Cleared Lower Earley woodland could become 40 homes and a supermarket – digital consultation to be launched

A CGI of the proposed Lidl store that could become part of a development mooted for Swallows Meadow

PLANS for a new supermarket and housing estate in Lower Earley have been revealed – and the developers want to hear residents’ views.

Lower Earley Properties said it wants to build a Lidl foodstore and 40 new homes on Swallows Meadow, off Meldreth Way.

In November last year, the developer cleared the woodland area, which backs onto Lower Earley Way, in preparation for future development. It purchased the site last year.

Now, it has announced a multi-million pound project to develop the land, and has launched a digital consultation to get residents’ feedback.

Lower Earley Properties is proposing to build a Lidl supermarket on the site, which could include an instore bakery and car park with electric vehicle charging points.

The developer says the site would be landscaped “to ensure the foodstore is properly screened from neighbouring properties”.

It is also proposing a housing estate comprising 40 new homes, which would be a mixture of affordable and shared ownership one- to four-bed houses.

This would include new pedestrian and cycle links to connect the site with existing services and facilities.

Lower Earley Properties says that if the plans are approved, it would “improve retail choice for shoppers and create hundreds of new jobs” as well as generate one million pounds in business rates receipts over the next decade.

Andy Jansons, managing director of parent company Jansons Property, says he is delighted to announce the proposed development.

“Given the difficulties of 2020, we think our plans will provide a real boost to the local economy, while helping those who are struggling to either pay rent or buy in the local area,” he said.

“We look forward to engaging with the local community and stakeholders, before submitting a planning application in the coming months.”

Earley Town Council leader Cllr Clive Jones was one of those who took part in the protest against clearing the woodland.

“We shall look at the details, but the developers can expect an awful lot of local opposition,” he said.

“Earley Town Council is looking at designating it as green space, it is already designated as countryside by Wokingham Borough Council.

“The vast majority of residents do not want this area built on.”

He added: “There is evidence that there is lots of wildlife there, including badgers, a protected species.

“Myself and other borough councillors will oppose it.”

As part of the digital consultation, a Virtual Village Hall event will take place on Thursday, January 28, where residents will be able to view the plans, ask questions and provide feedback.

Those interested can register to attend from Friday, January 15 here: lowerearleyplans.co.uk

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