Local residents urged to respond to West Berkshire's Development Consultation by 3 July deadline
30th June 2009
Alok Sharma, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Reading West, and Birch Copse Councillors Joe Mooney, Tony Linden and Emma Webster who are responsible for the Pincents Hill area, have distributed another leaflet to thousands of homes urging residents to take part in West Berkshire’s public consultation on development as the deadline of 3rd July approaches.
The Government is calling for a massive housing expansion around Reading, as part of promoting Reading as a “Growth Diamond”, and wants a minimum of 10,500 homes built in West Berkshire between 2006 – 26.
As part of the process of deciding where the 10,500 homes should go West Berkshire Council has launched a public consultation to ask local people where they want these houses built, with Pincents Hill and Whitehart Meadows in Theale two of the sites under consideration.
Alok Sharma said: “I am completely opposed to any development on Pincents Hill and at Whitehart Meadows which, if allowed to go ahead, will change completely the character of the local areas. We need to avoid urban sprawl and protect existing settlement boundaries.”
Alok continued: “In order to help developers concrete over green spaces Government Ministers have downgraded the protection given to our green spaces and issued instructions to local planners at councils such as West Berkshire telling them to allow development on previously protected areas of outstanding natural beauty and strategic gaps like Pincents Hill and Whitehart Meadows. However despite the pressure from central Government I would like to see West Berkshire Council continue with its existing policies which seek to retain current settlement patterns.”
Alok concluded: “Local roads are already heavily congested and the thousands of extra cars resulting from any major development will stretch the road infrastructure to breaking point and well above capacity. Current public services are already under pressure with local secondary schools over-subscribed and any major increase in local population will lead to a significant worsening of this situation. Additionally any developments in these areas will have a negative impact on wildlife with the loss of an important habitat.
I would urge all local residents who are opposed to building on these sites to write to or email West Berkshire Council by the deadline of 3 July with a letter of objection asking for these sites to be formally excluded from any future development. If residents want to safeguard their green spaces they need to act now.”