Buckhurst Farm housing plan agreed despite parking concernsBy Laura Herbert
April 17, 2012
The first phase of a major development in south Wokingham has been given the go-ahead despite some concerns about a main road through the site.
The 650 homes will be the first phase in a 2,500 home development, which forms part of the council’s Core Strategy to build 13,000 homes by 2026.
Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee approved an application from David Wilson Homes to build 650 homes on Buckhurst Farm in London Road last Wednesday.
The application is the only proposal to build large-scale housing on a site earmarked for building in the Core Strategy that has won approval.
The whole development will include dementia care housing, a new primary school, multi-use games area with playing fields, a neighbourhood centre and country park featuring an allotment and community orchard.
Proposed plans show housing to the west of the site with suitable alternative natural green space (SANG) to the east, to create a gap between Wokingham and Bracknell.
The development will also include a southern distributor road (SDR) running from north to south, connecting London Road to Finchampstead Road, but issues about the location of the road were raised at the planning meeting.
Councillor Chris Singleton asked for the road to be looked at again.
He said: “I cannot support this aspect of the proposal without categorical reassurance of its assessment.
“I don’t want to vote against this proposal as a whole, I wonder if there is any way we can look at the plan of the relief road for consideration?”
Cllr Tim Holton added: “I really don’t understand why the road has to go through the development. I don’t see how moving the road a few hundred metres is going to bridge the gap between Wokingham and Bracknell.”
Jennifer Jackson, team leader of the strategic implementation team, said: “We have used relief and distributor road but whatever we choose to call it that road is about creating a place, a movement corridor serving a number of functions and potentially a relief road to the town centre.
“The design of the road would not change if we called it a distribution road, relief road or anything else.”
Public speaker and campaigner Gareth Rees said: “The consultation has 95 pages worth of objections and concerns and please take that into consideration before you approve this today. There are hundreds of people in this document who have raised concerns and criticisms about this.
“If you approve this you are not listening to the people of Wokingham.”
Paul Crispin, managing director of David Wilson Homes, said: “We are totally committed to this scheme. It is the logical first step.
“It is a sustainable development and we believe in building communities and not just homes.”
The development will create new jobs in construction and David Wilson Homes has pledged to offer five-year apprenticeship and graduate trainee roles.