Participation in the Planning Process:
TOGETHER WITH HISTORIC ENGLAND AND THE GARDENS TRUST, WE REALLY DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. BGT LOOKED AT 17 CASES IN THE LAST 9 MONTHS – THESE ARE EXAMPLES OF THE MAIN ONES
Caversham Park, Reading (Caversham Park Grade II): This application is for redevelopment of Caversham Park for 64 assisted living units for the over 55’s through the conversion of Caversham Park House, 64 bed care home, 61 age-restricted retirement dwellings, including conversion of the existing buildings Bursars House, The Lodge and 2 Caversham Park Drive, 5 market dwellings, 28 affordable dwellings, and refurbishment and extension of the existing pavilion.
We sent in detailed comments objecting to the harm to the historic assets of the site in May. Beechcroft Development have since been revising their application and are holding a public consultation on the new scheme on 8 December at Caversham Park from 2pm to 8pm. Do come along to see their plans.
Caversham Park 2018
WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL
Brick Barn, White Hill, Remenham Hill (Park Place Grade II*): We had concerns about the scale and nature of the recent changes to the garden of Brick Barn which has extended into the open parkland, with several new ancillary buildings, resulting in fragmentation and suburbanisation of the parkland. We have since been involved in ongoing discussions to try and resolve this.
Twyford and Finchampstead Parishes: We were invited to comment on the emerging Neighbourhood Development Plans. Neither parish has any registered or locally listed parks or gardens but we have encouraged the parishes to consider the landscape setting of their listed buildings.
Reddam House Bearwood Road Sindlesham (Bearwood College Grade II*): We had no objection to the proposed sports hall and new pool building but we did request a condition to enhance tree screening on the approach; to restore the historic view from the House to the Lake and to ensure the conservation of the Terrace and Pulhamite Garden.
Templecombe, Wargrave Road, Henley-on-Thames (Park Place Grade II*): We visited the site in 2020 and sent in comments on an earlier scheme which would have resulted in some considerable harm to the park. A revised scheme has now come in which addresses almost all of the issues we raised. However, we had significant concerns about the design and location of a pool house, almost as tall as the proposed main house, which would harm a) the setting of the Druids Temple; b) from the open wooded and pasture landscape that is a key feature of this part of the Grade II* Park; c) views of the open parkland; and d) the relationship between the main house and its historic parkland setting.
View of Druids Temple from the north-west
WEST BERKSHIRE COUNCIL
White Lodge, Donnington Grove, Donnington, Newbury (Donnington Park Grade II): We considered that this latest application for the erection of a new dwelling to replace the existing lodge on the edge of Donnington Park would damage the historic integrity of Donnington Park more than the extension previously proposed. On this basis, we recommended that the application should be refused.
CENTRAL AND EASTERN BERKSHIRE – JOINT MINERALS AND WASTE LOCAL PLAN
This might seem a dry subject, but it was important that the Local Plan chose the right sites for extraction and waste uses and also that the right policies covered any minerals or waste development. We had no objection to the sites proposed, which did not affect any historic parks or gardens, but we are really pleased that our comments to the Local Plan Inspectors in September 2021 were taken on board and that the policy DM7 which deals with Conserving the Historic Environment has been revised significantly to ensure better protection of any historic assets.
The planning team at BGT are Bettina Kirkham, Fiona Hope and Helen Parvin. 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.
BRACKNELL FOREST BOROUGH COUNCIL
Winkfield Parish: We were invited very late in the day to comment on the emerging Neighbourhood Development Plan but in this case we raised an objection. Winkfield Parish covers Ascot Place, a Grade II* Registered Park, and the non-designated Foliejon Park and is noted for its sensitive heritage. Despite this the Plan currently has no vision for the heritage assets in the parish, nor any policies to protect its heritage. We recommended rectifying these omissions.
The ROYAL BOROUGH OF WINDSOR & MAIDENHEAD
Silwood Manor, Silwood Park, London Road, Ascot: We sent detailed comments to RBWM on proposals for a major redevelopment including the demolition of existing outbuildings, the construction of new buildings and alterations to the garden at the manor. RBWM responded, accepting our concerns:
the Conservation Team have considerable concerns re the proposals both in terms of the works to the house and stables, and within the garden. We are treating the walled garden and associated structures as curtilage listed and have requested their retention. Little supporting work has been provided on the history of the garden or its significance, and I also think there are likely to be the remains of other garden structures, such as icehouses, within the grounds. I attach an excerpt from Team's advice on works within the setting of the house fyi - we seem to have covered the same areas of interest as yourself, although I had not fully appreciated the importance of the form of the single storey gardener's cottage.
A revised scheme has therefore been submitted to reduce the impact, overcoming most of BGT’s concerns.