Campaigners and developers clash over Lidl Lower Earley’s plans
Activists and a developer found themselves embroiled in a showdown over a plan to build houses and a new Lidl in Lower Earley.
The developer, Lower Earley Properties Ltd, wants to build 43 homes and a Lidl supermarket on land affectionately known as Swallows Meadow.
The prairie is located off Meldreth Way in Lower Earley.
While the developer and supporters of the plan have highlighted the economic benefits and prospect of the new Lidl supermarket, opponents of the plan say it will result in an unacceptable loss of green space and wildlife on the prairie.
READ MORE: Fury at controversial plans for new Lidls and houses in Lower Earley
The developers have sent “hundreds and hundreds” of letters to neighbors encouraging them to “show their support” by sending an email to [email protected]
Supporters of the plan provided their names, addresses and postal codes, and in return, the following statement was uploaded to the comments section of the Wokingham City Council planning website:
“I am writing to you in support of the land development application off Meldreth Way in Lower Earley. I support the app because it will provide a new Lidl store, as well as housing and jobs for local people. ”
More than 180 people have written in favor of the app, according to the developers.
However, opponents of the plan slammed the tactic.
One stakeholder complained that the planning portal was “unwanted by identical statements of support” for the request.
Councilor Clive Jones, leader of the Wokingham Liberal Democrats, strongly opposed the candidacy.
He said, “The developer is spending a huge amount of money on this scheduling app and it shows that there isn’t a particularly level playing field. We do not have the means to fight it. It must have cost them thousands of dollars to send these leaflets.
“Hundreds and hundreds of homes received a very biased leaflet in the mail. You can show your support by filling out the flyer, but you can’t say you don’t want development.
For their part, activists have gathered 1,468 signatures strongly opposing any further development of Swalows Meadow.
One opponent wrote: “We don’t need more houses in Lower Earley, especially not in this small area.
“We don’t need more grocery stores in Lower Earley. We just want to enjoy our quiet life in Lower Earley which is why we love living here, and for which we have all worked hard and to keep a little patch of greenery.
“Sometimes if you are lucky enough to get out early in the morning or late at night, sometimes you can see animals, such as foxes, deer and badgers, crossing the road. These animals and others lived here before Lower Earley’s great development into a residential area, unfortunately it looks like the council is on the verge of turning all the green spaces into concrete, noise and more pollution.
A spokesperson for Lower Earley Properties Ltd commented: “We are delighted that support is increasing for our planning application. More than 180 people have written in support of the request to date – with more than 100 received in the past week alone.
“While there are those who will continue to oppose the application, this response shows that there are many who recognize the benefits, including better retail choice for local shoppers, the creation of hundreds of new jobs and 43 new homes – 40% of which will be affordable. .
“We will continue to engage with the local community throughout the planning process and look forward to Wokingham Borough Council making a decision on the application in the coming months.”
Although a public consultation on the plan ended on Friday, June 18, you can still write a comment on the plan by typing reference 211686 on the Wokingham City Council planning portal: https: //planning.wokingham. gov.uk/FastWebPL/welcome. aspic
Developer contractors angered hundreds of neighbors last November when Swallows Meadow was “cleared” for what the developers called “routine landscaping maintenance.”
At the time, a spokesperson for the developers said established trees at Swallows Meadow were protected from being cut.