A new settlement at Grazeley?

I was told the Council is considering proposing a new major development at Grazeley. This is an internal Council proposal. I understand that an early draft said I supported it. I made clear to the Council I had not offered support, and have been assured they have taken my name off it.

I would be interested in hearing constituents views, when we have the chance to see the proposal if they go ahead with it.

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11 Comments

  1. P S
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    My views border between fury and incandescence. Probably closer to incandescence.

  2. Kate Armitage
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I think it is safe to say that there is widespread consternation about this latest plan…

    There is obviously something very wrong here and it would seem to be another case of WBC being out of their depth when it come to planning matters.

    We are drowning in development! There simply is not anywhere near the infrastructure to cope with the level of development that we are seeing. Intervention is needed because your constituency is being damaged beyond all recognition.

  3. SN
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I am saddened and infuriated in equal measure. This proposal appears to have been submitted in a very underhand manner without the knowledge of local residents and no opportunity for consultation. Surely there has been enough development in this area and we have to preserve some countryside!

    Reply I am inviting you to express your views, as I declined to support pending proper consultation.

  4. C Smith
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I have already written to you about the negative impact of all the development in RG7 – Spencers Wood, Riseley, Swallowfield and 3MX – congestion, dangerous driving, pollution, damage to house due to road vibration, poor air quality. There is not enough road infrastructure nor transport facilities let alone everything else to accommodate such a huge development. This before we even talk about the devastating environmental impact. The “call for land” in our area goes way beyond the original parameters set out in the South of the M4 development plan and is devastating health, wellbeing and wildlife.
    So little is being done to listen to people in the area that we will await the next Councillor and MP elections to be heard.

    Reply I agree, which is why I did not offer support for a big new Grazeley settlement when asked by the Council.

  5. John Harris
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Once again WBC illustrate their total disregard for Mortimer, Burghfield and other other areas peripheral to Newbury. Infrastructure in the area is already stretched with no sign of future investment. While new homes are desperately required, 15,000 in one development will destroy existing local communities. This must not be allowed to proceed.

  6. C Smith
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I had focused on the impact to the local area in previous comma John but it would be useful to know from the councils what the broader plans are for provision of local health services plus any planned expansions for RBH – which of course serves as most of Berks main hospital but has no doubt had to make cuts. RBC we know has to make millions in cuts over the coming years so other than council tax hikes – how will services be guaranteed? Police support, schools, public transport (learning from the disasters of 3MX and Hyde End Road bus issues), elder care, child care, leisure services etc etc plus as said environmental impact

  7. Maria Welland
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    I am horrifed that WBC is proposing a large scale development in the Mortimer, Burghfield and Grazeley Green area. The infastructure is unable to support the number of houses here already, let alone add more!
    WBC should concentrate on providing an adaquate service to the residents of these areas, and not consider adding to an overburdened system.
    We have no transport, few pavements, problems with fly tipping – why make everything worse?

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 16, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Maria

      I am afraid WBC seems to be allowing excessive development throughout the whole of its area.

      The old rules seem to have been torn up in the last decade.
      House density has increased.
      Plot sizes are smaller.
      Roads on new developments are more narrow.
      Parking provision is often non existent.
      General infrastructure remains poor.
      Traffic density and congestion has increased as a result.

      Aware we need some more housing, but this whole area seems to be taking a very, very large hit.

  8. Tom Howe
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    It is my understanding that closed door consultations happen all the time as part of ongoing research by local councils. However I would be appalled if any of this was to go ahead without residential consultation.

    I’m not completely against some form of expansion/investment in the surrounding areas providing that local communities aren’t destroyed and most importantly proper infrastructure is put in place prior to any more housing developments being erected.

    What does make sense though is that I know Gigaclear have been given permission to install super fast broadband into Grazeley and Mortimer area. This would suggest with the additional investment into the expansion of Grazeley Primary School that under the covers some “soft” investment is being poured in ready for addition developments. That or to grease the wheels when it is time to open up the consultation process.

    I just hope they aren’t going to build 15,000 homes on one site! Killing the community and pushing our current infrastructure beyond breaking point.

  9. Kate Armitage
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Please be clear the level of development that we are seeing in your constituency is fast becoming a major issue. The infrastructure is just not adequate to cope with the current traffic levels. An accident on the M4 results in gridlock for miles around. A simple journey of 7 miles regularly takes 40 minutes. It is not just this plan, it is all the plans. WBC is not (IMHO) capable or competent to deal with so many applications. Applications get approved because they do not have the resources to oppose them. Behind many of these applications are companies whose sole aim is to negotiate the planning processes to obtain planning permission on patches of land. They do this for profit and they are very good at it. WBC know that if they decline an application, the developer will take it to appeal. WBC cannot afford the cost of responding to an appeal, so they approve almost by default.

  10. A Winsey
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Thank you for taking the time to add your comments. This is a very serious issue indeed for the local community and we appreciate your views.

    I echoe the sentiments of my fellow neighbours, this is a vile and disgusting underhand plan by WBC. As other comments have already alluded to, the surrounding infrastructure can barely cope with 500 houses being built, let alone 15,000. The local community have very serious concerns indeed regarding the misery that this will cause if a plan like this is approved, not to mention the dwindling countryside in the borough and the subsequent impact to precious local wildlife. We cannot and will not accept our community to be torn up in a similar manner to other surrounding areas in the Wokingham Borough, this is a crime and quite frankly any councillor supporting this development should be stripped of their public duties and have themselves seen to. How can local councils think that adding another 40,000 people to an already hugely over populated area be a good thing, have they even bothered to sample a daily commute for the average human being (both peak and off peak)? No doubt WBC will even try and tell me that all this new infrastructure will ease this situation… pure and utter….!

    Would you mind giving more of your views on why you don’t support this, it would be interesting to understand. Why also was your name stamped all over the details of this scheme unknowingly included?

    Ready to take to the streets to campaign hard on this important life changing topic, we really would appreciate your support on this. Looking forward to having you part of our strike force team. 🙂

    Reply I have no idea why they put my name on an early draft. I was warned of this by a Councillor as I was not shown the confidential paper so I asked for my name to be removed which they promised me they did. Clearly the leaked version of this paper was an early draft. When I was asked for my view on the general idea of a new settlement I said I did not think there was a suitable site anywhere in my constituency.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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