Tuesday, 27 July 2021

New homes would triple size of parish

THE population of Eye and Dunsden parish could be tripled under plans for 245 new homes, say councillors.

Gladman Developments has applied to South Oxfordshire District Council for outline planning permission to build on three fields between Peppard Road and Kiln Road on the edge of Emmer Green.

The land is in Eye and Dunsden parish, which includes Dunsden, Playhatch and Sonning Eye and has only 140 houses,

David Woodward, chairman of Eye and Dunsden Parish Council, said: “We fear this could be the thin end of an unstoppable development wedge.

“This beautiful countryside offers Emmer Green a green window on to the Chilterns. Its development would cast a blight on Eye and Dunsden that would overwhelm a much valued landscape forever.

“This threat should not just be allowed to slip through. It would not meet South Oxfordshire’s housing needs.

“We urge anyone who cares about this lovely landscape to go on to the district council’s website and register their views as quickly as possible.”

Dunsden has a church and village hall but there is no shop, school or health centre in the parish, which opponents say would make the development unsustainable.

There is also concern about the impact of the extra traffic that would be generated.

Parish councillors and residents voiced their fears at a meeting with their counterparts from the neighbouring parishes of Sonning Common, Kidmore End, Binfield Heath and Shiplake as well as representatives of Caversham, Emmer Green and Caversham Park Village residents’ associations.

District councillor Paul Harrison also attended the meeting in Gallowstree Common.

Cllr Woodward, who led the meeting, said: “Councillors expressed strong objections to breaking into unprotected ancient countryside.

“Their fear is that it could eventually lead to piecemeal ribbon development linking Emmer Green through to Sonning Common which, if unchecked, could possibly connect as far as Binfield Heath and Shiplake.

“They expressed concerns about the impact on the narrow and already overcrowded local roads and the added pressure on river crossings and Caversham village.

“The costs of supporting the new population would fall disproportionately on Reading’s already stretched health and education facilities and there are fears that the water supply may be inadequate for the development.”

He said the developer had a record of promoting “speculative” green field developments.

Gladman, which is based in Cheshire, says the development would form a “logical” extension to Emmer Green.

Comments must be registered with the district council by January 9 and its planners will consider the application on February 1.

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