Articles:

GLRA response for plans to make Langborough Road one-way

15 Sep 17

The GLRA worked with the Town and Borough Council on the plans to make Langborough Road one-way during the Broad Street closure - see the summary here.



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GLRA Response to the Carnival Pool Consultation

11 Sep 17

The GLRA responded to the consultation on the next phase of the Carnival Pool consultation - see the document here.



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Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration, 22 August 17

05 Sep 17

GLRA committee members met members of the WBC Regeneration team on 22.08.17 as part of their ongoing discussion of the Regeneration project. The Regeneration team reported that all project phases completed or in progress to date were on time and to budget.

We discussed the changes in the economic position and outlook and their potential impact on the project. The Regeneration team view was as follows:

We agreed to meet again in early 2018.



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GLRA/Wescott Ward Councillors Meeting, 16 August 17

29 Aug 17

This meeting was between members of the GLRA Committee and the Wokingham BC Councillors for Wescott Ward: Julian McGhee-Sumner (executive Member for Adult Services, Health, Wellbeing & Housing) and Oliver Whittle (Executive Member for Finance, 21st Century Council, Internal Services & HR).

We discussed the following:

We agreed that a continuation in regular dialogue was desirable and to arrange another meeting in 3 months.



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2017 AGM Minutes Added

29 Jun 17

The site now contains the AGM minutes from 2017 AGM, in addition to all previous minutes from 2008 - see the Minutes section.

The page also contains the presentations used and presented by the AGM committee and that by Andy Couldrick, Cheif Executive of Wokingham Borough Council.



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Summary of GLRA meetings with the Regeneration Team 2013 - 2016

02 Jan 17

A summary of our five meetings with the Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration Team and GLRA recommendations for 2017 and beyond.

The summary can be found here (opens in new window).



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New WBC housing targets soundness

20 Nov 16

GLRA briefing on the background to the new target of 856 houses per year that may be adopted in the new Local Plan 2016 - 2036.

The briefing can be found here (opens in new window).



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Why GLRA should support the Grazeley Settlement plan

20 Nov 16

A recommendation that GLRA should support Wokingham BC in its proposal to participate in the establishment of a Garden Settlement.

The summary can be found here (opens in new window).



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Notes on meeting with the Regeneration Team

18 Nov 16

A meeting which mainly focused on the creation and delivery of an effective letting strategy for the new retail units in Peach Place and Elms Field

The notes can be found here (opens in new window).



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AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Letter from WBC Cllr. Mark Ashwell responding to GLRA concerns

19 Sep 16

Mark Ashwell's response outlines WBC plan to complete 1,000 affordable homes in the 3 years 2016 - 2019. See here (opens in new window) for his letter to the GLRA.



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Q&A Responses from the GLRA 2016 AGM

06 Sep 16

The GLRA committee has collected the offline Q&A responses for questions raised at the AGM - see here (opens in new window).

This includes questions on subjects:  



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Letter to WBC - Wokingham BC Affordable Housing Plan - Delivery Record Impacts Credibility

12 Aug 16

GLRA wrote to Councillor Mark Ashwell re: the Wokingham BC Affordable Housing Plan and its poor delivery record over the years - see here (opens in new window).



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Letter to WBC - Waterloo Road Level Crossing, re: Date of Closure

12 Aug 16

GLRA wrote to Councillor Malcolm Richards re: the Waterloo Road Level Crossing and its date of closure - see here (opens in new window).



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2016 AGM Minutes Added

30 Jun 16

The site now contains the AGM minutes from 2016 AGM, in addition to all previous minutes from 2008 - see the Minutes section



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Elms Field Planning Permission Granted

01 Apr 16

WBC planning committee approved the application for the Elms Field redevelopment at a planning meeting on the 31st

The Wokingham Society website response can be found here (opens in new window) or access their website directly here (also opens in a new window). Their letter to WBC can be found here (again, in a new window).



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GLRA Response to the Elms Field Planning Consultation Response

28 Mar 16

GLRA has responded to WBC's letter regarding the planning committee meeting on the 30th March 2016. This response was provided as a letter to Emy Circuit and forwarded to the EBC planning commitee.

The response can be found here (opens in new window).



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Prue Bay comment on Elms Field building work

25 Feb 16

Prue Bay, Liberal Democrat councillor and supporter of the 'Keep Elms Field Green' campaign, has commented on forthcoming building work on Elms Field tennis courts. Her comment is as follows:

If you see work going on next week to cut down 3-4 trees on the boundary between The Paddocks car park and Elms Field, please do not panic! It isn't work starting on the development of Elms Field!

So what IS happening?

You may know that Network Rail and Southwest Trains have decided to turn the car park at Wokingham station into a multi-storey. Work is going to begin at the end of March. Lots of commuters will have nowhere to park for about 4 months.

A little bit after the end of March, the council will be closing the Carnival Pool car park to turn that into a multi-storey as well. Lots of people who use the pool will have nowhere to park for about 4 months. A large number of council staff pay for permits to park at Carnival Pool for work, and they will have nowhere to go either.

The council has already made arrangements to smarten up the Elms Road multi-storey to encourage people to park there, particularly council staff. They are also going to bring the old Wellington House car park into public use temporarily, to take people who would normally park at Carnival Pool. But that is not enough to accommodate everyone.

So, they are going to use the tennis courts on Elms Field as a temporary car park. The courts will be fenced off. Access will be from The Paddocks car park. Council staff who have permits to park in The Paddocks for work will park on the tennis courts instead, leaving The Paddocks for the displaced commuters.

This requires planning permission, which the council has now applied for. To get the access to the tennis courts from The Paddocks, they need to remove 3-4 trees. They cannot cut trees down during the nesting season, which starts in March. So they will cut the trees down next Monday.

I was briefed about this yesterday. I was assured that all of the affected trees are Category C, so not good quality. The council are extremely worried that people will think that cutting down the trees means building on Elms Field is starting. It isn't. They don't even have planning permission yet. The project is being run by the Hignways team. Building on Elms Field is being run by the Regeneration team, who are not involved with the temporary car park.

Using the tennis court area for car parking for the next few months is not ideal, but both the council and Network Rail/Southwest Trains seem determined to push ahead with building multi-storey car parks and closing surface car parks at roughly the same time, so parking capacity does need to be created somehow. In my opinion it is a better idea than putting grasscrete down on public open space and using that, which seemed to be the only other alternative.

If you have any questions about this, please do get in touch.

Best Wishes, Prue Bray



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GLRA Repsonse to Elms Field Planning Application

01 Feb 16

GLRA has respondedto WBC's planning application 153125 to redevelop Elms Field. The response can be found here (opens in new window).

Our submission makes some key recommendations for changes to the plan to develop Elms Field. In making our comments on the planning application, we recognise that the principle of developing Elms Field was resolved by Wokingham Borough Council several years ago.

In view of this fact, we have decided not to challenge this overall policy decision, which is unlikely to be reversed.



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How GLRA is engaging with the plan to develop Elms Field

17 Dec 15

Elms Field is the most complex of the four Wokingham Town regeneration schemes. It represents the most substantial investment by our local authority. It has caused the most controversy.

Since the schemes were approved in outline by the members of the Borough Council, we have not argued against the principle of redevelopment. We are focusing on the following aspects:

Members of the GLRA Committee will be studying and submitting our response to the full application.

Because of the significance of this development for the future of Wokingham, we would also encourage all residents to familiarise themselves with the plan and submit comments via any of the normal channels – hard copy and on line. This is your last chance to influence the plan.

The full Elms Field planning application 153125 was submitted on 30th November 2015. The extended consultation period ends on 31st January 2016.

You can see the full list of documents on the Wokingham Borough Council web site. Key documents are available for viewing in hard copy at the Council Offices in Shute End 08:30 – 17:00 Monday to Friday and Wokingham Library during opening hours.

The main source of information in Wokingham Borough Council is the planning case officer Emy Circuit on 0118-974-6479. There are also the usual Development Management facilities by telephone or on line.

However, if for some reason these do not work for you, please send an email to chairman@glra.org.uk and we will do what we can to help.

The full suite of planning application documents will be available to view on the council’s website by searching for planning application 153125. Also, for more information check out the Wokingham town centre regeneration Elms Field leaflet here (opens in new window).



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Planning submission for Elms field - information for GLRA residents

30 Nov 15

The planning application for Elm's field went in on Friday 27th November 2015. Some of you may already be aware of this. David Nash and I attended a stakeholders meeting where the information and details were shared with us.

The council has allowed a longer consultation period this time ending at the end of January. The committee plan to collate our views over this time so please feel free to send us your views and /or send them to the council direct. The more individual views the better.

Wokingham paper printed a summary of the plans which can be found here (opens in new window).

The full suite of planning application documents will be available to view on the council’s website at the beginning of December by searching for planning application 153125.



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GLRA Reports on Wokingham Regeneration Financial Plan

04 Aug 15

Robin Cops and David Nash - both members of the GLRA - attended a meeting on the 3rd July to understand further the financial plan projections for the regeneration. The previous meeting on this topic took place on 14th May 2014. The main focus was again on the management of public funds.

The report of the meeting can be found here (opens in new window).



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Philip Mirfin's presentation and report to the GLRA AGM

10 Jul 15

Philip Mirfin gave a presentations to the GLRA at the recent AGM on the town presentation.

The presentation can be found here (opens in new window).

The report on the presentation, compiled by David Nash, can be found here (opens in new window).



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GLRA response to the Conultation on the Elms Field Development

31 Mar 15

The GLRA has responded to the Wokingham Borough Council's consultation on the Elms Field redevelopment - see http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/news/index/march2015/elms-field-proposals/ (opens in a new window).

The response can be found here (opens in new window).



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Twitter

09 Mar 15

Not only are GLRA on Facebook, but we are also now on Twitter!



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GLRA response to the Carnival Leisure Hub Consultation

03 Mar 15

The GLRA has responded to the Wokingham Borough Council's consultation on the Carnival Leisure Hub.

The response can be found here (opens in new window).



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Facebook

10 Feb 15

GLRA now has a Facebook page!

follow me on facebook





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GLRA response to the Peach Place planning application

04 Feb 15

The GLRA has responded to the Wokingham Borough Council's Peach Place planning application. In summary, it was appreciated that the council planners have taken on board many of the comments made by residents in response to the previous application, but we still have concerns over the appearance of some of the proposal.

The response can be found here (opens in new window).



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Letter to Philip Mirfin, Strategic Risks for Wokingham Town Regeneration

13 Oct 14

The GLRA has responded to the Wokingham Borough Council's Retail Studies report from Nathan Lichfield and Partners (NLP), dated April 2014. The GLRA believes that for the council to base its regeneration plans on this report alone would be risky, so we have responded to the council to highlight our concerns.

The GLRA letter to Cllr Mirfin can be found here (opens in new window).



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South Wokingham Highway Study - Individual Responses Needed!

01 Aug 14

The Greater Langborough Residents Association (GLRA) has provided feedback to Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) on your behalf regarding the preferred route for the South Wokingham Distributor Road. In summary we support their proposal for the central route, but with Option B1. Please see the article posted here for more information on this repsonse.

In addition, it is important that you also share your views directly and are able to do so by either sending a letter or email to WBC.

Please be aware that several local residents have worked together and created an "Online petition" also supporting the Central Route but with Option B1. This enables you to read their flyer online and very quickly and easily submit a pre-prepared response via email to the WBC. All you need to do is add your contact details and optionally, the reason for your support of the "Central Route, Option B1". To view this online petition click on the following link: https://www.change.org/petitions/the-consultation-officer-swdr-southern-wokingham-distributor-road-vote-central-route-option-b1?recruiter=127113310&utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

The deadline for providing your response is 22nd August 2014!



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GLRA Repsonse to South Wokingham Highway Study

01 Aug 14

GLRA has responded to the Wokingham Borough Council request for feedback on the proposed options for routes of the South Wokingham Distribution Road, as requested by http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/transport/roads/southwokinghamdistributor/

The GLRA response can be found here (opens in new window).



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Chair's Report on the 2014 AGM

01 Jul 14

On the 23rd June, the GLRA had a very succesful AGM meeting held at the Salvation Hall in Sturges Road, where were we delighted to welcome Councillors Prue Bray and Phillip Mirfin to discuss the town centre generation. The councillors gave a short presentation on their proposals, and then answered questions from residents. Hopefully all felt it was an interesting and informative evening.

The GLRA Chair's report of this discussion can be found here (opens in new window).



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2013 AGM: Progress Report on North & South Wokingham SDLs and Road Connections

23 Jun 14

Our keynote speaker at the 2013 was Keith Baker, Wokingham BC Executive Councillor for Highways & Planning. Keith's presentation was an update on the progress of the traffic modelling and planning for new roads in the major housing developments on the town boundary. He described the stages completed and the planning work yet to be carried out.

His report can be found here (opens in new window).



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Wokingham BC issues study on the route of the South Wokingham Distributor Road

23 Jun 14

The South Wokingham Strategic Development Location (SDL) includes an important new road. It will join the Tesco roundabout in Finchampstead Road to a new railway bridge. This will join a section in Montague Park to London Road near Coppid Beech. The SDL will also contain 1,850 new houses south of the Waterloo railway line.

Wokingham BC has just issued a Highway Study report evaluating 3 main route options for the road. A period of Public Consultation runs for 8 weeks from 23 June to 22 August 2014. Static exhibitions will be at the Council Offices in Shute End and the Library. Council officers will man further exhibitions in the Market Square on Friday 27 June, Saturday 28 June, Friday 18 July and Saturday 19 July.

The study document can be found here (opens in new window).

The appendices for the document can be found on the WBC webiste here (opens in new window).



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Information to the Town Centre Regeneration Project from Cllr Philip Mirfin

12 Jun 14

Cllr Philip Mirfin has sent some information on the Town Centre Regeneration Project which might be of interest to the GLRA residents. The following documents would give a good background the project as it covers why WBC are regenerating, and what they are trying to achieve.

  • Town Centre Masterplan – This can be downloaded from the following link and represents the planning policy framework for what WBC are doing - see http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/planning/development/towncentre/masterplan/ (opens in new window)
  • Project Brief – This was the initial briefing document produced for the project which sets out the vision and key principles guiding the regeneration as well as more about the context of the SDL’s and some of the constraints/issues that need to be taken into account and addressed within the town. The brief can be found here (opens in new window).
  • WTCR July Consultation Q&As – These were compiled in response to the main questions emerging following the 2012 public consultation event feedback. Although a few of the responses relate specifically to the 2012 design iteration rather than to the submission scheme, many relate to general themes and remain applicable. The consulation Q&As can be found here (opens in new window).
  • Infographics on ‘Why we are Regenerating’ and ‘Why talking to you matters’ – These two infographics were produced for the public exhibitions in Market Place held in the run up to the submission of the planning application in 2013. The two infographics can be found here ('Why we are regenerating') and here ('Why talking to you matters'). Both open in a new window.
  • 

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    Treasury Report for 2013/14 AGM

    10 Jun 14

    The treasury report for 2013/14 has been created - see the Treasury section

    

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    Liberal Democrats - Alternative Town Centre Regeneration Proposal

    07 Jun 14

    Follow the link below to access a document that presents an alternative proposal by the Wokingham Borough Liberal Democrat Group for redevelopment of the Town Centre and Elms Field. Prue Bray has also created an accompanying regeneration information sheet that describes ideas for Elms Field, Peach Street, and what the Liberal Democreats believe should be the undepinning aims of the regeneration.

    The proposal presentation document can be found here (opens in new window).

    The Liberal Democrat Regeneration Information Sheet can be found here (opens in new window).

    

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    Elms Field and Peach Place Retail and Home Assessment, October 2013

    05 Jun 14

    Follow the link below to access Elms Field and Peach Place Retail and Home Assesment (from October 2013), prepared on behalf of Wokingham Borough Council and Wilson Bowden Developments Limited by GL Hearn.

    The assesment document can be found here (opens in new window).

    

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    LPA Retail Studies

    05 Jun 14

    Follow the link below to access both the initial Donaldson’s Retail Study (2007) and the NLP Retail Refresh (2010). It also has a link to a page which lists all the national and local planning policy framework documents relating to retail that might also be of interest to them.

    http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/planning/policy/retailandtowns/ (opens in new window).

    

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    Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration, Financial Plan Assumptions

    27 May 14

    Robin Cops and David Nash had a meeting with the Council on the 14th May to understand further the financial plan assumptions for the Regeneration, particularly following the GLRA meeting of the 13th December (see the news article here). The main focus was on the management of risk to public funds especially following the withdrawal of Sainsbury as a potential supermarket tenant.

    The minutes of the meeting can be found here (opens in new window).

    

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    Minutes of Committee Meeting, held 6th February 2014

    11 Feb 14

    There was a meeting of the GLRA committee on the 6th Feb 2014 at the Salvation Army Hall. The minutes for the meeting can be found here (opens in new window).

    

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    Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration – Financial Plan Report

    10 Jan 14

    There was a meeting on the 13th Dec 2013 to understand the top level financial plan assumptions for the Regeneration, including the main items of expenditure and income and the management of risk to public funds.

    The report can be found here (opens in new window).

    

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    Repsonses to questions in the Extraordinary Council Meeting on the 4th December 2013

    16 Dec 13

    Below is a link to the published responses to questions asked at the Extraordinary Council Meeting on the regeneration of Elms Field held on the 4th December 2013.

    The responses can be found here (opens in new window)

    

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    GLRA Response to Extraordinary Council Meeting on the 4th Dec

    10 Dec 13

    The following email was written by Pat Smith, Chair of the GLRA, to Wokingham Borough Council Mayor, Cllr UllaKarin Clark, and carbon copied to John Redwood, in response to the Extraordinary Council Meeting on the 4th Dec discussing the planned Elms Field development.

    Dear Madam Mayor,

    I, along with 3 other members of the Great Langborough Residents Association, attended the extraordinary meeting and were able to ask questions of the council. Sadly it was indeed an 'extraordinary' meeting.

    It became abundantly clear that the meeting was not only scripted which I understand is the way council meetings are managed, but that there was never any intention for the council to listen to or take any note of the views of their residents as the motion you allowed was that pre-printed by Alistair Corrie.

    One might ask why council meetings are organised in this way as they can never be free exchanges of ideas. No doubt that happens behind closed doors with a similar disregard for the electorate.

    It appeared also that the council did not even have sufficient confidence in their own Masterplan to allow a vote on Prue Bray's motion. She was totally ignored in favour of that patently planned action and pre-planned motion from Alistair Corrie.The ridiculous thing is that the outcome would almost certainly have been the same but you all came away diminished by the process.

    One of my major concerns about the current planning applications for the town centre regeneration is the fact that the council itself is presenting the applications to its own planning committee. I have to ask whether there is a basic conflict of interest as it appears that all the councillors follow the party whip. What happened for instance to the requirement for social housing for any developer except apparently the council?

    I must point out to the council, that questioning the wisdom or rights of the council to build on Elms field is not a political matter. It is one of concern for the future of our town and it does not mean that concerned residents do not want the rest of the town to be regenerated or that it should die!

    This is clearly emotive language which was repeatedly used by the council who should have the town's best interest at heart.

    I am constantly being told that the die was cast when the land was appropriated and the Master plan accepted in 2010. But it was made very clear to us at the first workshops that the discussions were about how to develop Elm's field and not whether we should be doing it.

    I have supported the council in trying to regenerate Wokingham but found I have lost confidence in the plans which do not seem to me to allow for the problems which are likely to arise out of the increased housing and traffic.

    I am fully aware that this email is unlikely to impact on the council or its plans but felt I had to make the points on my own and my Associations behalf and felt that the manner of the meeting could not go unchallenged.

    I look forward to hearing your views on ways we can improve the processes and if at all possible the plans.

    Yours sincerely,
    Pat Smith, Chair GLRA

    

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    Questions for the 4th December Extraordinary Full Council Meeting

    02 Dec 13

    The GLRA committee have been busy, hopefully with your agreement, in dialogue with the council and in the papers over the plans for the town centre regeneration and specifically current planning applications.

    Copies of the letters are now on our website - please see the following articles below.

    Also you are probably aware of the petition raised by the Liberal Democrat leader Prue Bray which has triggered an extraordinary meeting on the evening of 4th December at St Crispins school. We have submitted 3 questions (presented further on in this article) which have been accepted.

    The planning applications for the Elm's field and Peach Street Plaza have now been formally issued to residents by email so if you have not seen them, please go on the council website or ours for the reference. Initially the date for end of consultation was 24th December... and has now been extended to 3rd January (which is not much better!)

    There is a lot to read and the committee is of the view that it is impossible to meet this deadline and have objected to the council on those grounds.

    For more information please go to the following link on the Wokingham Borough Council web-site: http://wokingham.gov.uk/planning/services/search/ and in the 'application Number' field enter the code for the application interested in. The planning applications are "F/2013/2284" for Elms Field, and "F/2013/2283" for Peach Place.

    The Wokingham Society has written similarly and I recommend seeing their 'letter' on their website (link here).

    Please do give us your comments so we know whether we are reflecting your views.

    The questions we have submitted:

    Many thanks,
    Pat Smith, Chair GLRA

    

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    Letters to Wokingham Press

    02 Dec 13

    The GLRA has been active in pursuing letters to the press with respect to the regeneration of the town centre, particularly with the Elms Field redevelopment

    We have sent two letters:

    

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    Letter to Alistair Corrie, 26 November 2013

    26 Nov 13

    Below is a link to a letter to Alistair Corrie, explaining the GLRA position of being shocked by the limited and aggressive timescale the general public have on commenting on the town centre regeneration plans.

    The letter can be found here (opens in new window)

    

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    Meeting with Cllr David Lee, 03 October 2013

    22 Oct 13

    Below is a link to a report on a meeting between local residents (including a representative of the GLRA) and Cllr David Lee, leader of Wokingham Borough Council, held on 3rd October 2013 .This meeting was prompted by concerns regarding the northern distributor road impact on previous millennium tree planting and parks, and the Elm's field development.

    The report can be found here (opens in new window)

    

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    Letter to GLRA from Cllr Alistair Corrie, Executive Member for Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration

    30 Aug 13

    Cllr Alistair Corrie, Executive Member for Regeneration at Wokingham Borough Council, has responded to GLRA after a request to present reasoning for and current state of the Wokingham Town Centre regeneration plan. In particular, he addresses:

    The full letter can be found here (opens in new window)

    

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    2014 Children’s Fun Day on Langborough Recreation Ground

    28 Aug 13

    Wokingham Town Council have organised the 2014 Children's Fun Day. Previously this has been held in Howard Palmer Gardens, but has now been moved to Langborough Recreation Ground.

    The event it consists of a small number of young child friendly fairground rides (Ages 4 – 10) a number of children’s entertainment shows, face painting, a small petting zoo and a local scout group provide a refreshments tent. All entertainments are free. The event generally starts from 8:30am with providers setting up, 10am it is open to the public and it is finished at 4pm. By 5pm all providers are gone.

    The full letter describing the event can be found here (opens in new window)

    

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    Langborough Recreation Ground Security - Update #2

    26 July 13

    Email from Jan Nowecki, Town Clerk, Wokingham Town Council, 19 July 2013

    

    Good afternoon everyone, I trust that this finds you all well in this glorious, if rather hot, weather.

    I wanted to update you following your meeting which I attended after the Traveller incursion.

    The council has met and received a report from me in relation to the events in June and this included the consideration of the on-going security for Langborough and also some of our other parks and open spaces.

    I reflected the feedback you had given me in that you wished consideration to be given to installing black cast-iron bollards on the field, particularly along the Gipsy Lane perimeter.

    Council has decided that they will of course improve the security on the site but will not be installing the cast-iron bollards. The reasons are three-fold:

    • Following some research this type of bollard actually shatters if run into
    • The committee felt that aesthetically it was in favour of using the wooden bollards as they believe this is more in-keeping with the beautiful space that Langborough provides
    • The cost of the cast iron bollards was prohibitive

    When we discussed matters at the meeting in June it was felt that any damage to a cast iron bollard could easily be seen as criminal damage, which would most clearly trigger the police S61 powers but the same would apply to the wooden bollards if for example a chain saw was used against them, so I hope that this offers a level of reassurance.

    Next Steps:

    • We are currently undertaking the costing of both replacing any old or damaged bollards and extending along the full length of Gipsy Lane
    • We anticipate that the work will begin in early Autumn

    I recognise that there was a mixed view among the residents about the cast-iron bollards versus the wooden and so some of you will be disappointed but I hope that you can understand the Council's decision.

    I am of course happy to speak to any of you should you wish to clarify anything.

    I hope that you all have a good weekend and if going away for a summer break have a relaxing and refreshing holiday.

    

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    Town Centre Regeneration Newsletter

    26 July 13

    Wokingham Borough Council have published their first newsletter describing the town centre regeneration - the newsletter can be found here (opens in new window).

    For more information please also see http://wokinghamregeneration.co.uk/ (opens in new window) and Wokingham Council website here (opens in new window)

    

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    AGM 2013 - Draft Minutes

    26 Jul 13

    The site now contains the provisional minutes from AGM held on 12 June 2013 - see the Minutes section

    

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    Public Realm Exhibition Slides

    26 July 13

    At the AGM on the 12 June there was a discussion on the Public Realm Exhibition for Wokingham (which is now closed). For information, the slides for this exhibition are available here (opens in new window).

    

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    Langborough Recreation Ground - Update

    07 Jun 13

    Email from Jan Nowecki, Town Clerk, Wokingham Town Council, 06 June 2013 (Evening)

    

    Good afternoon residents, thank you to those who have continued to interact with me and other colleagues today. For everyone's information I offer an update on the current position:

    • This morning the police, WBC Traveller Liaison Officer and the Town Council attended the site and the Travellers were formally 'requested' to move on.
    • Throughout the day the police have been monitoring the situation.
    • We are operating under police powers and TVP will be enforcing this 'request' early this evening when they anticipate that all the group will be present and that the relevant vehicles will be on site to tow their caravans etc away.
    • Once the group have left the site will be re-secured and the recreation ground cleared of any residual debris etc.

    Once again can I reassure you that all the agencies are working closely together with full commitment to resolving the problem as soon as possible but the police do have to operate appropriately within their powers. I will continue to work through Pat your Chairman in order to update as many of you as possible.

    I am of course happy to speak to you if you have any specific queries.

    

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    Langborough Recreation Ground

    06 Jun 13

    Email from Jan Nowecki, Town Clerk, Wokingham Town Council, 06 June 2013

    

    Good afternoon residents, I am taking this opportunity to update you on the position in respect to the traveller incursion onto the recreation ground.

    • The Town Council, police and WBC Traveller Liaison officer are working closely together to manage and resolve the problem.
    • The travellers have been visited by both police and liaison officer today (5th) and advised appropriately.
    • We are working under police guidance and within the powers they have to address such an incursion and will take the next steps if the travellers have not moved on tomorrow.

    I would very much like to thank those of you who ensured that both the police and ourselves were alerted at the earliest opportunity and we will continue to work to bring a swift resolution to this problem.

    I am out of the office on Thursday 6th June but available on my mobile below. Rob Vincent our Buildings and Grounds Officer will have responsibility in my absence for this matter and his mobile number is [hidden]

    I will of course keep you updated but please be assured that we are all focused on ensuring that the recreation ground is returned to its normal position very quickly.

    

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    SDL Forum Summary - 13 May 2013

    03 Jun 13

    At a meeting of the Southern SDL Forum on 22 May 2013, on which David Nash is our representative, Keith Baker updated the meeting on progress for plans south of the railway. A report on 3 alternative road routings was expected by the end of June. This would be followed by a public consultation. Negotiations were underway between land owners, developers and Network Rail about the proposed rail bridge to the Buckhurst Farm phase of the SDL.

    

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    AGM 2013 - Chairman's Letter

    01 Jun 13

    On the 12th June we will hold our AGM. Please see the AGM section for a newsletter from the Chairman describing the GLRA work over the year and future plans!

    

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    Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration Project

    01 Jun 13

    Report by Pat Smith (written on the 30th May 2013)

    Plans to address the development of our town centre have been around now probably for 40 years. It is a positive step forward now to find that the current plans started in 2009 and passed in 2012 are coming to hopeful fruition.

    Details of the plans and progress are available on Wokingham Borough Council’s website under the above title and on the web address: http://wokinghamregeneration.co.uk/

    The council have held irregular town centre forum meetings since 2009, the last of which was on 13th February 2013 regarding the overall regeneration and on 29th April regarding the Public Realm.

    The forum includes representatives from Wokingham’s interested groups including Residents Associations.

    The meeting in February 2013 was well attended though many of those there were developers and town council representatives.

    We were informed, as we already knew, that the plans for the Rose St/ Broad St development had been accepted but that work which had been planned for the new year would now start in/or after March 2013.

    We were shown more detailed plans for the Rose St ‘plaza’ and Elm’s field.

    Rose St Plaza appears quite modern in the pictures and seemed much larger than one might anticipate. It includes a Pavilion at the M&S end which would be an open café area. On the rose street aspect and next to the Bradbury centre the plans include 4 terraced houses and a large square, modern building on the corner into the plaza, suggested to be a signpost to something important inside

    On the Peach St side of the development the building currently occupied by Clinton cards and round to the alleyway is to be replaced and there will be an anchor store next to Marks and Spencers. The new buildings look similar to those around it and include ‘bay windows’. The developers think this is in keeping with the buildings around

    Elm’s Field plans are taking shape with the same tall buildings that have raised objections in the cricket pitch development as being too tall but which the developers clearly feel are necessary to ‘frame’ the field because it is such a big space!

    The open area is to remain more open with fewer planted trees and no orchard as was raised as possibly desirable, which I think is very sensible. One can just imagine what would happen to those trees and the fruit!

    There will be a wide pavement next to the new shops allowing for market style stalls; also a ‘robust’ planting of bushes alongside.

    The supermarket will have a ‘green’ wall facing carnival pool shielding the access to the supermarket loading area and open onto a ‘road’ extending from Langborough road to the new Elm’s field road which I think is pedestrian only.

    There will be an apartment block to the south of that road with the hotel further down. The council have announced recently that Premier Inn have been accepted as the hotel provider and that Sainsburys are the likely supermarket provider.

    One willow tree is to be preserved!

    The underground car park will extend the full length of the new shops making the loss of virtually all our trees inevitable.

    Forum Reaction: several members expressed concern about the modern appearance of all the developments given that the developers were trying to maintain the Wokingham feel of a market town. The terrace in Rose Street and the corner block building were particularly felt to be out of character with the Rose St houses. It was pointed out to us that the square building was opposite the modern block already in Rose St.

    One has to question the need for such tall buildings around elm’s field, whether or not this is just for financial reasons. The same issue was raised for the plans for the cricket pitch with a reduction in height following local pressure. Perhaps this will be a starting point for similar revisions but it has not changed thus far despite the same comments being made during consultations.

    Public Realm - The meeting in April was only attended by Councillors and me…. But the public exhibition held at the town hall was imminent and I hope that more residents attended this. There had been a workshop earlier in the year when the plans would have been presented, discussed and hopefully altered in line with the workshop views.

    Traffic modelling was discussed and highlighted the flow of traffic/number of cars having to travel around the town as being critical to possible changes to Peach street, e.g. single lane with parking bays to accommodate lorry deliveries for instance.

    Traffic flow will be affected by the northern and southern distributor roads and of course the increased number of cars resulting from the housing developments around the town. The roads themselves would be marked out to allow frequent pedestrian crossing points and pavements in the same colour and at the same level, which in other towns were reported to have alleviated the need for formal pedestrian crossings and naturally slowed the traffic flow.

    Rectory road may become two way but that is very much in discussion and raises issues around access to Waitrose!

    It will be interesting to hear how the public have responded and how that impacts on the council’s plans.

    

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    Treasury Report for 2012/13 AGM

    01 Jun 13

    The treasury report for 2012/13 has been created - see the Treasury section

    

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    Flyer for 2013 AGM

    29 May 13

    The flyer for the 2013 AGM has been created!

    Click the image below to enlarge...

    2013 AGM Flyer

    

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    Email to Mr Pich

    06 Sep 12

    The GLRA has written an email to Mr Pich about the proposed sale of Elms field. This email reads:

    To Mr Bernie Pich
    Head of Regeneration
    Wokingham Borough Council

    Dear Bernie,
    I am writing on behalf of the Great Langborough Resident's Association.
    I was disconcerted to read the public notice to dispose of parts of Elms field.
    I am of course aware of the plans for the field but had always understood that the council intended to maintain control and ownership of the land.
    I am writing therefore to lodge our objection to this at least until there is more clarity about what is involved and the implications both in the long and short term.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Regards,

    Pat Smith
    Chair GLRA

    

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    Letter to Cllr. Baker

    06 Sep 12

    The GLRA has written a letter to Councillor Baker about the current plans for the Southern Distributor Road (SDR) in the South Wokingham Strategic Development Location (SDL). Please see here (PDF file, opens in new window) for a copy of the letter.

    

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    Letter to Cllr. Corrie

    06 Sep 12

    The GLRA has written a letter to Councillor Corrie about the current process and approach to redevelopment of Elms field. Please see here (PDF file, opens in new window) for a copy of the letter.

    

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    AGM 2012 - Draft Minutes

    20 Jul 12

    The site now contains the provisional minutes from AGM held on 25 June 2012 - see the Minutes section

    

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    AGM 2012 - Chairman's Letter

    30 May 12

    On the 25th June we will hold our AGM. Please see the AGM section for a newsletter from the Chairman describing the GLRA work over the year and future plans!

    

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    Wokingham Town Centre Regeneration Project

    30 May 12

    Report by Pat Smith (written on the 26th April 2012)

    Plans to address the development of our town centre have been around now probably for 40 years. It is a positive step forward now to find that the current plans started in 2009 are coming to hopeful fruition.

    Details of the plans and progress are available on Wokingham Borough Council’s website under the above title. The following paragraph is taken from that site.

    The multi-million pound scheme to regenerate Wokingham town centre will be gathering pace in 2012.

    Wokingham Borough Council and developer Wilson Bowden’s proposals include new modern retail units, an anchor foodstore, a new park and town centre homes which will create a vibrant and attractive mixed-use development, which fits with the special status of Wokingham as a unique market town. The regeneration will focus on refurbishing and redeveloping Peach Place as a fashion retail destination and transforming Denmark Street, Wellington Road and Elms Field into a destination for alternative food retail, leisure and relaxation.

    The council have held 3 monthly town centre forum meetings since 2009, the last of which was on 3rd April 2012. The forum includes representatives from all shades of interested groups including Residents Associations. This last meeting was fully reported in the local paper and identified the time scales for planning applications and the pace of work.

    The first phase will be for the refurbishment of the Peach St/Rose street corner which should start around Christmas time. The developers have responded to consultation by looking again at the appearance of the buildings in the town centre and are reconsidering the profile of the buildings there so that they should be more in keeping. It was good to hear that they had taken on board and were responding to the comments from consultation.

    Planning applications for the other parts of the town as outlined above will also be made later in the year.

    The development of Elm’s park continues to provoke discussion about the loss of open area, but plans for the remaining area will be subject to further consultation. The final space should provide for existing festivals and fairs with water and electrical connections.

    Other issues raised at the forum included the increased occupancy of the shops in the centre, the provision of toilet facilities and transport issues not least in relation to the proposed station link road and traffic control across the railway crossing.

    Councillor Matt Deegan, who spoke at our last AGM has been spearheading the regeneration project but will not be standing for re-election. He was thanked and applauded for his contribution.

    

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    South Wokingham Strategic Development Location

    30 May 12

    Report by David Nash

    Wokingham Borough Council is as prepared as it can be to control future housing development. It has invested enormous effort and resources over the last 8 years to provide the necessary framework to achieve this. Some other local authorities are not as well protected. They could be vulnerable to uncontrolled development, with little contribution to the necessary infrastructure.

    Committee members of the Great Langborough RA have provided input throughout this period. We participated in the many public consultations. We participated in the examination of the plan in front of the planning inspector. We continue to be in close contact with the councillors and officers involved in development.

    Our nearest large scale development is the South Wokingham Strategic Development Location (SDL). This consists of four phases totaling 2,500 houses. They will be built over the next 15 years or so.

    Initially, our aim was to avoid such a large scale housing scheme on the town border. Since it received central government approval in 2009, we have worked in detail to achieve:

    The planning application for the first phase of the SDL has been approved. It is located at Buckhurst Farm near the Coppid Beech roundabout. Building may start in 2013. It is a development of 35 hectares of land to provide up to 650 dwellings, including 35% affordable housing. It provides the first stage of the southern distributor road. There will be a new junction to London Road. It will include an entry primary school with a foundation unit, games area and playing fields, children's play facilities and a local neighbourhood centre. There will be green space incorporating a community orchard, land for allotments and a sustainable urban drainage systems. You can see a map of this proposal here [NOTE: 7MB download, opens in new window].

    We continue our dialogue with the council. We aim to assist them in achieving a high quality result for existing and new residents. Please contact David Nash and the committee if you wish to make us aware of your views.

    

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    Provisional AGM 2011 Minutes Added

    30 Apr 12

    The site now contains the provisional AGM minutes from 2011 - see the Minutes section

    

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    Constitution Added

    23 Apr 12

    The site now contains the GLRA Constitution - see the Constitution section

    

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    AGM Minutes Added

    20 Apr 12

    The site now contains the AGM minutes from 2008, 2009 and 2010 - see the Minutes section

    

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    Contact Emails Added

    17 Apr 12

    The site now contains the contact emails for members of the GLRA committee - see the Contact section

    

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    Treasury Reports Added

    15 Apr 12

    The site now contains the treasury reports from the past 4 years - see the Treasury section

    

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    Web Site Launched

    14 Apr 12

    As a result of agreement at last years AGM, and a recent committee meeting, we have launched the GLRA web site in order to help communicate the issues that we address as residents of the Great Langborough area, Wokingham. First up is preparation for the upcoming AGM in last June. Watch this space!

    

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