Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Sale of land sparks fears of development

FEARS have been raised that developers want to build new homes on the open spaces at Caversham Park Village.

MP Matt Rodda, whose Reading East constituency covers the area, is investigating after 61.3 acres of land were sold at auction.

The plots in and around residential streets went for a total of £281,450.

The most expensive was 29.31 acres north-west of Burleigh Mews, which was sold for £126,500.

The other plots include land east of Peppard Road (£104,250), off Caversham Park Road (£30,500), south-east of Montpellier Drive (£15,200) and off Newton Avenue (£5,000).

Smaller spaces off Lowfield Road, Dunbarton Way, Pendennis Close, Dunster Close, Littlestead Close, Abingdon Drive, Ragley Mews and Milestone Way were also snapped up by unknown buyers.

In many instances, the plots mostly comprised the land beneath pavements and roads. This cannot be built on as they have been adopted by Reading Borough Council as the highways authority.

But they also included grassed areas, including parts of the green “strip” that runs along the footpath between the shopping parade at Peppard Road, Emmer Green, and its counterpart in Farnham Drive.

The sale was conducted by Devon auctioneer Charles Darrow on behalf of the Davis family, who built the estate more than 50 years ago but remained the landowners.

The auction guide said the sites had  “speculative potential future development”, although any new homes would need planning permission.

Mr Rodda said: “I’m concerned that the new owners may want to develop some of this open space and am talking to residents about how to protect this much-loved land.”

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