TADLEY Scout Group will be taking over its new home in a few days as a controversial housing development is readied for opening.
The old Scout hut, off Aldermaston Road, at Boundary Hall was demolished and a new one built on land at Southdown playing fields as part of the development agreement for what is now Titherley Park.
Titherley Park occupies the former Boundary Hall site and comprises 114 new houses.
Before the scheme could go ahead, developers had to defeat objections, as it lies 500 metres from the boundary of the Atomic Weapons Establishment and within a 3km emergency planning zone.
Scouts and a whole range of groups for those aged between six and 25 will be able to enjoy a range of activities in a new purpose-built Scout hall, which includes a kitchen and toilets with wheelchair access and parking.
Brian Spray, group chairman of Tadley Scout Group, said the hall had been a long time coming.
He said: “The planning, renewal of planning and the public inquiry are about to be consigned to the history of Tadley Scout Group as their new facility nears completion.”
It had been argued that building Titherley Park within the emergency zone would make evacuation procedures more difficult in the event of a nuclear incident at AWE.
However, Eric Pickles, then Communities and Local Government Secretary, decided to grant planning permission for the development, arguing that the chances of a nuclear incident were extremely remote.
He went against a planning inspector who upheld an appeal against the plans, led by the Health and Safety Executive.
Titherley Park will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, November 24 and 25, including a show home.
It is hoped new residents will begin to move in from March onwards. Sales director at the developer, Bellway, Sandra Barton, said: “We are delighted to be launching the development prior to Christmas as well as being able to hand over the Scouts’ new home.”