SOLVE Hall Farm public meeting.
At a meeting of the SOLVE Hall Farm Steering Group, yesterday, 14th November 2023, we agreed to go ahead with a public meeting to discuss the implications of the proposed Local Plan for Wokingham.
We had originally anticipated that the Plan would be published this month, but it seems this is no longer going to happen. We understand that WBC had two plans in the pipeline, one that takes account of past over provision of houses, another that does not.
SOLVE Hall Farm has heard that the Plan is now going to be published early in 2024. At a recent meeting concerned residents were told the latest version of the Plan is to reduce the numbers at Hall Farm by 750 houses. This would be a significant reduction in most circumstances, but sadly, given the vast scale of the proposed Hall Farm SDL it only reduces the number of houses proposed to 3,750. It also leave the Plan covering a completely unnecessary TWO PLAN PERIODS, when all that is legally required is for one. In other words, not just a small town of new houses but also 30 years of construction traffic, habitat destruction, pollution and disruption. All on top of what is currently farmland, open countryside, ancient woodland and flood plain, ignoring the views of locals and without fully considering all the alternatives!
The meeting will held at Arborfield Village Hall, Eversley Road, Arborfield Cross, RG2 9PQ. It will take place on Saturday 2nd December 2023 and will be open to all concerned residents, wherever in the affected area you may live, starting at 12.00 midday and closing at 5.00 p.m.
There will be opportunities to meet the SOLVE Hall Farm Team, possibly join one of our working parties, get involved in our campaign and find out the latest news regarding this impending social and environmental disaster WBC are proposing to inflict on residents in the South of Wokingham at Hall Farm. Not sure where the proposed "Loddon Valley Garden Village", otherwise known as the Hall Farm SDL, would be built? Take a look at this map. All the land enclosed within the thick red line would become part of this new development.
Not sure what they are proposing? Tired of waiting for WBC to finally get on and reveal their plans for us? Come along to the meeting and we will share with you all we have been able to find out.
It will be an open "drop in session" and will include refreshments, a presentation, and an opportunity to ask questions. We also will be handing out new posters for people to display, the latest design is shown below, please do let us know what you think.
I will just add a final few words which I have taken from the latest edition of Wokingham Today (15th November 2023) regarding the latest Planning Application to be given Planning Approval from WBC. The paper reports that plans for an enlarged Industrial Park between Shinfield and Arborfield on the Reading Road, next to Observer Way, were agreed unanimously by Borough Councillors, despite objections from Arborfield and Newland Parish Council and local residents.
"David Cornish, chair of Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee, said he felt the plans were a “good idea”, even though they went against several rules set by the government and the council itself".
"Council planning officer Brian Conlon said the decision wasn’t “clear cut” – but that policies encouraging economic benefits had to be weighed against those protecting the countryside".
Councillor Andrew Mickleburgh said he thought the development would bring “multiple harms.” But he also agreed the potential economic benefits “would outweigh the harms.”
Peter Tyers (local resident) said "the lives of people and wildlife would be “blighted” by the effects of the development: “The residents of Greensward Lane, together with the wildlife sustained by Pound Copse, will be affected by the pollution, noise, dust and light created by any development.”
So there you have it. As far as the Borough are concerned, environmental sustainability and the quality of life for residents matters less than any potential economic benefits to be gained, even where it means breaking rules!
Never mind if our lives are about to be blighted by 30 years of construction at Hall Farm, this is about MONEY!
Paul Stevens. Chair. Save Our Loddon Valley Environment at Hall Farm.
SOLVE Hall Farm Crowd Funding page re-launched.
Our target is initially to raise £5,000 for legal advice, expert opinion, further publicity materials and venue hire. Details of our spending to date can be found on the DOWNLOADS page.
As well as the meeting planned for Arborfield Cross in December 2023, we are planning at least three further meetings across the RG2 9 area. Updates will be posted here, or to be sure of staying in the loop sign up for our mailing list below.
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