The planning application for the first phase of Wokingham Borough Council’s £30million redevelopment of the Gorse Ride residential estate in Finchampstead has now been submitted, and you are invited to submit feedback about it.
Simply visit Wokingham Borough Council’s website, search ‘planning applications’ and input the reference number 181951. The consultation is due to finish on 13 August.
Many of the existing homes on the estate are outdated with timber frames and modular construction, so the borough council wants to replace them with fresh modern homes. The plan is to redevelop the estate in phases.
The first phase of the project, covered by the current planning application, focuses on Cockayne Court along with homes in Arnett Avenue (odd numbers from 97 to 107) and 154 Barkham Ride. The application proposes replacing these with ten houses and two blocks of flats to create 46 new homes - 16 more than at present in that location. These new homes will accommodate those people who will need to move in the next phases which, will focus on the main estate.
If all the stages are approved, the overall redevelopment is expected see 208 properties replaced with about 290 new homes, which would be a mix of one and two bedroom bungalows and apartments, and houses ranging from two to five bedrooms. This extra housing would be created by removing unsightly and under-used garages and alleys.
All affected council tenants and home owners will be able (if they wish) to move into a new home on the renewed estate. Affected tenants will be offered their new home on a lifetime assured tenancy with broadly similar terms to their current council tenancy.
Affected home owners will be offered a range of options, including the opportunity to buy new homes on the estate (or potentially off site) with support through an equity loan scheme or similar help to ensure their new home is comparable with their old.
“From our ongoing surgeries and meetings with residents, they’ve been involved early on in shaping their new estate,” said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for housing.
“We want to safeguard Gorse Ride’s rich and vibrant community. We know that many – both tenants and home owners – are keen to stay on the estate and we’re pleased to have a plan that will allow them to do so. It’s all about providing high-quality homes in a great community.
“Please do take a look at the application during the consultation period, and submit your feedback. This is a pivotal stage in this exciting project.”
The borough council has worked with Wokingham Housing Ltd to submit the current planning application.