An exhibition detailing the proposed route of the second phase of the South Wokingham Distributor Road (SWDR), known as the Eastern Gateway, is being held at the end of June before the scheme’s planning application is submitted this autumn.
The suggested route would run south from the new Montague Park housing development, over the Waterloo/Reading railway line on a new bridge, and then link to Waterloo Road. The current Waterloo Road level crossing would then close once the new bridge is open, with all traffic including pedestrians using the new one instead.
The first phase of the SWDR is William Heelas Way, which was built by developer David Wilson Homes through Montague Park. The SWDR is being designed to serve the new 2,500 homes in the South Wokingham Strategic Development Location. Later phases of it would continue to a new junction at Easthampstead Road and onto Finchampstead Road, connecting to the existing Tesco roundabout.
The manned exhibition, at Montague Park Primary School, is due to take place on Wednesday 28 June (11am to 6pm), Thursday 29 June (4 to 8pm) and Saturday 1 July (9am to 1pm).
Visitors will be able to ask questions about the proposed route of the SWDR Eastern Gateway, which was refined following public consultation in 2014, and also find out more about the site investigations, as well as design and analysis being carried out for the Environmental Statement and Environmental Impact Assessment to accompany the planning application.
The exhibition display boards, leaflet, FAQ, and feedback form are also due to be available online for four weeks, from 29 June to 27 July, on the SWDR pages on the borough council’s website.
The exhibition is not a consultation, although people will be able to make comments about the planning application on a questionnaire available at the exhibition or on the council’s website until 27 July. This feedback will be summarised in the Statement of Community Engagement document submitted as part of the planning application.
Formal feedback into the plans, which planners will take into consideration, must be lodged during the four-week statutory consultation period after the planning application has been submitted.
“This exhibition is an opportunity for you to get an up-to-date picture of the scheme and the considerable work carried out preparing for the planning application before it is submitted,” said Cllr David Lee, executive member for strategic highways at Wokingham Borough Council.
“Your feedback at this stage, whether you attend the exhibition or see it on our website, will be included in the planning application itself. But once the application has been submitted, you can also lodge formal feedback which the planners will consider as part of their decision.
“Local residents and businesses have been heavily involved from the start and we want this to continue.”
Once the planning application has been submitted and validated, it will be given a reference number allowing people to look it up in detail on the planning portal of the council’s website and lodge formal feedback.
Please remember submissions made during the four-week period do not receive a written response from the council.
Details on how to submit formal feedback on the submitted application will be available at the exhibition, on the council’s digital news site, the scheme’s webpage, as well as the council’s social media platforms. These channels will also publish the planning application number once it’s known.
Please note the photograph accompanying this story is a stock image and not the proposed Eastern Gateway.