Thursday, 03 December 2020

Residents opposed to 25 new homes on field site

RESIDENTS and councillors are objecting to plans for 25 new houses on land opposite the new primary school in Charvil.

RESIDENTS and councillors are objecting to plans for 25 new houses on land opposite the new primary school in Charvil.

Hicks Development Woodley wants to build on a field east of the Hawthorns and west of Park Lane, which is currently used for grazing.

The six three-bedroom houses, 12 four-bedroom houses and seven five- bedroom houses are described as “family homes” and would have large private gardens plus allotments. The development would have 90 parking spaces, including 13 for visitors.

Charvil Parish Council has recommended that Wokingham Borough Council rejects the plans. Chairwoman Alice Wilkinson said: “While the council recognises that the plans are sympathetic to the area, we continue to oppose development in the area on the basis that it is outside our settlement boundary.

“This time it is 25 houses but there would be nothing to stop them developing the land further. This is a piece of land that is marked as green and it was not included in the council’s proposed management development delivery plan.”

Paul Gregory, chairman of Charvil Village Society, said: “This is an area that we have defended for 20 years. It is the only green space between Charvil and Woodley.

“Plans have been proposed and defeated many times over the years. This is the first time that an application for a lower number of houses has been put in but it is difficult to know what the long-term future is. There is no evidence to say that this would be the beginning of a larger development but it is possible to see it that way.”

Six letters of objection have been received by the borough council.

Ann Ward, of The Hawthorns, Charvil, said: “I suspect this is phase one of a much larger development. It would change the entire character of this part of Charvil, so it would no longer be semi-rural, it would become a sprawling dormitory village.

“Long-term residents moved to Charvil for its semi-rural character and the borough council’s core strategy states that it will protect our countryside, maintain open spaces and protect the green belt and the character and identity of its towns and villages.

“Twenty-five more houses with associated allotments will mean at least 50 more cars using Park Lane, which was never designed to be a major road. Add that to the enormous development at Sandford Farm, the proposed new school and the traffic using Park Lane as a rat run.

“Park Lane will be regularly gridlocked, causing more noise, air pollution and damage from the road humps to existing houses fronting Park Lane.” Neighbour Theresa Brown claimed that as the proposed site was in the countryside it should not be available for development.

She said: “The application represents unacceptable encroachment upon the division between the Woodley and Charvil settlements.”

Christopher Bailey, also of The Hawthorns, said: “To allow this development to proceed would defeat the object of defining the boundary and set a precedent for the borough. If the application was granted, upwards of 50 to 60 cars would be added to those visiting the new primary school and those regularly using a route which serves Woodley as well as Charvil, Twyford and the A4.

“I sincerely hope the council will not support this application, which is clearly a precursor to the wholesale development of the site.”

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