Berkeley Group consults with commmunity over proposed 2,500 homes in Ruscombe

A property development company is beginning to consult with the community over outline proposals to build 2,500 homes in Ruscombe.

Proposals to develop a ‘sustainable new neighbourhood’ on land to the east of Twyford and Ruscombe – between the A4 New Bath Road and the railway line – have been outlined by Berkeley Group.

The outline plans include a mixture of private and affordable homes, with ‘new spaces’ for business.

Community amenities such as a health centre, parks, primary school and shops are also in the pipeline.

The area would feature a new railway station and a local interchange, as well as a relief road to alleviate traffic congestion and ‘improve air quality’ in the centre of Twyford - and a 140-acre network of ‘open green space wildlife corridors’.

This would include newly made wetlands, woodland, ponds, swales, hedgerows, and tree belts.

Under the plans, the biodiverse landscape, which is ‘fenced off to the public’, would be open for all, featuring walking and green cycling routes, and a mixture of community garden, allotments, parks and playing fields.

Raising concerns over the proposals, Cllr Stephen Conway (Lib Dem, Twyford), said: “I am utterly opposed to it, I think its greenbelt land, its open flat countryside and any development in it would be visible for a long distance.”

He added that Twyford would be affected ‘disastrously’.

“It would put enormous pressure on infrastructure in Twyford. It would completely change the nature of the place from being a village with very clear sense of identity and community to a much bigger community,” he said.

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) leader Cllr John Halsall (Con, Remenham, Wargrave and Ruscombe) said: “Twyford has a ring road, it’s called the A4. So, trying to encourage Twyford to add another ring road does seem to be fatuous.”

A spokesperson from Berkeley Homes said: “We are now beginning to consult the local community on outline proposals for a sustainable new neighbourhood to the east of Twyford, which could help the borough to address both its undersupply of new housing, support the area’s economic success and relieve the development pressure on the south of the borough where around 95 per cent of new homes have been built since 2007.”

The site was considered as part of a WBC masterplan in 2018.

WBC is currently working on its Local Plan Update.

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