General Concerns About Extra Housing in Theale

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Section 4.35 of West Berkshire’s Core Strategy says:

Theale will remain a vibrant village which maintains a distinct identity and sense of community.The Lakeside development has planning permission to provide 350 homes in a range of different sizes and types, which would become a well integrated part of the Theale community. If this development goes ahead, Theale would need to undergo a period of consolidation to provide an opportunity for facilities and services to be upgraded.

The Lakeside development is still likely to go ahead and the “period of consolidation” should mean that no major development should take place at this stage.

Services, such as the GP surgery, are already over-stretched and will have difficulty coping with the increase in population from existing consented developments, let alone that that would be imposed by development of any of the “preferred option” sites

Theale Church of England Primary School is currently fully subscribed by children from its catchment area in Theale. There is currently a project to expand it to 1.5 form entry, with a possibility to expand it further to 2 form entry to cater for the South Lakeside development. It is difficult to see how it could be further expanded to cater for the extra children from any of the proposed sites.

Berkshire Fire and Rescue cannot guarantee that its target response times can be met for Theale at all times. Development of any of the “preferred option” sites would put more people at risk

Additional housing, over and above that already permitted or planned, would seriously affect the village character of Theale.

The Council has not done enough to identify brownfield land than could be used for housing and too many greenfield sites have been allocated as a result.

The consultation has now closed, but please come back to see what is happening about the sites.

I have sent in this list of comments on the introductory section on Theale.

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