Villages' neighbourhood plan reveals fears over traffic and loss of green spaceBy Laura Herbert
December 03, 2012
Preserving green spaces, traffic congestion, an Arborfield bypass and concern about future development are among the key priorities for people living in Arborfield and Barkham.
The top concerns were put together from responses to a Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire which was delivered to homes in both parishes.
Results show 97 per cent of people want the identities of Arborfield and Barkham to be maintained and that green spaces should be preserved between the villages.
There is also strong support for an Arborfield bypass and agreement that any redevelopment of Arborfield Garrison would have a detrimental impact through increased noise, pollution and traffic.
Top preferences for new facilities within a redeveloped Arborfield Garrison include a medical centre, primary school and a secondary school.
Laurence Heath, vice-chairman of Barkham Parish Council, said: “We had a good response to the questionnaire and the results confirm many of our areas’ problems are related to transport and development.
“In particular, the two communities expect any development at Arborfield Garrison to be accompanied by the provision of the necessary road infrastructure.
“We knew that people were worried by the proposals for 3,500 houses at Arborfield Garrison and the effect this would have on the locality. Now we have evidence to back it up.”
Ashley Wright, chairman of Arborfield & Newland Parish Council, added: “The Neighbourhood Plan is an important initiative which will give a voice to the concerns and needs of residents and will allow the parishes and the community to work together to seek the best solutions for the area.
“The recent loss of the appeal at the Strategic Development Location (SDL) in Shinfield has focused attention on the need for stronger evidence-based submissions and the Neighbourhood Plan will support our ability to fight for the infrastructure we need for the Arborfield SDL.”
n SCHOOLS, roads and parks will be topics discussed at the Arborfield Community Forum tonight at 6pm.
The meeting at Arborfield Village Hall, in Eversley Road, will give people living and working in the village the chance to have their say on how major developments will take shape over the next 20 years.
The forum will bring together those directly involved in the development of the Garrison to discuss the major issues and help inform decisions such as design, the development of schools and shops, what community facilities are provided and where and how the open spaces can be used.