Land to East of Lodge Road (Tape Lane), Hurst
Planning Application 220458
9 March 23 - APPEAL DISMISSED
View Appeal decision here
This of course is very good news for the village, and we’ll done to everybody who contributed so positively to the Inquiry.
The exact reasons as to why the Inspector has dismissed the Appeal will become clear once there has been an opportunity to study the Decision Notice in detail. It is encouraging to note that whilst the Inspector accepts that WBC are not meeting their 5 year hosing supply he gives them credit for the number of houses that have been built in the Borough and as a result he has been willing to apply significant weight to relevant policies that in such circumstances would normally be considered out of date. He also appears satisfied with the spatial vision and that WBC’s chosen method of distributing new housing throughout the Borough has prevented it from achieving satisfactory housing delivery to date which is why he is saying it would not be sensible to grant planning permission for a significantly over-sized development which would run counter to this spatial vision.
Appeal commenced 31st January 2023
Key Documents of Interest from the Appeal can be viewed below:
HVS Statement presented by John Osborne .
Commentary - Wednesday 8th February
The Appellants concluded their evidence today with Miss Allison Jones dealing with Planning Policy and the Overall Planning Balance, and Mr Hartley dealing with Trees. They were both individually taken through their evidence by Mr Rupert Warren K.C. and then cross examined in turn by both Mr Lewin and Mr Shattock.
Tomorrow (Thursday), in the morning there is a round table conference between the Interested Parties dealing with any draft Unilateral Agreement and draft Conditions (that would apply only if the Inspector was minded to allow the Appeal and hence grant planning permission). In the afternoon the Inspector together with representatives from The Appellant, Wokingham Borough Council and Hurst Parish Council will visit Hurst. They will visit the application site and follow a pre-agreed route and visit other places in Hurst that the Inspector has requested to see in order to give him a greater understanding and a visual appreciation of the detailed evidence and he has taken during the Inquiry. He will not hear any further evidence or enter into any further discussion with the Interested Parties during the visit.
The Inquiry is scheduled to end on Friday 10th February 2023, with Closing Submissions made by the Barristers representing the Three Interested Parties. As soon as possible after these documents are put in the public domain they will appear on The Society's web-site for you to study at your leisure. Please if you have attended the Inquiry and have any comments, or indeed any general comments on the process, please don't hesitate to share them with us on email@example.com.
Commentary - Tuesday 7th February
As the Inquiry entered it's second week, the whole day was given over to Sustainability.
Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) concluded their case to the Inquiry with the evidence of Mr Gordon Adam, dealing with the sustainability of the site location. He was taken through his evidence by Mr Lewin the Barrister acting on behalf of WBC, who once Mr Warren K.C. had cross examined him on behalf of the Appellant, took the opportunity to rexamine the Council's last expert witness.
Roles were reversed in the afternoon when Mr Whittingham gave his evidence on Sustainability issues on behalf of the Appellant. As well as being cross examined by Mr Lewin, this witness was also cross examined by Mr Shattock the Barrister acting on behalf Hurst Parish Council.
The Inspector concluded this session by inviting those individuals who had submitted statements to The Inquiry to cross-examine the witness and three individuals and Hurst Village Society took the opportunity to do this.
The Appellant will be calling their final two witnesses tomorrow, Ms Jones on Planning Policy and the Overall Planning Balance, followed by Mr Hartley on Trees.
Commentary - Friday 4th February 2023
As he agreed to do, the Inspector opened the Inquiry this morning by inviting three local residents to each make a statement as they had been unable to attend the Inquiry earlier in the week.
The evidence of Mr Friend, a landscape architect, engaged by the Appellant was completed when he was cross examined by the two Barristers representing Wokingham Borough Council and Hurst Parish Council. Mr Warren K.C. then took the opportunity on behalf of the Appellant to re-examine his witness. The only other witness to appear today was Mr Alan Rooney who was taken through his evidence on Flood Risk as a result of the potential new development by Mr Warren. Neither Mr Lewin or Mr Shattock offered any cross examination of this witness.
It is very pleasing to be able to report that at the invitation of the Inspector three local residents very knowledgably, professionally and forcefully took the opportunity to challenge the witness on Flood Risk which is of great concern to the local community. The main contention they raised was that whilst there was evidence to show flood prevention measures in relation to any new houses on the site, there was no evidence to show how water coming off this site would be prevented from potentially flooding existing homes, which of course is a material planning consideration. Thank you to them !!!
Commentary - Thursday 2nd February
An eventful day at the Inquiry today 2nd February at which Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) continued putting their case before the Inspector. Mrs. Fiona Jones gave evidence on planning policy.and the overall planning balance. She was then cross examined for some two hours by Mr Rupert Warren K.C. on behalf of the Appellant. She was then asked further questions both by the Inspector and the WBC Barrister Mr Matt Lewin.
It is of interest to note that the experts put forward by Wokingham Borough Council are not allowed to be "cross examined" by Mr Alex Shattock the Barrister representing Hurst Parish Council because as they are seeking the Appeal to be dismissed as are WBC this would be seen as a second re-examination of the witness which is not permitted by the Inquiry rules.
As WBC's final witness Mr Gordon Adam dealing with the sustainability of the site's location cannot give evidence until the next week, the afternoon seesion was given over in the main to Hurst Parish Council presenting their case. Councillor Wayne Smith dealt with Sustainability and Transport, and also Landscape Character. Reading through the summaries of his proof s of evidence he was then taken through his comments by Mr Alex Shattock. He then underwent cross-examination by Rupert Warren KC and also answered some questions on The Local Neighbourhood Plan which were posed by The Inspector.
Other than the cross examination of the Appellants experts and a closing submission at the end of the Inquiry that concluded the case for the Parish Council acting as a Rule 6 Party. The Appellants then commenced their case with Mr Warren KC taking their expert on Landscape and Locality Mr Friend through his evidence.
The Inquiry will commence tomorrow at 9.30 with the Inspector inviting evidence from two further interested local residents, followed by the cross examination of Mr Friend by both the Barristers representing WBC and also Hurst Parish Council.
Commentary - Wednesday 1st February
Today at the Inquiry, Mr Chris Hannington finished giving evidence for WBC on landscape and trees and stood up well to a vigorous cross examination by Rupert Warren K.C. representing the Appellant. Mr Ian Church also gave evidence on behalf of WBC dealing with Planning policy and the Council’s current current housing land supply position. This is a very important issue on which the Planning Inspector will need to make a decision and again he was vigorously cross examined by Mr Warren K. C. representing the Appellant.
Tomorrow 2nd February the Inquiry will start at the earlier time of 9.30am. In what is likely to be both an important day the Inspector is expecting to hear evidence from Mrs. Fiona Jones on behalf of WBC dealing with Planning policy and the overall planning balance. In addition Councillor Wayne Smith will be giving evidence on behalf of St. Nicholas Hurst Parish Council.
Hurst Village Society Taxi Service to Tape Lane/Lodge Road Appeal at Wokingham Borough Council - 23 January 23
HVS is coordinating a free to use taxi (5 seat) during the first week of the sitting which is available to residents of Hurst, especially those who may not drive or have concerns about parking/accessibility issues.
Taxi service for the following Appeal Dates:
Tue 31 Jan to Fri 3 Feb
10.00am to 5pm (Fri 9.30am to 3.30pm)
Venue: Wokingham Borough Council, Council Chambers, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN.
Times of Taxi Service
Hurst to Wokingham: 09:30, 11.30 & 13.30
Wokingham to Hurst: 12:00, 14:00 & 16:00
Hurst Pick-up Point: Hurst Village Halls Car Park
Wokingham Drop-Off Point: Shute End Car Park
SPACE LIMITED & AVAILABILITY IS ON FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS
To book transport during the dates Tue 31 Jan to Fri 3 Feb, contact HVS at firstname.lastname@example.org, Stating:
Contact Telephone Number;
Number of People in the group;
Out Time from Hurst;
Return Time from Wokingham
Hurst Parish Council Drop-in Session
Lodge Road (Tape Lane) Appeal against 200 Houses
Friday 20th January 4pm – 7pm
St Nicholas School Hall
St Nicholas Hurst Parish Council invites you to a drop-in session for the Lodge Road / Tape Lane appeal on Friday 20th January between 4pm and 7pm.
HPC urge villagers to try and attend so the appeal process can be explained and individuals wishing to speak at the appeal can come forward. A comprehensive FAQ will be handed out too (you can access it here). If you feel passionately about this appeal, please try to find time to attend.
To explain the appeal process
St Nicholas Hurst Parish Council's role as Rule 6 party
Rule 6 / individual presentations
Dependency upon residents attending
Travel and parking
Questions & Answers
Update 21 December 2022
Below is an extract from the Case Management Conference summary note which was published by The Planning Inspector;
“18. Individuals/local residents can speak at the Inquiry but I will not want to hear repetitive evidence. If several people want to speak on similar topics they should seek to co-ordinate their statements, or perhaps elect a spokesperson or persons. Anyone wishing to speak at the Inquiry should submit a copy of any statement they intend to make to the Inspectorate’s Case Officer1 ideally no later than 1 week before the opening of the Inquiry – ie, by close of play on 24 January 2023. It would be acceptable, although not encouraged, for interested persons to provide a copy of their written statement on the day they wish to speak. Ideally I will expect to hear from interested persons on Day 1 of the Inquiry.”
HVS will contact Hurst Parish Council to see if through their Barrister they may be able to identify the nature of any topics that individuals should seek to address that would add most weight to the Council’s case.
More Dates and Information;
The Appellant has confirmed that it intends to submit a Planning Obligation to address matters raised in the Council’s Reason for Refusal 9 (Training and Apprenticeships) and 10 (Affordable Housing). An early draft of the obligation should be provided by 6th January 2023 with a final agreed draft by 17th January 2023.
The current assumed duration of the Inquiry is 8 days; 31st January – 3rd February 2023 and 7th - 10th February 2023
The normal sitting times for the Inquiry will be 10.00am to 5pm, on Tuesday to Thursday and on Fridays 9.30am to 3.00 – 3.30pm. Wokingham Borough Council will be ensuring the Inquiry venue (most probably the Council Chamber at Shute End) with possible over spill accommodation will have a hearing loop and disabled access and facilities with the provision of “virtual” sessions/participation if necessary.
Getting to the Enquiry
If you would like to attend but are concerned as to travel arrangements please let us know as HVS is keen to help ensure as many Hurst residents as want to are able to attend the Inquiry.
Additional Documents Recently uploaded to the WBC Planning Portal;
Statement of Common Ground
These are effectively where the Planning Inspector asks both the Apellant and the Planning Authority to list those issues where the two parties are in broad agreement and therefore won’t form a significant part of the Inquiry.
Please don’t be concerned that the preparation of these documents in advance of the Inquiry in any way presumes that a decision as to the outcome of the Appeal has already been made. It is standard practice in a major Inquiry such as this and is intended to assist the Inspector in concentrating on other significant issues raised.
Update 13 December 2022
Key documents from The Planning Inspectorate are now in the public domain:
These can also be viewed on the documents page for Planning Application 220458 on the WBC planning portal.
Update post Hurst Parish Council ("HPC") Meeting on 6th December 2022
Land East of Lodge Road (Tape Lane)
At last week’s HPC meeting Wayne Smith, Chairman, confirmed that a Barrister has been engaged to act for the Parish Council, both in preparing for and representing the Council at the forthcoming Planning Appeal Inquiry starting on the 31st January 2023. He chose not toprovide details of the Barrister at the meeting. Subsequently the Barrister has been named as Mr Alex Shattock of Landmark Chambers in London.
All those people who had donated in response to the recent appeal were thanked. Details of the amount raised so far (or the total target) were not provided. (To donate, please go to the HPC website).
Other, potential planning proposals
Individual planning consultants also attended the meeting to provide initial information regarding two separate, imminent planning applications at: Walden Acres (alongside the A321) for 4 dwellings; and at Willowmead Field (between School Road and Orchard Road) for 24 dwellings (including 9 affordable homes).
HVS will not make detailed comments until, in the case of Walden Acres, the planning application together with the Planning Design and Access statement is submitted to WBCl. With the larger development at Willowmead Field, the planning consultant will be carrying out some local consultation on the proposals by way of a leaflet drop which will provide an early opportunity for you to gauge the nature of the development and any likely local impacts.
Please contact us on email@example.com if you wish to discuss these proposed developments.
Update 5 December 2022
Here are some more important documents that have been submitted to the Planning Inspector in relation to the forthcoming Planning Appeal Inquiry and which together with those that we have already highlighted provide useful background information as to the issues that will be raised during the Inquiry. The Planning Inspector has also published a PRE CONFERENCE NOTE which you can access here and gives details of the Pre Inquiry Conference involving the interested parties which will take place on Wednesday 7th December.
Previous key documents are:
Update 19 November 2022
PLANNING APPEAL REF: APP/X0360/W/22/3309202
If you made a representation to Wokingham Borough Council about the original Planning Application (Ref: 220458), you should by now have received formal notification from them that a Public Planning Inquiry will start at 10.00am. on 31st January 2023, at The Council Offices, Shute End, Wokingham, and is expected to last for 8 days. As many local residents as possible should try and attend the Inquiry even for a short period of time, as this will be a constant visual reminder to The Inspector as to the strength of opinion against this development throughout the whole local community. Whilst the original comments you submitted at the application stage will be automatically forwarded to the Inspector for his consideration, if you have additional matters you wish to bring to his attention these should be e-mailed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th November 2022 . To get a greater understanding of the basis of Mactaggart and Mikel’s Appeal you can view their Statement of Case here. NB The Society will be highlighting some of details from that document in the future.
A Guide to Taking Part in Planning Appeals Proceeding By Inquiry (GOV.UK) is available here
Hurst Parish Council is now A “Rule 6 status” interested party for the duration of the Public Inquiry which will enable the Parish Council to take an active role in proceedings and hopefully to add substantively to the case being made by the Local Planning Authority. HVS is fully committed to supporting this process and looks forward to playing an active role in what appears to be an evolution of “The Say No to 200 Houses in Hurst Group”. Members of the Society will realise how important it is for that group to consult with the Local Planning Authority to understand what their position at The Inquiry will be (Wokingham Borough Council’s Statement of Case has to be submitted to The Planning Inspectorate by 30th November 2022) and how the two interested parties can compliment and strengthen each others cases. The Parish Council having been granted “Rule 6 Status” will also be required to prepare a statement of case within 4 weeks and The Society’s representatives on the original “Say No to 200 Houses in Hurst Group”, John Osborne and Andrew Wilson have already been, and will continue to seek to be actively involved in what must remain a truly community wide campaign.
HPC is looking to raise money to fund the campaign, as summarised on the HPC website:
‘Say No to 200 houses in Hurst!
Great News! Hurst Parish Council has been granted Rule 6 by the Planning Inspector which means we are given an equal position as the applicant and WBC and can take up our standing at the Lodge Road appeal.’
The best way to fight the case is by engaging a barrister and that will mean we need to seek donations to support this. If you wish to donate, please contact email@example.com
The Parish Council believes that it is essential to engage a Barrister, or even KC, to represent the village at the forthcoming Inquiry, that is in relation to not only the preparation of a statement of case and all the other important documents, attendance at a case management conference, pre-inquiry meetings, but also attendance at what will be an eight day Inquiry (7 hours a day) in order to present an opening statement, go through each witness’s evidence in chief, cross examine the opposing parties’ witnesses and present a closing statement. Barristers (and KC’s even more so) are hugely expensive and based on the number of hours required to fulfil the above tasks, the legal costs will be high. If you feel able and wish to make a financial contribution to these costs please respond to Hurst Parish Council’s Appeal as above.
Please keep up to date on the progress of the Campaign here and let us know your thoughts or any questions or comments you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hurst Village Society has written to Hurst Parish Council confirming a donation of £7000 towards funding legal advice in preparing for and representing the village at the forthcoming Planning Appeal Inquiry. In addition the Society has also paid £450 for the new banners which are appearing around the village to raise awareness and provide ongoing encouragement to oppose this Appeal."
SAY NO TO 200 HOUSES IN HURST
HVS Support to the Hurst “Say No to 200 Houses In Hurst Group” – Land East of Lodge Road (Tape Lane), Planning Appeal Inquiry -
8 November 2022
The Hurst Village Society maintains a single budget to support where possible a variety of village projects that are all aligned to the protection of the village environment, amenities and services.
At the meeting of the “Say No to 200 Homes in Hurst Group” held on 3 November, HVS were requested to provide funding of £7000 to enable the group to maximise the effectiveness of it’s objections to this most unwelcome development at the forthcoming Planning Appeal Inquiry. As the request for £7000 represented a substantial proportion of HVS’s total budget the HVS Committee called a special meeting on 7 November to discuss the matter. In conclusion, it was unanimously agreed that the threat to the village of this development fully met the conditions of HVS expenditure and hence justified a commitment to fund the “Say No to 200 Houses in Hurst Group” as requested.
However it is important to reassure all HVS Members that how these HVS funds are used for this project will be properly monitored and audited so as to be transparent to all Members, and the expenditure will not exceed the requested maximum amount of £7000. All costs that draw down from the £7000 commitment will need to be approved by HVS prior to any contracts being drawn-up, or financial sign off by the Group.
As HVS is a fully inclusive and transparent Society that is committed to all of its Members, if the proposed way-ahead is considered inappropriate by any HVS Member, you are requested to contact us at email@example.com without delay.
Notification of Appeal - 26 October 2022
In the light of the information from The Planning Inspectorate, Councillor Wayne Smith has called a meeting of the Say No to 200 Homes in Hurst Group of which Hurst Village Society is a member, as soon as possible, to plan our strategy for our involvement in this Appeal process.
All members will be provided with regular updates and information how as individuals you can get involved and support this ongoing campaign to get the developer's Appeal dismissed. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the Appeal Notification letter which includes details of the timetable.
HVS Review of Wokingham Borough Council’s Decision to Refuse Planning Application 220458 Land East of Lodge Road
Hurst Village Society (HVS) welcomes the decision of Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) to refuse outline planning permission for the proposed development of approximately 200 homes and other associated infrastructure including vehicular access on land East of Lodge Road. Being realistic it is of course likely that the applicants will submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and therefore it is important that the individual groups that together led the “SAY NO" campaign fully understand and reflect in detail on the reasons given by WBC, in it’s role as the Planning Authority, for refusing the application and also the potential ability of the developer to persuade a Planning Inspector at any future likely Public Inquiry (given that this is a major application) that the grounds for refusal are inappropriate or can be overcome.
The Delegated Officer Report recommending refusal and dated 22nd June can be accessed here. This is a comprehensive 40 page report and highlights in particular where the proposed development appears to be contrary to National and Local Planning Policies and as such why it is legitimate for the application to be refused.
Importantly the report recognises that “the application site is not within any settlement limits and is within the countryside. The site has never been allocated for any development (within The Local Plan). The out of settlement and countryside location conflicts with the spatial strategy and policies of the development plan”. This is of major significance and importantly the report goes further by stating that the size and density of “the proposal would be wholly disproportionate in scale to the size of the village”.
The villages of Hurst and Whistley Green may be considered to fall under the same settlement limits (although it is believed a Planning Inspector did take the view they are separate) they are certainly historically and physically separate and it is important that in terms of the Local Character Assessment that this must be maintained. “The proposed development would infill one of the only remaining open fields separating Hurst and Whistley Green”.
In the opinion of HVS these are all strong and irrefutable material planning considerations which totally support the refusal of this application.
The report also confirms that the impact on the local highway network has not been established, and the fact that there is only one vehicle access is not acceptable to WBC’s Highway Engineer, and it is suggested that the reliance on Lodge Road being widened to allow even this limited access to the site is itself hugely problematic in terms of deliverability.
Whilst HVS considered that the original statement from Thames Water (TW) in relation to the development proposals was extremely unhelpful, their subsequent response dated 5th April more accurately reflects the true situation eg “The proposed development is located within 20m of a Thames Water Sewage Pumping Station and this is contrary to best practice set out in Codes for Adoption”
In relation to Surface Water because the application indicates it will not be discharged to the public network whilst TW has no objection it is clear that approval must be sought from the Lead Local Flood Authority. If there was any subsequent request to discharge surface water to the public network then TW would consider this to be a material change to the proposal at which point TW “would need to review our position”. TW also importantly states it “has identified an inability of the existing water network infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this development proposal”
In addition to the above there are also other technical objections regarding trees and ecology in the report and HVS is aware of the non supportive stance taken by Natural England in relation to the latter.
The Officer Report quite rightly addresses the issue of Planning Balance and positively states “The adverse impacts of the development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits” and “The NPPF supports sustainable development not any development”. Whilst recent Planning Appeal decisions clearly support this stance, HVS believes that we should not underestimate the strength of argument that will be presented at any subsequent Inquiry in relation to these matters and also Hurst being considered an unsustainable location, and also to closely monitor the situation in relation to accusations that the basket of the most important policies for the determination of this application are out of date.
Thank you again to everybody for taking the time to make their views as to this application known to the Planning Authority and for maintaining their interest in continuing their objection to development proposals which would irreversibly change the character of Hurst.
23 June 22
Planning Permission has been refused. View letter refusing planning permission here.
8 June 2022
Reply from WBC Planning regarding the extension of the Consultation Period
Thank you for your letter regarding the above.
There has been no additional consultation for the application as there is no change to the description of the development. An extension of time was agreed with the agent as there are possibly some minor issues that can be resolved. This is common with large scale applications, even when a decision is still likely to result in a refusal. Comments will be taken into consideration up until a decision is made.
Mark Croucher BA (Hons) MSc
Principal Planning Officer Team Manager - Development Management
1st June - Update
WBC has reopened the public consultation on The Land East of Lodge Road planning application for approximately 200 homes.
HVS has sent a letter to WBC asking for an explanation. There appears to be no material change in the description of the development proposals and a decision had been anticipated.
Tuesday 5 April 2022
A VERY BIG THANK YOU to everybody (in excess of 350 people) who found the time to submit their own personal comments in relation to the Outline Planning Application for approximately 200 homes on Land East of Lodge Road. The Planning Authority will now be very clear as to the strength of feeling in the village against these development proposals.
As to what happens next, whilst the decision on most applications is delegated to officers, if there was a recommendation of approval in the case of a major application such as this, (eg. where the application site area is greater than 1 hectare or 10 or more dwellings are proposed) it would be reported to the Planning Committee. There are other circumstances where applications will be reported to the Planning Committee as set out in the Council's Constitution.
So it is very much a case of watch this space as the officers at Wokingham Borough Council consider this application in detail including all the submissions from Statutory Consultees and as a result of the Public Consultation, for which we thank you again for taking part in. In the meantime HVS will of course keep you up to date on any news or developments.
Tuesday 29 March 2022
Tuesday 15 March 2022
HVS letter to Theresa May
Sunday 13 March 2022
Thank you to everybody for taking the time to visit one of the Drop In sessions at the School Hal. Hopefully it was as useful for you as it was for the members of the Joint Team in being able to share opinions and discuss any concerns on the development proposals and also to discuss the actual planning process and what happens next after the 1st April when the public consultation closes.
Almost 140 people attended the two events and John Osborne from the Hurst Village Society, as one of the members of the Joint Team leading the campaign against the development, said "It was a fantastic opportunity to meet local residents and have the time to discuss all aspects of the application and how it might affect them, and together gain a detailed and shared understanding of the potential adverse impacts of these proposals not only on individuals, but also the community as a whole. Everybody I spoke to fully realised that objecting to this application was a job for all of us and how important it was for them to write individual letters outlining their objections to Wokingham Borough Council. In this respect they found the leaflet (handed out to everybody who attended) outlining some of the significant material planning considerations as to why the application should be refused, and which could form the basis of their letter particularly helpful."
Don't worry if you were unable to be attend as a copy of that leaflet will be dropped through your letter-box very soon, and it will also appear on this web-site (please keep visiting the dedicated planning page as it will be regularly updated with further information which you or somebody in your household may care to use in your letter). IT IS IMPORTANT HOWEVER TO REMEMBER THAT THE DEADLINE FOR YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS TO WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL IS FRIDAY APRIL 1st..
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss any matters relating to this application in greater detail and thank you once again for getting involved.
Wednesday 9 March 2022
Thursday 3 March 2022
THE CAMPAIGN STARTS NOW AND YOUR INVOLVEMENT IS ESSENTIAL
The HVS is pleased to be part of A JOINT TEAM working together with Councillors from Hurst Parish Council, The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group and The Protect Hurst Action Group on a joint campaign objecting to the Outline Planning Application for “ The proposed development of approximately 200 homes” and “primary vehicular access via the existing Lodge Road gated access with required improvements” on land East of Lodge Road.
To be successful the campaign NEEDS YOU to get involved primarily in raising your personal objections (based on material planning considerations) and it is the INITIAL JOINT TEAM’S initial intention to make this as easy as possible for you, by providing you with a list of what are considered to be the most significant objections and perceived flaws in the application for you to bring to the attention of Wokingham Borough Council (The Planning Authority). So please try and resist the temptation to contact them until you have heard what additional information we can bring to your attention.
Drop In Meeting School Hall - Friday 11th (5.00-7.00pm) & Saturday 12th (10.00-12.00)
A leaflet should be dropping through your letter box over the week-end inviting you to a DROP IN MEETING at the School Hall on Friday 11th March 5.00pm to 7.00pm and Saturday 12th March 10.00am. to 12 Noon when members of THE JOINT TEAM can share any concerns you may have, and provide you with details on the various aspects of the Application about which you may require further information. Don’t worry if you can’t attend, a further leaflet drop is planned with more useful information, and you can always contact us on email@example.com to raise any particular concerns you may have or if you require any further information.
Click here for full details of the Application, No; 220458 and please note that the period during which you can make your views known to Wokingham Borough Council has now been extended until Friday 1st April 2022 following the intervention of Councillor Wayne Smith and for which the Society is very grateful to him.
Friday 25th February 2022
Planning Application 220458
An outline planning application for the proposed development of 200 houses has just been received.
'Outline application for the proposed development of approximately 200 homes, open space, pedestrian and cycle links, recreational facilities (Use Class E) and other associated infrastructure and primary vehicular access via the existing Lodge Road gated access with required improvements (all matters reserved except for access)'.
HVS Statement - 19 October 2021
Over the last two weeks local residents have had the opportunity to visit two public exhibitions held by Mactaggart & Mickel to display what in their words were “the revised proposals” following feedback from “the online consultation on their initial proposals held over the summer”. Whether or not you chose to attend, what members of the HVS Committee thought was a very lack lustre exhibition, and in many instances lacking in important accurate factual information, matters not, as what has become clear is the developer’s intended timetable for the next few months;
October/November 2021 : Review of feedback from public exhibition; Preparation of outline planning application
2021/2022 : Application Submission. The application will be in outline form with all matters reserved except for access.
The HVS Committee is determined to maximise the time available to prepare a robust objection to any subsequent application and has therefore formally resolved;
“ That based on Mactaggart and Mickel’s current proposals, Hurst Village Society should register the strongest possible objection to Wokingham Borough Council (The Planning Authority) as and when any planning application is received and in the meantime should use all it’s efforts in preparing that submission and that the Society do all that it can to encourage and galvanise public support for this approach within the local community”
We are now working on such matters as what we perceive are likely to be the major flaws in the application; what the likely strategy for implementation, and arguments in favour of the application will be put forward by the developers (so that these can be countered); early engagement with the relevant Statutory Bodies eg Thames Water, Environment Agency, Natural England. This list is by no means exhaustive and we can’t stress how important we think the engagement of the whole community acting together in unison will be.
Once any outline application has been received HVS will examine in detail all the documentation included and by means of a leaflet drop bring to your attention those important material planning considerations that you may choose to use as part of your individual objection.
In the meantime WATCH THIS SPACE for further updates and if in the meantime you want to share your concerns on these proposals or discuss any other issues associated with this matter please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
8 October 2021
Letter from Theresa May to WBC - 5 October 21
Following communication between HVS and the office of our MP, Theresa May. Mrs May wrote to WBC.
In this letter Theresa May wrote:
'My constituents are concerned that the current development plans will have a disproportionate impact on the village and its residents. The current proposals would see 300 more homes in a village of roughly two-thousand people, which could culminate in a population increase of 34%'
'The impacts of large developments on small communities need to be reviewed closely and any development should enhance the existing community'
Statement by Jo Newbold, HVS Chairman regarding the Public Exhibition of Revised Proposals - 4 Oct 2021
I really hope you are able to find the time to visit the above exhibition and if you are in two minds as to whether to go or not, I would strongly encourage you to do so as it is only if we are all familiar with the proposals that we can make sure we act as one in raising issues in any subsequent planning application process. Please let the society have any comments you may have on Mactaggart & Mickel’s revised proposals by emailing us on email@example.com Members of the Committee will of course be visiting the Exhibition and again if there are any questions you may have as to any aspect of the revised proposals or indeed the statutory planning process do not hesitate to contact us directly and we will do our best to answer them.
Public Exhibition of Revised Proposals
The developers, Mactaggart & Mickel have announced that a public exhibition will take place to display their revised proposals in the Hurst Village Hall between 3.30pm & 7.30pm on:
- Thursday 7 October, and
- Thursday 14 October
View their website for more details. Click here to view the letter sent to Hurst residents.
Screening Opinion Update - 23 Sep 2021
WBC have determined under delegated powers that the proposal would not require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
For more details of the rationale behind this decision and explanation of why the decision was made apparently prior to the end of the consultation period click here.
HVS Letter to WBC regarding Application for Adoption of Screening Opinion - will it be a Planning Officer or Elected Member Decision - 20 Sep 21
Update - 13th September 2021 re EIA Planning Proposal (212986)
“Screening Opinion application for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a proposed development of up to 300 homes, open space, pedestrian and cycle links and other associated infrastructure and primary vehicular access via the existing Lodge Road gated access with required improvements.”
This application takes the form of a report prepared by planning consultants on behalf of Mactaggart and Mickel Homes, England, (see below for link to report) and asks Wokingham Borough Council (WBC), in their role as The Planning Authority, for a formal “screening opinion”, on the basis of the information included in the report, as to whether or not the proposed development constitutes an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Development. The EIA Regulations and associated legislation, as well as the supporting Planning Guidance (PPG) are category specific, and EIA development is defined as development which is; “likely to have significant effects on the environment by virtue of factors such as it’s nature, size or location”. If WBC considers this to be the case in terms of this proposed development then as the Planning Authority they can require a detailed Environmental Assessment to be prepared as part of any subsequent planning application.
Hurst Village Society whilst accepting the complex nature of this decision, to be taken by WBC in accord with the EIA Regulations, and PPG, referred to above, will nevertheless, like many other residents in the Village, await that decision with great interest as it will undoubtedly influence our future involvement in any ongoing consideration of these development proposals.
As usual any comments on this matter, from individual members of the Society, or any other local residents are always welcome. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
EIA Screening Report (3 September)
WBC Planning Reference 212986
Consultation Period 3-26 September 21
HVS Letter to Mactaggart & Mickel - 14th August 2021
HVS Letter to Theresa May - 13th August 2021
HVS Update - 4th August 2021
HVS have been pulling together an Action Plan for when the Planning Application goes into WBC as well as for the Broadcommon Road application. We are also deciding what can be done in advance of the Planning Applications. We are always happy to hear from residents with their views and suggestions so please feel free to email me: email@example.com. I have also been onto the Mactaggart & Mickel website and you can now give feedback right at the bottom of the page without giving any other details or filling in any other part of the form. So I would encourage residents to do this and say they do not support the proposals presented and will object in the strongest terms to any future development of this nature. I believe they then cannot say that they have had no opposition to the proposed plan so far!! We are constantly updating our website so please do visit us at hvs.org.uk. HVS believe that if we all pull together we can fight this planning application as well as the Broadcommon Road one, but only if we all pull together. Thanks. Jo Newbold, Chairman of Hurst Village Society.
HVS Update – 28th July 2021
Some members have expressed a reluctance to take part in the consultation process as they are concerned that to do so would imply support for the M&M proposals. A simple solution to this conundrum is to print WITHOUT PREJUDICE on completed forms/any feedback given.
At the moment it is difficult to answer the M&M ‘simple’ questions on what appear very speculative proposals, in particular:
"up to 300 homes" (there is no indication of the location of houses/size of gardens etc in the plans)
a single vehicular access off Lodge Road ( the estimated vehicle movements are very optimistic);
grandiose ideas of public open space (without any mention of who is responsible for paying for the ongoing maintenance of this land, who would own this land and would there be any covenants limiting it's future use" );
an emphasis on the "benefits" of a pedestrian link between Lodge Road and Tape Lane etc. etc.
HVS would find it very useful to hear your views, so that we can take account of all your comments before responding on behalf of the Society.
Do please feel free to email your comments, or a copy of your feedback form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are having difficulty downloading the M&M feedback document. HVS has some paper copies so please email email@example.com if you would like us to get one to you.
A letter was received by Hurst residents from MacTaggart & Mickel ('M&M'), dated 12 July 2021 titled 'Invitation to view initial proposals for new homes and public open space on land to the east of Lodge Road, Hurst'
M&M are undertaking a month long consultation regarding proposed new hones and public space.
From midday, Friday 16 July, a new website will go live : www.landeastoflodgeroad.co.uk which will display initial proposals and an online feedback form. Feedback deadline midday 16 August.
The two pages of the letter are available via the links below:
- Page 2 - Map of Area (see below)
Comment from John Osborne, Hurst Village Society 15 July 2021
For those members of the Society or indeed any other local resident who does not have access to a computer, I am obtaining some paper copies of the proposals which I can distribute if you contact me.
Comment from Jo Newbold, Chairman HVS - 13 July 2021
On behalf of the Hurst Village Society please accept my assurance that we will be fully engaged in the online consultation by Mactaggart & Mickel regarding their initial proposals for new homes and public open space on the above site. During this process we will be pleased to discuss any particular aspect of the proposals with any member of the Society, or any other interested individual or group within the community, see our website for all email addresses. Please note, their initial proposals will be available to view at: www.landeastoflodgeroad.co.uk from midday on Friday 16th July and feedback should be submitted by midday on Monday 16th August.
Post from the Chairman of Hurst Parish Council, Cllr Wayne Smith on the Hurst Residents Facebook Page on 10 July 2021
Land between Lodge Road & Tape Lane Consultation
Hurst Residents for your Information, I have no other details at this stage. Will endeavour to meet the group next week to understand the proposals.
Details of Email received as your Councillor from Land promoter as follows.....
Mactaggart & Mickel will begin an online consultation next Friday about their initial proposals for new homes and public open space on the land east of Lodge Road.
Early next week, they be posting a letter first-class to all addresses in St. Nicholas Hurst parish and all addresses in Twyford south of the railway line, informing them that the initial proposals will be available to view at www.landeastoflodgeroad.co.uk from midday on Friday 16th July. The website will have an in-built feedback form that residents can submit with the click of a button, and they are requesting that their feedback be submitted within a month, by midday on Monday 16th August. Their contact details will be on the letter so any residents without computer access can contact them to request paper copies, which they will arrange. They are holding an online consultation for this first stage due to the ongoing concerns about COVID; however their intention is to revise the proposals once the online consultation closes in mid-August, and then go back to residents with the revised proposals in September, hopefully via an in-person event in the village if the COVID situation permits. While they do not expect residents to support these proposals, they do hope you will nonetheless engage with the consultation and suggest how the proposals could be improved, and under no circumstances would your input be used to imply support for the proposals.