Wednesday (December 9) will see the Gorse Ride regeneration planning application come before Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee for consideration.
The ambitious multi-million pound regeneration scheme proposes replacing 178 poor quality properties with 249 brand new energy efficient homes. The designs also include a new central landscaped village green which, in addition to creating a lovely park for people to enjoy, also addresses longer term flooding and drainage issues which have impacted on residents living in Gorse Ride.
The scheme has been designed to cater for all the community with a range of houses, bungalows and apartments carefully laid out to help foster a strong community and minimise the impact on neighbouring properties.
A high 74% of the new properties are proposed to be affordable with a mix of shared ownership, affordable rent and social rent homes, with the final split to be decided based on local demand closer to the time of completion.
“We’ve worked closely with the local community to make sure they had the opportunity to help shape the regeneration and making sure that we could keep the community together and accommodate them in the modern properties they need.” Said Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for finance and housing. “There’s been a lot of excitement from the residents who have been able to see the designs come forward over the years with many of their ideas being incorporated into the proposals such as an increased number of bungalows, improved parking, the new park area and the design of the new homes.”
Should the application be approved the community will continue to be involved in the longer term with local residents, and the Community Steering Group, encouraged to help shape detailed decisions and discuss ideas for how any developers can work positively with the community during construction.
Cllr Kaiser continued: “we’ve made sure the designs address local concerns such as creating safer public spaces and routes across the development, improved links to wider Finchampstead, and making sure properties are easy to adapt for older residents or those with additional needs.”
The new properties are designed to be highly energy efficient as, in addition to addressing the climate emergency, the council is also committed to tackling fuel poverty across the borough by bringing down the costs of heating and powering our homes.
The council is also seeking to future proof the development with plentiful electric car charging points included and the scope to add more as demand increases.
Subject to receiving planning consent the council hopes to start construction in 2021 with the project delivered in phases to minimise disruption