Participation in the Planning Process:
Reading Borough Tree and Bio-diversity Strategies: Reading Borough have published these two strategies for consultation at the same time as their Transport Strategy. BGT commented on both of these, and in general supported the objectives and proposals for the trees and bio-diversity of the Borough. The role of the historic parks and gardens in Reading, both those on Historic England’s Register and of local value, was however under-represented in the Strategies. We requested that more should be added on this role, and of the importance of conserving and enhancing the tree and other wild life habitats within our parks and gardens.
ROYAL BOROUGH OF WINDSOR AND MAIDENHEAD
Grade II Registered Park and Garden, Hall Place: Hall Place includes the Grade I listed building of Hall Place and is the home of Berkshire Agricultural College. The house is now badly in need of repair and the College is looking to develop some housing within its grounds as ‘enabling development’ to help meet the cost of these repairs. An earlier application for major development was previously rejected on the grounds of harm to the Grade I listed building and the Park and Garden. The current application for 26 houses is however outside of the Park and its setting and is screened from the Park by woodland and trees. Provided these trees are retained, BGT raised no objections to this development which will help to secure the future of the house and the parkland.
RBWM Local Plan consultation: BGT has commented on the proposed changes made since the 2019 draft and overall we concluded that the changed policies in the plan to be submitted deal fairly comprehensively with the particular and special characteristics of the Historic Environment, countryside, woodland and parkland, green and open spaces, Green Belt, and the River Thames. Although we had some suggested changes to some of the wording, we were reassured that the Council intends for the heritage elements of the Borough to continue to be valued, enhanced and protected.
Grade II Registered Park and Garden Bearwood College: an application for major equestrian facilities has been submitted for development within Newland Park which lies to the immediate south-west of Bearwood College. As the site is outside the park, and as development would not affect the setting of the park provided the dense woodland cover on the boundary was maintained, we have raised no objections to this application.
WEST BERKSHIRE COUNCIL
Grade II Registered Park and Garden, Sandleford Priory: The land to the west of the Capability Brown Park and Garden has long been allocated for major housing development with a large country park, provided the historic value of the wider parkland forming the setting of the Park and the Grade I listed Priory was conserved and enhanced. A series of applications have been rejected by the Council for a number of reasons. The current application avoids any development next to the Registered kitchen garden or within the views from Sandleford Priory or its parkland, but introduces a new road embankment across the central valley, a key feature of the wider parkland. BGT has objected to this road design and requested that the developer returns to the original proposal for a bridge over the valley which would be less intrusive and keep the valley landform intact. There are also concerns about a new access off Warren Road which may affect an avenue of trees and footpath alignment which are of historic significance as they form an original routeway to the Priory.
The planning team at BGT are Bettina Kirkham, Charles Elly, Fiona Hope and Helen Parvin. Do contact any of us if you would like more information.