Wokingham local plan update reveals key sites
A historic decision has been made on the future of development in the Wokingham area which will see thousands of homes built in the years to come.
Wokingham Borough Council has undertaken a review of its Local Plan, a planning document that serves as a blueprint for the development of the area until 2038.
The conservative council administration undertook an update of the local plan and the sites that have been allocated for development have been officially selected.
The biggest change revealed in the local plan update is the selection of a new Strategic Development (SDL) location in the Loddon Valley – intended for 4,500 massive homes.
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The local plan update indicates that these 4,500 homes will be built gradually, with the goal of building at least 2,200 homes by the end of 2037/38.
Referred to as Hall Farm / Loddon Valley in the Local Plan update, the area covers 470 hectares, according to the council map which you can view by clicking here.
This means Wokingham Borough now has a fifth major development, the others being North Wokingham, South Wokingham, Shinfield Parish (south of the M4) and Arborfield Garrison.
The major Loddon Valley development project – where council wants a ‘garden village’ to be built – was presented at an extraordinary meeting of the Wokingham Borough Council executive committee on Friday 12 November – but he has already encountered opposition.
Arborfield and Newlands City Councilor Paul Stevens argued that major development in the Loddon Valley violated the Arborfield and Barkham neighborhood plan.
During Question Time, he asked why Wokingham Borough Council ignored Neighborhood Plan policies to preserve the separation of settlements, respect the rural identity of settlements, and protect and enforce value the natural environment and green spaces (IRS 1,2 and 3).
Councilor Wayne Smith (Conservative, Hurst), executive member of Planning and Enforcement, said: âThis is considered the most deliverable and sustainable strategic option to meet the needs of the borough required for our plan.
âIt offers the opportunity to provide housing and employment, with the area close to the Thames Valley Science and Innovation Park, as well as the development of the Creative Media Hub.
“I accept that all development leads to change, however, the community we propose to create will be of high quality.”
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The local plan update also proposes an additional allocation of 835 housing units in the existing major development of South Wokingham Council, south of the railway line and Waterloo Road.
In addition to this, the update identifies two other ‘large scale development opportunities’, one on land north of Wokingham between the M4 and A329 (M) and the other on land. east of Twyford.
In North Wokingham, the plan update adds a total of 353 homes to the major development. 153 of these have received planning approval at Ashridge Farm (planning request 201515) and the remaining 200 are proposed as part of a development of Toutley Road East, where there is a council-led proposal to build 130 homes and a 70-bed dementia care center. home â(request 211777).
In Twyford, a series of different sites have been assigned and developer Berkeley Group has ambitious plans to build a community of 2,500 east of Twyford, but it’s unclear what the future holds for this project.
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33 other locations have been identified for development in the local plan with the âH2 allocationâ (residential use).
A total of 1,769 homes could be built on these 33 locations – the largest of which being 270 homes identified for development at Rooks Nest Farm in Finchampstead, and 268 homes on Winnersh farmland.
The local plan update was unanimously approved by the council executive committee. A consultation on the Local Plan will take place from November 22 to January 24, 2022.