Council scraps 15,000-home Grazeley development plan in favour of new sites near Shinfield, Arborfield and Sindlesham

The Ministry of Defence objected to development in the village due to concerns about the AWE Burghfield emergency planning zone Picture: Phil Creighton

WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL is considering two different areas of the borough to develop, after plans for a 15,000-home garden town in Grazeley were scrapped.

Instead, it says it is looking at the area south of the M4 corridor between the villages of Shinfield, Arborfield and Sindlesham and an area of land within the existing south Wokingham major development.

It comes as the Ministry of Defence objected to the plans, due to the expansion of the Emergency Planning Zone For AWE Burghfield. 

Last week, a High Court judge ruled against a developers consortium challenging the expansion of the emergency planning zone —meaning Grazeley is off the table.

Cllr Wayne Smith, executive member for planning and enforcement said: “The High Court decision reaffirms our need to look at other locations within the borough to meet our future housing and employment needs.”

Now, the borough council is master planning to test the potential for each site.

The new areas will be considered alongside others across the borough, to inform the future direction of the local plan. Consultation on a revised local plan is expected later this year.

The process will include a detailed look at the highways connections, as well as the environmental and flooding impacts. Infrastructure such as schools, community centres, parks and open spaces and sports facilities will also be considered.

The council said it will work with landowners, key stakeholders and the public to explore possibilities in the coming months.

Cllr Smith added: “The master planning process will allow us to look at the possibilities for the two sites and we will engage with residents as part of that process. 

“We expect to have a revised draft local plan later this year. And of course residents will have the opportunity to tell us what they think.”

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