Wokingham Borough Council have been making a lot of noise of late, blowing their own trumpet about how brilliantly they have been spending our money for us on terrifically useful “infrastructure” projects. From parks, to community centres to fabulous new roads, WBC have been on something of a Public Relations campaign.
A cynic might say that this has much to do with influencing the recently closed public “consultation” on its highly controversial “Revised Growth Strategy” in favour of building lots of new houses in certain Southern Wards (like Shinfield and Arborfield) and keeping those new houses out of certain other Northern Wards (like Hurst, Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe).
Or maybe they are just incredibly proud of all they have achieved (let’s not forget the Local Elections coming up in May) and want to share this with us. Which makes this map really quite puzzling:
Because something very big, very important and not forgetting very expensive is missing.
Have you spotted what it is yet? Give yourself a big pat on the back if you noticed that the recently completed, and much vaunted in recent media releases from WBC “Arborfield Relief Road” (also known as Observer Way) has been left off the map showing the "Garden Village".
How curious, I think to myself. Could this have been a simple mistake? They used an old map from before the relief road was built? But if it is important enough to feature in the Banner heading of the latest edition of “Infrastructure News”, how come nobody noticed it was missing from the “Garden Village” map shown above?
Once again I’m afraid the cynic in me is showing through. I know conspiracy theories are the staple diet of Blog Writers but, seriously, could this omission possibly have been deliberate? Certainly it is very hard to explain otherwise.
That then begs the Question: What is it they are trying to hide by not showing the relationship between Hall Farm and Observer Way? Google, as is so often the way these days may well have the answer:
Still not seen it? Let me try to help you. Apologies for my crude graphics but it should, I hope, be obvious now why Observer Way was left off the map of Hall Farm “Garden Village”.
It goes straight to the main access point for the proposed housing!
This is revealing in many ways:
a) The real reason for building this (very expensive) road was not to relieve traffic congestion through the village of Arborfield Cross, it was in fact to deliver traffic to the proposed “Garden Village” at Hall Farm.
b) The fact is, this road was planned back in 2014. That’s 8 years ago! WBC could have shared their plans for this housing development 8 years ago, instead of which we get a mere couple of months to consider the impact it will have on our lives IN PERPETUITY!
c) More, having committed to building this huge (did I mention very expensive) road they are showing quite clearly that the decision to build these houses here, has already been made!
d) In fact, this shows that the decision to build houses here was made back before 2014 when the road was finally approved.
e) This LPU “consultation” is a complete sham. Why did they even bother pretending to ask our opinions? Are they going to move the road if we decide we don’t want 4,500 houses here?
Ever feel like you are being taken for a mug?