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Local Plan Update and masterplanning

Local Plan Update and Masterplanning

26 January 2018

The Local Plan Update process that will guide the development of Wokingham borough up to 2036 is continuing.

Following the Call for Sites and Issues and Options Consultations, council officers are now assessing more than 260 potential housing sites that have been submitted for consideration.


The council has listened carefully to consultation responses to date and one message that has come clearly from stakeholders is the need for early implementation of infrastructure for any chosen site. In order to achieve this early planning is required to evidence our decision making and policy making.


Therefore, as part of our assessment of all the potential sites, the council commissioned a detailed look at three of the larger sites - around Grazeley, around Twyford and Barkham Square (land immediately to the north of the current Arborfield Garrison development). Peter Brett Associates together with David Lock Associates have been appointed to do this piece of work.


These three sites are among over 260 put forward for potential development in our Local Plan Update, all of which are being fully assessed. However, it is necessary to look at these larger sites in more detail because they provide potential opportunities for large-scale, sustainable and infrastructure rich housing development but also present significant challenges that would need to be overcome.

The commissioning of the masterplanning work does not pre-judge the outcome of the Local Plan Update but will instead provide the detailed information (including the infrastructure) necessary to assess these large and complex sites. This level of information has been requested by residents in the earlier consultations and is therefore a direct result of public engagement. As such the outputs of this work will be a number of strategic masterplan options for each site supported by:

  • Site Phasing and Infrastructure Delivery (phasing, costing and funding) Studies;

  • Viability Assessment of options;

  • Integrated Transport Studies; and,

  • Sustainability Appraisal.

We will continue to engage with town and parish councils and the wider community throughout the masterplanning process. The schedule for the masterplanning work and stakeholder engagement is as follows:

  • Project setup and baseline assessments - Current to December 2017:

    • Collation of baseline information including meetings with promoters / site visits;

    • Presentation to Borough Parish Officer/Clerks Forum on the masterplanning process;

    • Site assessments / collation of evidence base

    • Initial concept generation.


  • Generating Options – Jan to April 2018. This stage will be driven by technical and community workshops  and key options will be generated and presented, alongside viability testing, sustainability appraisal and infrastructure delivery work. Key aspects:

    • Consolidation of stage 1 findings and feedback to Town and Parish Councils;

    • Technical stakeholder workshops for each site – including key utilities, transport, education, and community infrastructure stakeholders (Feb / March 2018);

    • Community stakeholder workshops – including ward members, town and parish councils and key community groups.

  • Selection preferred options – May /June 2018:

    • Public consultation on options, May 2018. Public exhibitions and stakeholder event;

    • Analyse feedback;

    • A decision will be taken by members on whether to progress any of the options as part of the Local Plan Update Preferred Options which will take place in Summer 2018.