Local residents overwhelmingly reject plans to develop Pincents Hill site - Survey results

Alok Sharma, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Reading West, and local Councillors Joe Mooney, Emma Webster and Tony Linden held a public meeting on 3 November regarding developer Blue Living’s intention to submit a planning application early in 2009 to build 700-900 homes at the Pincents Hill site in Tilehurst.

Following the meeting Alok Sharma and the Councillors circulated a Local Residents’ Survey regarding the proposed Blue Living development across Tilehurst, Calcot and Theale.

896 local residents returned the survey with many residents also submitting detailed comments on the proposed development including the likely impact on traffic flows, the impact on local public services such as schools and doctors’ surgeries, the impact on the environment and wildlife and the potential loss of a valuable green space.

The key findings of the survey were as follows:
 

  • 87% of respondents felt that the Government’s housing target of a minimum of 10,500 homes between 2006-2026 for West Berkshire was not reasonable nor acceptable to existing local residents
  • A massive 85% of respondents want NO development at all on the Pincents Hill Site
  • 96% of the respondents are concerned about the impact of traffic from any development
  • 87% are concerned about the loss of a green space
  • 86% are concerned about the pressure on local public services such as education
  • 82% are worried about the impact of development on the environment and wildlife

The results of the survey are being circulated to local residents.

Commenting on the results Alok Sharma said: “The message from the vast majority of local residents could not be clearer – they do not want any development at all on the Pincents Hill site. There would clearly be significant traffic issues if any development was allowed to go ahead and the pressure on local schools and doctors would be enormous. These issues coupled with the obvious detrimental impact on the environment and the loss of a value green space make any development on this site a non-starter. Local councillors and I are in a regular dialogue with the planners and decision makers at West Berkshire Council and have made plain our opposition to any development on Pincents Hill. Quite frankly local people are fed up with unsustainable development and unrealistic housing targets being dumped on us from central Government – I expect Gordon Brown will not be happy until the whole of the South East has been concreted over!”

Councillor Joe Mooney who led opposition to similar proposals in the past, commented: “Some years ago, together with local residents, we fought off a smaller development proposed by Charles Church. Nothing has changed since then and the reasons that development was rejected are still valid today. I know local residents feel very strongly about this issue and this was clear both from the public meeting we held and also comments on the survey – I want to assure everyone that together we will fight any development all the way.”

Councillor Emma Webster added: “I very much hope that Pincents Hill is not included as a preferred site in West Berkshire’s Local Development Framework plans (LDF) and the feedback from 896 local people clearly demonstrates the strong level of local feeling about this issue. The battle to save the Pincents Hill site from development is one which we must win.”

Councillor Tony Linden said: “Some of our residents feel that the Blue Living proposal is a done deal and will go ahead. Can I make it clear that it is not a done deal. The council has yet to receive a planning application from Blue Living and when an application is received we will fight hard, together with our local residents, to get the application turned down, as we did with the Charles Church application in the mid ninety eighties, which some local residents at the time also thought was inevitable."

Pincents Hill Survey Results