Petition into "fundamentally flawed" 650 home plan gathering speedBy Laura Herbert
September 25, 2012
Almost 200 people have signed a petition calling for councillors to review the Buckhurst Farm planning decision after spotting ‘fundamental flaws’ in the plans.
Members of Priest Avenue Residents’ Association (PARA) have so far gathered 186 signatures calling for Wokingham Borough Council to look at four key areas of the outline planning permission granted to David Wilson Homes in April.
The approved 650 homes will be the first phase in a 2,500 home development, which was given the go-ahead by the council’s planning committee despite concerns raised about a main road through the site.
Bob Gunn, PARA chair, said: “Ever since the development has been on the horizon we have been actively involved with it. The question is not one of nimbyism, it is the way the development has been planned. We are not petitioning against the planning application as that has already been granted, we are flagging up issues for when it comes to the final planning application.”
The petition focuses on four key areas – the design of the distribution road, the preservation of protected trees, the position of flood relief balancing ponds and the gap between the new development and properties in Clay Lane.
Mr Gunn continued: “The road will start at London Road, through the estate, meandering past the school and narrow down in parts to 6m wide.
“This road will become the southern distribution road and will eventually come out by Tesco and then link up with the new Station Link Road, so HGVs coming from the M4 and A329M will use the road rather than going through Wokingham town. This road hasn’t been designed as a bypass.”
He added: “We believe the road is potentially unsafe and it needs to be a road that bypasses the development with roads off it.
“If this is a negligent design and someone is hurt we think Wokingham Borough Council and the planners could be responsible because if the issues are foreseeable and they proceeded with it they are negligent.”
The group is petitioning the council about trees and a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on the site, claiming the road will cause ‘significant felling’, and that balancing ponds to protect homes from rainwater run-off will become blocked and would like to see them moved further away from the Clay Lane boundary.
The association also proposes the gap between the new development and homes in Clay Lane should be 50m, rather than 35m stated in the outline application, to reduce damage to trees, drainage and address the balancing ponds issue.
PARA will present the petition to the full council when it meets tomorrow at the Civic Offices in Shute End from 7.30pm.
n What do you think about the plans? Do you agree with the residents’ association? Email your thoughts to wokinghamtimeseditorial@trinity south.co.uk.