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Main points from AG-RAG:

Phasing of development

WBC have always said the Arborfield SDL is not viable unless all of the proposed

infrastructure can be guaranteed.

developers building 749 houses on green field land, and then the same developers arguing that there is not the demand or funding for any more houses, in order to avoid building the by- pass? It is imperative not to allow any green field development to start until the MOD has vacated the land ‘behind the wire’ or at least the substantial part of it.

How will WBC protect against the potential situation of

Development should only be started on brownfield land ‘behind the wire’. If the supermarket for the district centre is in the first phase of building then this should be located on brownfield too. There is no natural centre to the development, as is the case in other SDLs, so there will be no strong argument for it to be placed on green fields.

Starting the development on the MOD land behind the wire will show a clear commitment that the army are actually going to vacate the land. There is a substantial amount of vacant land behind the wire that should be made available.

This is a very important point for existing residents and will minimise disruption and have the least impact at the early stages of the SDL development.

Area B


particularly sensitive part of the development is the building that is planned to occur closest


the existing residences. The trees should be retained in all parts of Area B. The field that

forms the boundary to Tyler Drive, Barker Close and Sheerlands Road should not be built on and safe-guarded from future development by changing the ownership to Arborfield and Newlands Parish Council. Canvassing neighbours, who will be immediately affected by

housing on the adjacent field, has drawn a unanimous response that they don’t want houses on the field behind their houses.

There are two proposals, in order of preference:


The proposed SANG in the southern part of the SDL should be divided so part of it remains on the southern boundary to retain a gap with Finchampstead and the remaining part is relocated to Area B and the field that abuts the existing residential area described above.


At the very least a substantial boundary of a minimum of 100m should be established to provide a permanent green gap between existing and any future development. We suggest you contact Farley Farms to take advice on designing the boundary that could provide a good quality and fast growing boundary that would enhance the environment and help mitigate the loss of green fields and also act as screening of noise and view of the new houses.

Any SANG or green gap must have a change of ownership and become the responsibility of the local parish council in order to future proof it against further development and not become subject to costly planning application appeals.

All or Nothing

Of major concern is the infrastructure document (Infrastructure Delivery and Contributions SPD for the SDLs), that is clearly incomplete, may be adopted before all the costs have been fully analysed. WBC have repeatedly stated that the provision of the infrastructure is ‘all or nothing’. Our analysis of the infrastructure costings provided in the consultation documents is as follows:

Infrastructure costs

£ M

Extension of Nine Mile Ride


additional costs

Segregated bus and cycle route along Langley Common Rd


additional costs

Upgrade to Park Lane


Relief Road (by-pass)


Arborfield's contribution - total cost is 9M

Contribution to Shinfield Relief Rd


Bus interchange/bus corridor (per corridor)


Safe crossings (cycle/pedestrian)


2 primary schools


Relocation of secondary school


Multiuse community centre




Sports facilities


plus £260 per dwelling



Open Space


Public rights of way


Sewage Treatment Works



The minimum cost for all the infrastructure is £81M. Within the document there are lots of places where it says developer funded and no indication of what the cost would be. For instance off-site highways works related to the provision of the necessary transport


affordable house is £81m / 2275 = £35,600. Plus the yet to be costed elements, so we can

see how the figure could easily be £40-£50k per house.

If you exclude the affordable houses (35% of 3500 = 1225), the cost per non

There mustn’t be any compromise, so all the infrastructure needs to be costed and accounted for by the developers without increasing the density and quantity of houses or reducing the build quality in the development.

Traffic in general

How can the SDL be adopted when the traffic survey results are not yet available? Any development in Arborfield will result in a massive increase in traffic on all the surrounding routes. A comprehensive strategic approach to roads and public transport is required with funding fully guaranteed in advance of any development to ensure that no area around Arborfield and Wokingham is adversely affected. The by-pass will be mandatory for a development of this scale yet no route has been decided so the costs may easily escalate beyond the budgeted £9M.

Eversley residents have conducted their own sample traffic survey and are extremely concerned that there are no mitigating measures within the SDL documents to remedy the horrendous traffic issues any development in Arborfield would cause.

Gap between Finchampstead and SDL and Nine Mile Ride Traffic

The gap between Finchampstead and the proposed Arborfield Garrison SDL will now be minimal and there is no mention of how the increase in traffic along Nine Mile Ride will be managed particularly at the pinch point of the California crossroads. The plans to significantly increase the size of Hogwood Industrial Estate can only exacerbate the traffic congestion. What measures have been planned to mitigate the extra traffic that will be generated on Nine Mile Ride and at California crossroads?

Multiple Planning Applications

WBC have repeatedly said that any PA(s) must show how they will address ALL the infrastructure requirements in their entirety. So multi PAs should therefore either not be accepted or should be submitted together so that they can, combined, clearly demonstrate how they will have an over arching infrastructure delivery plan.

Secondary school

As the WoW free school, on the Ryeish Green school site, looks likely to be approved, there are now other better options for provision of secondary school places rather than a new secondary school in Arborfield. We appreciate that the free school programme did not exist when the SDL plans were first drawn up but now there is a viable alternative to a school at Arborfield. We see this is an opportunity for cost-saving to the tax payer and for having one fewer destination for external traffic to the development helping to mitigate congestion at peak times.

Bus Route and Non-traffic areas

There should be no opening of Whitehall Drive or Sheerlands Road cul de sac in front of Gerring Road. The residents here have been canvassed and they are horrified that the road in front of their houses will have buses whisking down it, urbanising a country lane and leaving their children vulnerable to very large vehicles.

Why is it necessary to route buses onto quiet secondary residential roads when adequate primary routes are available and fit for purpose? Surely the aim is to encourage residents to walk and cycle on the local roads. Introducing very large vehicles at an increased frequency onto such roads is counter-productive.


The SANG location is too far from the residents to make access safe by walking. What is the point of having a SANG that residents would need to drive to in order to access it safely. On the current plans the residents would have to pass the supermarket which will be large and become a destination shop for residents outside of the area. The proposed SANG in the southern part of the SDL should be divided so part of it remains on the southern boundary to retain a gap with Finchampstead and the remaining part is relocated to Area B and the field that abuts the existing residential area described above in the Area B section.

Future proofing of all green areas retained in the SDL

We understand that developers are pretty much unstoppable when it comes to the planning application appeals process. With this in mind, how do WBC propose to protect the playing fields and other open spaces (SANGs) from future development?