Monday, 23 October 2017

Schools and GP surgeries wouldn’t cope, say residents

RESIDENTS have raised concerns about plans for 270 homes on the edge of Emmer Green.

RESIDENTS have raised concerns about plans for 270 homes on the edge of Emmer Green.

Gladman Land wants to develop three fields between Peppard Road and Kiln Road, which are in Eye and Dunsden parish, and intends to seek outline planning permission from South Oxfordshire District Council later this year.

But people living nearby say the scheme would place intolerable pressure on schools, roads and GP surgeries in Emmer Green and Caversham. They say these services are already struggling to cope and wouldn’t benefit from developers’ statutory contributions as they are in Reading borough, not South Oxfordshire.

Residents also say the proposed main entrance off Peppard Road and secondary access off Kiln Road would not be safe because both streets are too narrow to cope with the increase in traffic.

Gladman wants to build detached, semi-detached and terraced homes, up to 40 per cent of which would be “affordable”. It says the development would form a “logical extension” to the north of Emmer Green as there is already housing on its southern and south-western edges.



More than 150 people attended an exhibition, which the company held at Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre in Emmer Green. The display included eight information boards and visitors were invited to fill out feedback forms.

Barry Prior, of Kiln Road, said: “This is a totally dishonest application. They talk as though it’s part of Emmer Green but it’s actually on the other side of the boundary in South Oxfordshire.

“It will not benefit the community of Emmer Green one bit. Our schools are already full and traffic is often at a standstill and this will make it worse. Even if that could be solved, it’s unsuitable as it eats into the green space around Reading.”

Liz Lyke, of Peppard Road, said: “Gladman has given no thought to the impact on infrastructure in this area and hasn’t a clue about the problems it could cause. They’d need to widen Peppard Road and increase capacity at schools and surgeries and has anyone from Gladman tried getting through central Caversham on a busy school morning? We will take all the inconvenience but won’t get the contributions to offset it.”

Andy Tomczynski, of Phillimore Road, which backs on to the site, said: “I can’t imagine anyone would want this. It’s going to cause serious problems with traffic and I’ve spoken with several Reading councillors who are very concerned as there’s no capacity at schools.”

Sylvia Joyce, of Kiln Road, said: “The entrance off Peppard Road is at quite a dangerous bend and Kiln Road is practically a narrow country lane. Our schools and surgeries are full, and despite what Gladman says, it’s too far from the nearest shops for people to walk. They will drive and that will increase traffic as you’re talking about more than 500 extra cars.”

A Gladman spokeswoman said the company had discussed infrastructure funding with both South Oxfordshire and Reading councils and it would be their responsibility to reach a suitable agreement.

She said that if outline planning permission was granted, the land would be marketed to housebuilders immediately and they would have to submit full planning applications.

Gladman says the development would have areas of public open space, two play areas and a “sustainable drainage basin” designed to attract wildlife as well as retaining an existing public footpath.

The company also says it would help offset a shortage of housing land in South Oxfordshire.



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