Dismay as scheme for 1,000 homes approved in Crowthorne

Published: 4 Feb 2014 09:301 comment

RESIDENTS have branded the decision by councillors to give the nod to redeveloping the former TRL site in Crowthorne as “ridiculous”.

Former TRL site in Old Wokingham Road Crowthorne

Former TRL site in Old Wokingham Road Crowthorne

A unanimous decision was made by Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee at a committee meeting last Thursday – much to the disgust of several community groups there.

The development is the single-biggest development within the council’s long-term housing strategy for the borough, with 1,000 homes, a neighbourhood centre, primary school, community centre, care home and municipal depot all planned for the site.

It will also see road improvements on routes surrounding the site, including lane widening on roundabouts and new traffic lights at the roundabout adjacent to the Golden Retriever pub.

An amendment was requested by Cllr Jim Finnie to the application for a consultation between developer Legal & General and health providers after it was discovered there was no provision for healthcare.

Planning committee chairman Cllr Colin Dudley also added an amendment that no building work was to start until all road improvements have been completed. About 50 residents were at the meeting, including representatives from Crowthorne Village Action Group (CVAG) and Protect Our Wokingham Without Woodland Residents (POW3RS) group.

Cllr Bruce McKenzie-Boyle, from Crowthorne Parish Council, was speaking on behalf of the opposition at the meeting, and said: “It will increase traffic and congestion and aggravate an unacceptable situation. It will also make the air quality worse when it is nearly at dangerous levels as it is. A number of residents I have spoken to don’t want this.”

After the meeting, John Buckle, chairman of CVAG, said: “It is absolutely nonsense. It is the decision we expected but not the result we wanted.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous. Now we need to think how we deal with this and keep a close eye on the development.

“Hopefully we can still try and shape it to suit residents better. “The only good thing that can come out of this meeting is that all the road improvements will be completed by the time building commences.”

The proposals are part of the council’s Sites Allocation Local Plan, which outlines where more than 11,000 homes should be built around the borough by 2026.

The new housing at the former TRL site would be a mixture of one to five-bedroom homes, with a quarter available as ‘affordable housing’ .

Cllr Dudley said: “This application looks to protect the residents. Not only those living here now but the future residents of these homes.

“Reserved matters will have to come through this committee and they will be scrutinised. Members of the public can have their say on each one of these applications.”

Nick Baker, of Legal & General, said: “The Crowthorne proposals will re-use this previously developed site for 1,000 new homes as part of a comprehensive well designed mixed-use redevelopment.

“The development will make a significant contribution to meeting Bracknell Forest Council’s identified housing requirement.

“We look forward to working with the community as the development progresses.”

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  • IMoyse
    2 posts
    Apr 16, 22:59
    Report abuse

    So this was rammed through and now the new building proposal opposite TRL is being put through by Wokingham council so we shall moving past 2014 have 2 major developments opposite each other piling traffic onto the already busy rd at the same time in the mornings. To add to the madness the two boroughs are lining up the road exits from both areas to be staggered.

    Woe for the people who move into either estate as no one will be letting them out in the mornings as is found already by those trying to get out on this rd - watch the tailbacks into these new estates.

    This will lead to those who will force their way out and here come the accident spots. and for the poor children who will find their School (if they are lucky enough to get into one in the local vicinity which will be unlikely as they are alraedy oversubscribed!) often across the other side of this busy rd - any plans for a crossing - course not why would either council think of that !

    This rd is at the point of connection of Wokingham, Bracknell and Crowthorne and all three are admonishing responsibility to talk intelligently with each other and to work with the local community to best of all. No, they are all out for their own personal political gains and game playing agendas !

    If this was a commercial organisation the dept heads would be bang to rights and heads would roll. Not so in the public sector where madness prevails and the lack of serving the best needs of the public (whom pay their salaries through taxation) seems to be palatable.

    The people of Crowthorne are to fight this and create some interesting disruption and are building a following that will raise the profile of these individuals ignoring whom they are supposed to serve.

    Ian Moyse

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