Participation in the Planning Process:
It has been quieter in the last 3 months, much to our relief, so there is less to report this time perhaps as developers wait to see the outcome of the proposed planning reforms. There have also been delays in decisions both in planning applications and appeals.
NATIONWIDE: Planning for the Future
Planning policy changes in England in 2020 and future reforms continue apace by the Government but there is no date yet for the Bill to be heard. Several interested parties, including the Gardens Trust and Historic England, are continuing to review and respond as further announcements are made.
Playground at Cintra Park, South Reading: Prospect Park is a Grade II Registered Park and Garden in the west of the Borough. BGT have encouraged the Parks Department to consider the optimal location and design for the new play ground and changes to the Pavilion to meet current needs for play whilst avoiding harm to the historic significance of the Park and its surviving assets. Quite a difficult thing to achieve.
Caversham Park, Emmer Green: We have written to the local MP Matt Rodda, Tony Page Deputy Leader of the Council & Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport and to Karen Rowland, Lead Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Recreation drawing attention to the historic importance of the Grade II Registered Park and Garden as the future of the Grade II manor house and its historic Grade II grounds are considered. The site has been sold by the BBC, former owners and occupiers, to Beechcroft Developments. We are waiting for developments as the new owners are interested in developing a retirement home.
WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL
Barkham Manor, Barkham appeal update: A successful outcome: The proposed development was for 4 detached dwellings with detached garages on land east of Barkham Manor, a Grade II listed building set within Barkham and the Bearwood Valued Landscape and a Local Historic Park and Garden. We raised objections to this development and we are very pleased that the appeal has now been dismissed. The Inspector concluded that ‘taking into account the considerable importance and weight that I must give to harm to designated heritage assets, the public benefits would not outweigh the harm that would be caused to the significance of the listed building. In addition, the benefits would not outweigh the moderate harm to the non-designated heritage assets.’
Park Place, Remenham Hill, Henley-on-Thames: Our involvement with planning proposals at this Grade II* Park and Garden overlooking the Thames valley at Henley continues and gets more interesting. The Park is divided into a number of land parcels under separate ownership which has led, in the past, to erosion of the integrity of this historic landscape. Wokingham Borough Council is now working hard to ensure that any new development respects the historic significance of this Park and have invited us to help in getting a better understanding of both the whole Park and its historic landscape features. One such is the Druid’s Circle a Neolithic monument gifted by the people of Jersey in 1788 to the Governor Marshall Conway who then settled at Templecombe.
WEST BERKSHIRE COUNCIL
White Lodge, Donnington Grove, Donnington, Newbury: The proposal is for a two storey extension to a former lodge at Donnington Grove, a Grade II Registered Park and Garden. Although the harm done by the proposed development might be mitigated somewhat as there is no longer an entrance to the Grade II registered park and garden from the east, the size of the extension would dwarf the existing modest building and harm its significance within the Donnington Grove Grade II registered park and garden. We therefore supported the Council’s Conservation officer who recommended refusing this application.
The planning team at BGT are Bettina Kirkham, Fiona Hope, Helen Parvin & Janet Fuller. Do contact any of us if you would like more information at BerksGTplanning@gmail.com
All photos and illustrations provided by members of Berkshire Gardens Trust or with owner’s permission.