Wokingham’s future green building plans are front and centre as outline proposals for the Toutley East site are revealed.
The latest masterplan could see the site, which sits between Toutley depot and the new Matthewsgreen primary school and community centre, developed with around 130 new homes and a 70 bed specialist dementia care home.
The site was earmarked in the 2010 Local Plan for development as an employment site with buildings such as offices or industrial units. However, early last year the council reviewed this need and re-identified the site for residential development as part of the draft Local Plan update consultation. Feedback from this consultation has been used to help shape the new Toutley East masterplan.
“The Toutley East site sits just off the route of the new northern distributor road, and is within easy walking distance of the new Matthewsgreen school, community centre along with the proposed new public transport routes.” Said Cllr Stuart Munro, executive member for business and economic development. “It’s also very close to wider facilities such as Cantley Park with its sports and leisure offer, parks and open spaces, and the town centre and train station.
“Whilst there are some constraints, such as the proximity to the A329m, these are things that can be taken into account and addressed through the design process to create a great place to live. We’re also looking to make this a green development with a range of initiatives such solar panels, heat pumps, and materials chosen to keep this as close to carbon neutral as possible.”
Proposals for the outline masterplan include an indicative layout for the site which includes a new substantive noise buffer and significant tree planting across the development to help mitigate noise from the A329m, natural drainage and large areas of open space for residents to enjoy.
The scheme would also include new pedestrian and cycle links into the wider Matthewsgreen centre and Emmbrook area.
More details on the masterplan can be found on the council’s website at: www.wokingham.gov.uk by searching for North Wokingham Major Development where a Toutley East handout is available to download.
The scheme could also include a new state of the art 70 bed specialist dementia care home with budget identified in the Medium Term Financial Plan set to be considered by council in February. No final decision has been made on the location of the care home, however it is being included in the Toutley East masterplan to help people understand what is proposed for the site and to help speed up the process should the council decide to proceed.
Commenting on the masterplan
Cllr Munro continued: “Whilst the government has backed down on doubling our allocation we still need to build around 6,500 new homes across the borough by 2036. Well located sites like this are critically important in meeting our priorities to deliver the right homes in the right places. Especially so since the Ministry of Defence has objected to the plans for a new garden town at Grazeley.
“Our intent is to submit an outline planning application for this site in the spring which will be asking for in principle approval for the number of new homes, the scale and general layout of the site, along with access to the site. Details, like how the new homes would look would be agreed through further applications. Alongside this we will also be agreeing the level of developer contributions the scheme will be making towards any necessary improvements such as school places or and roads, although we are confident that capacity already exists as we have been careful do design future growth into our schemes.
“Before we submit this outline application, we were keen to hear what people think of the latest masterplan so have prepared a summary of the Toutley East proposals which is available to download on our website. We will be using this feedback, along with the comments made in last year’s consultation about residential development on this site, to help shape the outline planning application as well as any longer-term detailed design process should these be approved.”
Feedback on the Toutley East masterplan should be emailed to: CommercialProperty@wokingham.gov.uk by Friday 5 March 2021.