The Planning Application is Live – Please Object.

Berkeley Homes wants to build 350 houses on land between Wokingham and Barkham and has submitted a planning application to the Wokingham Council Planning Office.   It covers a large area on both sides of Blagrove Lane, between Evendons Lane and Barkham Road, for 350 houses and a new junction on Barkham Road.  The loss of established hedgerows and trees and the impact on traffic and local schools will be damaging.

How to Object to the Planning Application

For details of how to object on the Wokingham Planning Portal, click here.

Here are some of our reasons WHY you should Object, and below are suggested objections the Planners can use to reject the application.

Reasons Why You Should Object

Loss of Greenspace/Rural Feel

  • This new development will build on a greenspace outside the development limits set by Wokingham Council. 
  • We will lose the feeling of being on the edge of the countryside, and it will close the green space gap between Wokingham and Barkham.  
  • This area has a solid rural character with its hedgerows, veteran, and mature trees. 
  • The development will have an urbanising effect on the rural landscape and erode the existing rural character. 
  • Viking Field will become isolated from the surrounding countryside and just another town park.

2. Roads, Junctions and Traffic

  • The road from Blagrove to Evendons will be closed to traffic in some documents and open in others.
  • This will mean that all traffic from Blagrove will leave the “vets” junction or down Oaklands Drive. 
  • There will be a new road through the new estate and then fields and woods; however, we believe the traffic will increase with 350 new homes and a SANG to draw visitors.
  • Doles Lane will be a new cut-through to Evendons Lane to avoid Edneys Lane. 
  • The new access road on Barkham Road is not safe due to positioning, visibility and speed. Obstructed visibility will lead vehicles exiting the site into the path of approaching vehicles on Barkham Road.

3. Habitat

  • This proposed development will destroy important habitats and effectively cause significant harm to biodiversity if they allow people and dogs to access previously undisturbed natural areas.
  • This area has large old oaks. The earliest local OS maps for the site (circa the 1870s) show the woodland (Bottle Copse) planned for the access road was woodland then.  That has significance as the undisturbed ground has higher biodiversity and the possibility that many trees may be over 150 years old.
  • The ecosystem of birds (including many Red List and rare) and various animals are elevated because of the mature rural landscape. 

4. Wildlife

  • There are at least six badger setts in total spread through the site, which have been in place since 2012 (recorded by TVERC). A lot of people locally enjoy the badgers visiting their gardens. There is no way that this development will not disrupt the badgers. Putting a road next to the Ancient Woodland in Bottle Copse where the badgers live is bound to result in significant harm to that large group of badgers. 
  • As there is a path planned through the middle of the woodland, this is bound to bring dogs into contact with the badgers who live there. This will bring the local population of badgers into conflict with the public, where before, the badgers could live peacefully.
  • The site is rich in bird species, including Tawny and Barn owls, Kites, Buzzards and Kestrels. RSPB Red List species are found across the whole site. Ten notable species from the RSPB conservation list are recorded here. The site is rich in bird species, including Tawny and Barn owls, Kites, Buzzards and Kestrels. RSPB Red List species are found across the whole site. Ten notable species from the RSPB conservation list are recorded here.
  • A large flock of Starlings (more than 85 individuals), a Red List species, are recorded on the fields suggested for development.  Amber List species recorded here include Greenfinch and Redwing. These species will be almost entirely lost from the site. The area is abundant with several Woodpecker species, Wrens, Tits, and Jays.

5. Local Services

  • Wokingham has embraced the Homes for Ukraine scheme in WBC, with over 500 refugees here and more coming into the borough; this significantly impacts schools and doctors as every child has to go to school, and every refugee has to register with a GP. There was still a shortfall for children entering secondary school this year. As a result, children had to be placed outside the borough.  Utility services (water, sewerage, electric and gas) would need major updates disrupting land and roads.

Planning Reasons to Use for Your Objection.

  • This development is NOT included in the current WBC local plan. WBC confirmed that the statements in the Berkeley document are incorrect and misleading, and the Revised Growth Strategy Consultation did not include this land as a proposed allocation.
  • 00908293.pdf – This document should be discounted as it conflicts with others in the application, and the diagrams are incorrect. We believe the new estate will become a cut-through for traffic from Barkham Road to Evendons Lane, and will both the northern and southern exists will be busy with through traffic and the 760 new vehicles on the estate.
  • The proposed new access road to the development from Barkham Road is unsafe due to the design’s inadequate visibility.  Excessive speed on Barkham Road means longer visibility lines are required to ensure a safe stopping distance.  The necessary visibility for this road speed cannot be guaranteed as it crosses over land not owned by the council.  Should a private landowner construct something or plant something that obstructs visibility at any point, safe visibility is lost, and collision is likely.  The access road would require TPO’d trees to be removed. 
  • The cycling infrastructure proposed is not compliant with the latest statutory guidance (LTN 1/20) except for priority side-road crossings.  Cycling routes should be coherent, direct, safe, comfortable and attractive.  Most of what is suggested is none of these and is particularly not direct; the advisory cycle lane is not safe, and most of what is proposed are shared with pedestrians, which is unsafe and unattractive. 
  • The proposed cycling provision is not attractive and will not encourage people to leave their cars and cycle instead.  The cycling provision proposed does not improve the sustainability of the proposed development and does not meet the council’s climate emergency requirements and the government’s commitment to be carbon neutral. 
  • The proposed change to the greenway route D does not add benefit to sustainable travel because the greenway is a leisure route and does not provide a direct link between origin and destination. The proposed change to greenway route D is insignificant.  
  • Safety of walking routes is not taken seriously, with dangerous routes being presented as safe and usable.  The main access road is being built without street lighting, which is unsafe for pedestrians. 
  • The existence of recommended walking and cycle routes has no bearing on the quality of the routes.  We have poor quality routes, which is why we have low levels of walking and cycling.  Most of the provision for walking and cycling is shared space which is not safe because it creates conflicts between users.  There is no state secondary school within walking distance of the proposed development.

Wildlife and Habitat – Click here.

Green Space, Rural Feel and SANG – click here.

Highways and Road Junctions click here

Privacy Click here

Previous Planning, Core Strategies and Reference Links

Click here for Previous Planning Decisions in the Area.

Click to see a summary of the WBC Core Strategies

Click here for Reference Links and past planning

General reasons – click here

Land to be bulldozed and built on

  • The Evendons Area Residents Association (EARA) website is back for 2022.
  • We are sending out newsletters detailing the Save Blagrove Countryside campaign, local events and items of interest. Please sign up using the link below.
  • We launched the Save Our Blagrove Countryside campaign.
  • Regular meetings and events – see the calendar.

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