The latest plans for the major new development in South Wokingham are recommended for approval by Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee next week (18 May).
The council’s 2010 local plan set out a vision for how the borough should develop up to 2026, with the aim of protecting and enhancing the good quality of life enjoyed in the borough. A key message from the community was that development should be concentrated in a few locations to protect the character of our towns and villages; and to ensure that the new communities be high quality and include the new schools, roads, sports and community facilities, and parks and open spaces that they need.
The local plan set out around 2,500 new homes for the South Wokingham major development. Montague Park, the first phase of the development north of the railway, has become a thriving new community with a primary school and a well-used nature park that includes a community orchard. Currently nearing the end of construction is a local centre with shops and businesses on William Heelas Way.
The new development south of the railway is set to include around 1,800 new homes, a new primary school, community facilities, parks and play areas, and the remainder of the new South Wokingham distributor road.
The South Wokingham distributor road will primarily serve the new homes, but will also ease traffic in the historic town centre. The first phase is now open – William Heelas Way starts at London Road and goes through Montague Park to the new school. The second phase the ‘Eastern Gateway’ will connect William Heelas Way to Waterloo Road via a new bridge over the railway line and is currently under construction. Once complete the new road will connect London Road and Waterloo Road, through to new junctions at Easthampstead Road and Finchampstead Road, connecting to the existing Tesco roundabout.
Cllr Wayne Smith, executive member for planning and enforcement said: “With these planning applications, our vision from 2010 is nearing completion – it is the last piece of the puzzle to create four self-contained new communities, each with the right infrastructure to serve its population. By carefully planning new development we have been able to ensure developers pay for the roads, schools, parks and open spaces and community and sports facilities necessary for the new homes.
“Wokingham borough is a great place to live – we are consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the country. This development will bring not only a thriving new community to Wokingham borough, but it will also bring new facilities and open spaces to be enjoyed by our existing residents too.”
Planning applications to be considered:
- 192928 – South Wokingham distributor road main section – from the Eastern Gateway to Finchampstead Road
- 203535 – Western Gateway – improved junction of Finchampstead Road and Molly Millars Lane
- 191068 – up to 1,434 new homes, a primary school, a community facility, and nature parks
- 190914 – up to 215 new homes to the east of the development, adjacent to Bigwood
- 190900 – St Anne’s SANG – a nature park of 7.83 hectares which will connect to Buckhurst Meadows
To view the planning applications being considered, please visit the council website and search for ‘planning applications’ and use the search facility with the application numbers given above. You can also view the planning committee documents online.
Please note: Although non-Committee Members and members of the public are entitled to attend the meeting in person, space is very limited due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. You can however participate in this meeting virtually, in line with the Council’s Constitution. If you wish to participate either in person or virtually via Microsoft Teams please contact Democratic Services by emailing email@example.com. The meeting can also be watched live using the following link: https://youtu.be/g3Tp3hRpa2g.
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