Major housing plans approved on Berkshire garrison site

Plans have been approved for 1,500 homes on an army garrison site in Berkshire after planners concluded that the development is in line with national and local planning policy and would help meet local housing need.

Land close to the Arborfield Garrison site near Wokingham (pic Richard Peat via Flickr)
Land close to the Arborfield Garrison site near Wokingham (pic Richard Peat via Flickr)

Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee granted consent on Wednesday for 1,500 homes at Hogwood Farm, part of the Arborfield Garrison strategic development location (SDL) near Wokingham.

The application, submitted by landowners the Marino family, forms the southern part of the SDL. As well as the new homes, the proposal cpvers road and transport improvements, employment space, a neighbourhood centre, a primary school, new sports pitches and open space.

The planning officer’s report on the scheme recommended approval, highlighting the benefits it would bring to the borough, including a mix of homes which it said accorded with national planning policy on social cohesion.

It said the development would "contribute significantly" towards addressing Wokingham’s identified housing needs and demand, as well as helping to create around 250 new jobs and delivering other infrastructure benefits.

The application received 187 objections, including from residents with concerns over the impact of extra traffic. But the report said the development would not harm the amenity of existing residents, nor would it have an unacceptable impact on the area's landscape or character or the significance of heritage assets. 

It added that the development would integrate well with the remainder of Arborfield Garrison, "to help shape the SDL into a single, coherent place".

"In summary, this is a sustainable development that would deliver substantial public benefit and contribute significantly towards Wokingham’s planned growth," the report stated.

The wider Arborfield Garrison SDL is a major plan-led new community intended to provide 3,000 homes as part of a mixed-use new community. The location is one of four SDLs in the borough’s core strategy planning document, which together are expected to deliver around 10,000 new homes. Permission for the northern part of the Arborfield Garrison SDL was granted earlier in the year.

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