the need to assist us. We have also been in contact with Laura Farris MP for Newbury and her office is interested in our circumstances too.
So we will keep you posted but as they say there is a silver lining to every cloud. So with lots of positive thoughts we believe the future is bright and are grateful for all the support we get on the way.
A huge thank you for all your help.
You really made the difference in our voice being heard.
Phil, Sarah and the Whole HMB Team xx
Our next step of support is:
Helping us all be a bit patient as this will take a bit of time
Sharing our need for a suitable venue as there could be a property owner that has not advertised a vacant property but that could still help.
At the moment the WB Council do seem motivated to help us which is great - if that drops off we could apply the pressure again.
Fingers crossed this will turn into a happy ending for all of us, so lots of positive thoughts!
In the meantime we are grateful to everyone that uses our services and continues to support our small local family business.
We are getting lots of lovely messages telling us how much you love our team and all that we all do, this is a wonderful boost for the whole team and greatly appreciated, thank you.
If you would like to leave an official testimony we would be very grateful. Please click here!
As they say good things happen to good people and we all deserve to believe that.
We promise to keep you all updated as always.
Friday 25th June 2021
We have written to Laura Ferris our local MP, her team have confirmed they have received it and that they will get back to us.
A property owner in the local area kindly came forward with a venue suggestion. Whilst it was perfect in many ways, the location is between Newbury and Hungerford. We are very grateful though and keen to consider other properties that might suit us all too - location is key. Of course are number 1 choice is stay where we are!
West Berkshire Council Planning Department - have said that due to the number of objections it will now go before a committee. If you objected you will be notified via the council when and how the committee will take place.
Article online with Newbury Today / Newbury Weekly News
Click here to view the full article:
Also covered our story
Thursday 17th June 2021
Click here to see the article in full
Article in NWN paper
Thursday 17th June 2021
Wednesday 16th June 2021
We spoke with the case officer in the West Berkshire Planning department.
Summary of the conversation:
Everyone that has logged an objection / comment will be notified when this case will go in front of a committee.
Due to Covid restrictions we may not be able to be present at the committee.
So our advice is to reach out to our ward members of Thatcham, so they could speak on our behalf.
It was also suggested that our objections alone may not be enough to stop planning.
So we continue to drive up support to get our voice heard.
Friday 11th June 2021
We phoned West Berkshire Council Planning department but the case officer won't be back in the office till Tuesday and apparently only she can help us - so we will call again then.
For today though, we are continuing to embrace positivity, reading your comments and objections via the planning portal has really helped the whole team, we are humbled and grateful.
So since it's Friday and it is amazing what we can achieve when we work together.
Thursday 10th June 2021
Oh what a few days it has been.
There was a piece in the NWN paper today about Phoenix trying to get planning, we called the journalist that wrote the piece to find out more. He said that he wasn't asked to do it, he just had some column space to fill so looked at it as a property about to get planning, as when he looked on Monday morning only 4 people had registered an objection.
He couldn't believe it when he looked again and that in two days, just over 90 people had since objected. He then said we only need 10 objections for the council to have to look at it again - so since we had so many more this should then allow us to have it brought in front of a committee.
Tomorrow we will phone the council planning department and see if I can find out anymore.
Also today Becky noticed they put up a new planning application as well - we need to look into it but think this is to do with doing work to do the old house up.
Thank you for all your help and objections AND for sharing the news.
For today - job done.
Phil and I will re-group over the weekend and make a more formal next step but to keep our energy levels up we must celebrate the little wins - and today we were heard loud and clear - and that's worth celebrating.
Sarah & Phil & The HMB Team
Click on the box above to go direct to the page - look at the column on the left then scroll down
Since Monday 7th June 2021- when we found out...
Over 50 people have helped us have our voice be heard – thank you so much.
If you too were hoping to support us please can you try to do by Thursday 10th June 2021.
We are not opposing this planning application / special education facility in the EMPTY buildings of The Grange, such as the large old manner house and 2nd barn BUT we are OBJECTING that it includes us in the 1st barn – The Atrium.
Another business ‘Raytheon” also run a long-standing successful business within The Grange too.
We would like our voice to be heard – that we too offer services for our local community and would like to stay.
In an ideal world we could all exist within the grounds of the Grange. That this planning application is not accepted for the entire Grange just the empty buildings. That Harris Mind and Body can continue at The Atrium (1st barn) for many years to come.