Reading West MP, Alok Sharma, joined a party organised by the Save the Bath Road Reservoir campaign group to celebrate the rejection of Thames Water’s plans to overdevelop the Bath Road Reservoir site. The event took place at the Foresters Arms on Brunswick Street on Saturday 5th February. Activities and entertainments were laid on for all age groups, with a children’s disco and games, followed by live music from ‘The Newtowners’, a buffet and a raffle with prizes sponsored by local businesses.
The party was organised to celebrate the Planning Inspector’s decision to reject both of Thames Water’s appeals with respect to the application to develop the Bath Road Reservoir site. The Inspector, whose decision was announced on 14th January, concluded that the benefits of the proposed development would not “outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the site and the wider area” and hence she dismissed Thames Water’s appeals.
Speaking after the event, Alok said: “It was great to get together to celebrate the success of the Save the Bath Road Reservoir campaign in preventing this inappropriate scheme from going ahead. The next step in this process is for Thames Water, if it still wishes to develop this site, to engage proactively with the local community and the campaign group to reach a mutually satisfactory plan for the site. I look forward to continuing to work with the campaign group and Thames Water to achieve a solution which makes sense for the local community.”
Mel Woodward, of the Save the Bath Road Reservoir campaign group, added: “We were delighted that Alok was able to join our celebration. Clearly, we were pleased with the Planning Inspector’s rejection of Thames Water’s appeals. However, we are not opposed to redevelopment of the site as long as it fits in with the character of the local area. We are keen to work together with Thames Water, rather than fighting it, in order to come up with an acceptable proposal for this site.”
Photo: Alok Sharma with Mel Woodward at the Save the Bath Road Reservoir Celebration