New homes bid 'misleading'By Jon Nurse
December 21, 2012
Disapproving councillors accused developers hoping to build 150 homes in Winnersh of misleading the public at an exhibition of the plans.
Neighbours were given the opportunity to have their say on Taylor Wimpey’s proposals for land east of Maidensfield off Watmore Lane at an exhibition on Tuesday last week.
But borough and parish councillors believe issues with flooding, difficulty of access and traffic should halt the plans.
Taylor Wimpey is preparing an outline application for the homes and a public open space on the 11-hectare site.
Winnersh ward member Councillor Prue Bray said: “They were insisting the site had been designated as suitable for housing but it has been thrown out of the council’s Managing Development Delivery.
“I think it’s appalling. The site was ruled out by the council for very good reason. Taylor Wimpey should not be trying to build there.
“What their likelihood is of success I don’t know.”
The site was considered for development by Wokingham Borough Council in its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, a list of potential housing sites submitted by developers and others, however was dropped in November after it was deemed unsuitable.
Cllr John Grimson, Winnersh Parish Council planning chairman, said: “There were a couple of statements Taylor Wimpey put out that were misleading in the extreme. They implied the site was in the borough council’s plan which it most definitely isn’t. It has been proposed on several occasions and been rejected.
“I expect at some stage there will be something on this land – but I don’t think it should happen now.”
Cllr Bray also feels there should be more than the one proposed access point to the development, adding: “The only access point appears to be right by where the council wants to build the new primary school and I doubt they would allow that.”
Cllr Grimson added: “There are all sorts of reasons why this is not a good place to build houses – not least because it is close to a motorway.
“The Winnersh crossroads is also already over capacity and this would send hundreds more cars pouring on to it.
“They seem to have underestimated the extent to which the land is wet. The site itself is about a third in the floodplain of the Emm Brook.”
Taylor Wimpey’s masterplan places all the houses in low risk Flood Zone 1 rated land, which it states is not at risk of flooding.
A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “We were very pleased with the turnout to our consultation event, with more than 120 people taking the opportunity to find out more about our emerging development plans for land off Maidensfield.
“Anyone wishing to comment on our proposals can do so by visiting www.maidensfield-winnersh.co.uk
“Comments received before the consultation closes on Friday will be taken into account as we prepare our final outline planning application for submission in the near future.”