On Friday 28th October, the Save the Bath Road Reservoir (STBRR) group, along with Reading West MP Alok Sharma and local councillor Paul Gittings, met with Thames Water, where the water company shared the revisions they had made to their plans as a result of the overwhelming negative feedback from the public consultation they held on 24th September.
Unfortunately only minimal changes had been made, despite huge local opposition to the proposed heights and density of the proposed development.
STBRR campaigner Graham Griffiths commented: “While some small changes have been made, the proposal is still too much and too high. It is still not at all in keeping with the local area nor the historic settings, and it does nothing to offset the deficiency of open space in the area. The building platform height is still a key issue and Thames Water are still being cagey about this despite having had so much time to look into it.”
Fellow campaigner and local neighbourhood watch coordinator Peter Finnan added: “We have raised numerous concerns over the location of the proposed play area – as it stands it would not be a safe location and would not in any way benefit the local area. In addition, the proposed wildlife area has clearly not been thought through, and Thames Water evidently don’t care about the fact that no wildlife would survive if their current proposals were to be permitted.”
STBRR campaigner Mel Woodward said: “The decommissioning process is a huge issue. Many houses in this area already suffer from subsidence, and there is a real fear amongst the local community about the real implications of such a huge development, so near to so many tiny, old Victorian terraced houses. The saying ‘safe as houses’ could so easily become meaningless when people’s houses start to crumble in the wake of the demolition machinery.”
Reading West MP Alok Sharma attended the meeting with local residents. He commented: “I continue to believe that the proposed number of dwellings is too high and there are still many unanswered questions. I hope councillors on the planning committee will be robust and stand up for local people whenever this application comes before them.”