Land to East of Lodge Road (Tape Lane), Hurst

Planning Application 220458 

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

Dear John,


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.


Yours sincerely


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

HVS letter of objection to WBC 

View Guidelines for Objecting to 200 Houses in Hurst

View Save Hurst Facebook Page

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

Letter from Theresa May to WBC

Thursday 3 March 2022


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 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.

HVS Letter to Theresa May - 1 March 2022

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                     

8 October 2021

Revised Proposals presented by Mactaggart & Mickel at the Public Exhibition are now available on their website, they can also be downloaded here.

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  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

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: 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 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   

If you are having difficulty downloading the M&M feedback document.  HVS has some paper copies so please email 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 : 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 1 -  Letter

- 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: 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 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.