A technical assessment for the Western Berkshire area (comprising Bracknell, Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham) has identified there is a need to accommodate some 65,665 new homes in the period up to 2036, so the four authorities are working together to explore joined-up, strategically sound options to achieve this.
It is sensible for us to work together at an early stage on some of the potential large-scale sites and to explore the possibility of government funding available for these should we decide to take them further. Due to tight bid timescales, and not wishing to miss out on potential opportunities, we have therefore submitted an initial expression of interest with regard to a potential Garden Village.
This does not represent any commitment on behalf of any authority to support individual housing sites, but is rather a practical measure to make sure we can take advantage of government funding should it be necessary.
All decisions on where and how future development occurs will be taken through individual authority’s statutory strategic planning processes. However the four councils have recognised that cross-boundary collaboration at this early stage is vital to ensure the homes are well-planned and are accompanied by the right infrastructure and facilities – such as schools, transport links, health and community facilities, parks, and sports centres.