Impact on Schools and GP Services

Deficiency in Social Facilities

SourcePolicy RefFormal Rejection Points Notes
WDC Planning PolicyCore Plan (2010) Vision2.27Secondary Education (2.27): There should be a place for all students within 5km of their home.
Wokingham Life reported (2nd March 2022)  that despite another 176 places being found, there was still a shortfall for children entering secondary school this year. As a result, children had to be placed outside the borough. 
Since the distance to a school is a key metric for obtaining a place, it increases the probability that children living in the development will be placed further from their home and possibly outside of the borough; this is not in line with the 2.27 vision.,cent%20receiving%20their%20top%20choice.
WDC Planning PolicyCore Plan (2010) Vision2.30
CP2 – Inclusive communities b) Children, young people and families, including the coordination of services to meet their needs;4.18 Sustainably meeting the needs of young people includes ensuring that children of primary school age have access to a school within walking or cycling distance of their home (3-4km) along a safe route.
CP11 – Proposals outside Development Limits (including countryside)4.57… Preventing the proliferation of development in areas away from existing development limits is important, as they are not generally well located for the facilities and services.
Primary Education (2.30)The planning proposal now references outdated positive statistics about the availability of places. The reality is that local schools are oversubscribed. For example, according to ‘Get Reading’, the nearest primary school to the proposed development was recently only able to accommodate 62.8% of parents requesting this as their first choice. The article said it was the most requested school in Wokingham, yet over one-third of first choice requests were not accommodated, making it the number one or number two toughest Wokingham primary school to get into.  Therefore the proposal does not address the Council’s vision and core policy CP2 b (4.18), including CP11 (4.57)
WDC Planning PolicyCore Plan (2010) Vision 2.43 CP6 (a, b)Transport and Accessibility Vision (2.43) requires easy access to shops, GP surgeries and faith centres and Hospitals.  While there is a proposal to reroute one bus route through the estate, we understand that the viability of this service is under question due to funding considerations. Also, the proposed bus route does not currently run on Sunday. Therefore the proposed development cannot match the 2.43 vision. 
Wokingham has embraced the Homes for Ukraine scheme in WBC, with over 500 refugees here and more coming into the borough; this is having a large impact on schools and doctors as every child has to go to school, and every refugee has to register with a GP. Wokingham and Barkham are struggling regarding the facilities and infrastructure without further residents coming into the area at Blagrove.