The South Wokingham location will see around 2,500 new homes in total, with some 650 north of the railway and about 1,850 to the south.
The part of the development north of the railway has been developed by David Wilson Homes and Barratt Homes as
Montague Park. The first children's play area opened in September 2016. The project, with some 630 houses and a
primary school, was completed by 2022.
The consortium of developers for the South Wokingham Strategic Development Location south of the
Reading-Waterloo railway line held two exhibitions of their plans for that area on Saturday 3 November and Thursday
8 November 2018. The development is intended to include 1600 dwellings, a primary school, a local centre and
natural green space. The consortium submitted three composite planning applications in May 2019 and the Society’s
Executive Committee submitted a response which can be seen here.
The consortium subsequently provided a revised application in August 2020, saying: “During the application process, we have engaged with the relevant consultees to address any concerns raised. Comments and further information now available, have resulted in changes to the masterplan following the reconfiguration of the location of the primary school and local centre to accommodate the drainage requests. Further, the detailed design of the Holme Park SANG has been refined. As a result of the detailed review of the illustrative layout, the number of dwellings that can be achieved on site has reduced …from 1,495 to 1,434 dwellings”.
The Society’s Executive Committee submitted a response that can be seen here.
The Planning Committee on 18 May 2021 approved the three consortium applications.
Charles Church Developments has been consulting separately since 2019 about an area in the western part of the
Development Location, north of Lucas Hospital. It was initially contemplating about 250 homes but its planning
application in March 2020 reduced this number to 190. Revised applications in July and September 2020 lowered this
total still further to 171.
The Society’s Committee’s response to the latest applications is shown here. The application was approved in March 2022 but work is yet to commence.
In 2018 Beaulieu Homes submitted plans to build 81 dwellings on land west of St Anne’s Drive, off the London
Road. There was no public consultation prior to its application, which was rejected primarily on grounds of
over-development. Beaulieu submitted a revised application for 54 homes on the site, The Committee’s response can
be seen here.
At its meeting in December 2021 the Borough Council’s Planning Committee rejected the revised application on the
grounds that the development failed to demonstrate how it would maintain the separation between Wokingham and
Bracknell and prevent harm to the visual amenities of the local area.
The developers appealed against the rejection and the Planning inspector upheld that appeal in December 2022. Work has yet to begin on site.
In the Summer of 2014 Wokingham Borough Council held a consultation about the preferred route of the South Wokingham Distributor Road (SWDR).
A feasibility study looked at three possible routes for the road (a route to the north close to the Waterloo
railway line, a route through the centre of the developments and a route in the south of the development area).
This study has identified the central route as the technically deliverable route and also identified a need for
improvements to the Peacock Lane link to Jennetts Park. Over 80% of replies, including that from the Society’s
Executive Committee, supported this route, but with a variation (called option B1) as the road approaches the
Finchampstead Road that had been urged by a number of local residents.
The Council agreed to proceed with the chosen route, subject to analysing the technical feasibility of the B1 option.
In September 2015 the Council announced that it and Network Rail had agreed early delivery of what it called the Eastern Gateway element of the SWDR. This secured funding to provide the bridge over the railway from Montague Park and continue the SWDR as far as Waterloo Road. Because that new connection would allow traffic to use alternative routes, the Waterloo Road railway crossing could then be closed as planned.
Detailed arrangements for delivery of the Eastern Gateway section were made available for public comment in July 2017, followed by a planning application in the Autumn, which was approved in February 2019. Wok on the Gateway was completed in December. 2022
Design work was also undertaken for the central (Spine) and Western Gateway/junction with Finchampstead Road/Molly Millars Lane sections of the SWDR. This was subject to drop-in sessions and a subsequent planning applications.
A separate application for the Western Gateway between the SWDR junction with the Finchampstead Road and Molly Millars Lane, necessitating the demolition of two houses and providing an offset roundabout, was also submitted in December 2020. It was decided not to replace the railway bridge carrying the Reading-Waterloo line, the use of this part of the road by HGVs having considerably reduced and the cost of that work being prohibitive. The Executive Committee’s response, which shared the concern of many submissions about the loss of the signalised crossing to the south of the roundabout, can be seen here).
A separate application for the Western Gateway between the SWDR junction with the Finchampstead Road and Molly Millars Lane, necessitating the demolition of two houses and providing an offset roundabout, was also submitted in December 2020. It was decided not to replace the railway bridge carrying the Reading-Waterloo line, the use of this part of the road by HGVs having considerably reduced and the cost of that work being prohibitive. The Executive Committee’s response, which shared the concern of many submissions about the loss of the signalised crossing to the south of the roundabout, can be seen here.
The Planning Committee on 18 May 2021 approved both applications. In respect of the Western Gateway, a condition was added at the meeting requiring the provision of a signalised crossing south of the roundabout and an informative was included that lines of sight be ensured on the southern arm of the roundabout following the late decision not to include a crossing at that point.
Apart from demolition of the two houses on the Finchampstead Road/Molly Millars Lane roundabout, no road works have yet commenced.