Friday, 30 October 2020

No temporary cabins for workers, say residents

PLANS to install 10 temporary cabins in Crazies Hill to house workmen have been criticised by residents.

Cayton Park wants the Bunkabins for the  stonemasons who will be working on the construction of Juddemonte House, a new seven-bedroom home which was granted planning permission last year.

The five single and five double cabins would be in a field off Hatch Gate Lane, which is owned by the estate, and would be in use for up to a year, together with a canteen.

In a planning statement, the developer says: “The advantage of accommodation being provided close to the house is that it will avoid daily transport movements and is thus considered a more sustainable solution than rented accommodation elsewhere.”

Access, parking and utilities would be via neighbouring Springfields House, which is uninhabitable following flooding.

Residents say the cabins are too close to homes and would be disruptive, causing light pollution and extra traffic.

Charles Pettigan, from Cockpole Green, said: “It's crazy to even think about putting new buildings up to accommodate up to 15 workers in the centre of a quiet village.

“Cayton Park has an abundance of space which they could use without impacting the village. They also have empty houses and a stud farm which they could use.

“The additional vans and traffic movement would adversely impact the flow of traffic, particularly around school times. The impact on the local roads and light pollution already experienced should not be added to by this plan.

“The cabins should be sited within the boundary of the house being built.”

Peter Fife, from Crazies Hill, said: “It is unnecessary to create another building site when these facilities could be on the main development site and would therefore not create an eyesore in the village for a full year.

“There will obviously be some disturbance created by 15 workers with little to do in the evenings and a pub a stone’s throw away. 

“Cayton Park own several houses which could be used to house the workers and would alleviate the need for the development of a workers’ encampment.

“The additional traffic created by up to 15 workmen travelling to and from the development and the accommodation is unnecessary.

“The application has no merit from the villagers’ point of view and is presumably only to make life easier for the developers.”

Cate Stuart, from Upper Culham, said: “The new build at Cayton Park has already impacted the village and surrounds quite severely.

“The spotlights in the early evening can be seen for miles and the new deer fence has made the whole site appear ‘prison-like’.

“This area has numerous footpaths and bridleways which are in constant use by ramblers, riders etc and temporary buildings will not enhance the experience.

“Cayton Park has more than enough land on the site itself to accommodate these temporary buildings and it is my view they should be encouraged to do that.”

Liz Tweddle, from Crazies Hill, said the cabins would be an “eyesore”, adding: “We have strived to keep the village looking good.

“Verges are kept by the residents’ association, litter is cleared regularly and we even bought the old phone box to maintain the feel of a well-kept village.

“Cayton Park has many acres of land available in the area where there are already Bunkabins, car parks, cranes, building equipment, floodlighting etc.

“Why is it not possible for them to put the additional cabins in the same area, thus keeping the building eyesore all in one place? Also, more accommodation in the proposed area will bring an increase in traffic, adding to the already congested road, particularly during school drop-off and pick-up time.”

A letter signed by residents of The Crescent, Crazies Hill, opposed the plans on the grounds of urbanisation, development on green belt land, noise and light pollution, parking issues, overlooking of neighbours and change of use of the site.

Wargrave Parish Council has not objected to the application provided there is no parking on site, extra screening is installed between the site and neighbours and the land is fully reinstated after the year is up.

Councillor Philip Davies said: “They are going to put extra screenings in front of the cabins to make sure they are not visible.

“What was said to me was it’s five days per week and they are only working past that if they are running behind. They are saying that in reality it should not impact on this road or in the village.”

Chairman Richard Bush said: “It’s green belt land but it’s only temporary.”

Councillor Michael Etwell said: “The parking during school times is an issue but they would be working outside those times it would seem.”

A decision will be made by Wokingham Borough Council.

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