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Participation in the Planning Process:

November 2020-February 2021


Playground at Cintra Park, South Reading:  Although a relatively small area, this park occupies some of the land formerly a part of the wider Whitley Park estate, mainly owned by Samuel Palmer and more recently owned in the 19th century by the Suttons of Sutton Seeds who gifted it to Reading Borough Council.  BGT supported the improvements to the proposed playground facilities within Cintra Park, as its open grassed areas, sports and children’s’ playground facilities are a valuable resource for local residents. We concluded by hoping that the final layout and features would complement and enhance the park’s surviving historic features.

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Reading Chronicle


Finchampstead Neighbourhood Development Plan Reg 14 consultation:  BGT fully supports the principles in the NDP to protect the historic environment and green spaces.  Finchampstead Parish does not have any of Historic England’s Registered Parks and Gardens nor does it include any of the new Locally Listed parks and gardens in the Local Plan but the Parish does have a number of landscapes of historic interest which are listed in the NDP.  We suggested a few amendments to strengthen the historic aspects of the NDP.

Barkham Manor, Barkham:  The proposed development was for 4 detached dwellings with detached garages on land east of Barkham Manor which is a Grade II listed building, set within Barkham and the Bearwood Valued Landscape and a Local Historic Park and Garden.  The historic park forms the setting to the heritage asset as well as being of historic importance in its own right.  The development was refused and has gone to appeal. BGT have sent in comments to the Planning Inspectorate objecting to the development as it would fail to conserve or enhance an asset of historic significance, the local distinctiveness of the landscape of the area and outstanding views at this west end of Barkham.



Sandleford Park:  A proposal for 1000 houses on land allocated for housing on this site has gone to appeal as the developers have failed to address several problems within their proposals.  The site forms the wider historic estate to the Grade II Registered Park and Garden at Sandleford Priory and the Grade I Listed house.  BGT have long been concerned to ensure that the proposals protected views from Sandleford Priory and the Registered Park and Garden and the integrity of the surviving historical features of the wider estate setting.  BGT sent in objections to the Planning inspectorate on the proposals which included changes to the access down Warren Road and historic routeway, a proposed cycle way across the Country Park and a massive road construction across the central estate valley.

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View from footpath to Sandleford Priory

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Grade II Herschel Park, Slough


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



Menage at Spinney, Forest Road, Ascot:  Berkshire Gardens Trust did not object to the proposed menage but requested some planning conditions to ensure that the work set out in the Tree Preservation Report is carried out to avoid damage to the historic setting of Grade II* Ascot Place with its tree-lined approach.  We also noted that floodlighting outside facilities might pose a problem. 



The Government is consulting on its proposed revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework.  Much of the February 2019 version remains but it is interesting that the current consultation version adds:

In considering any applications to remove or alter a historic statue, plaque or memorial (whether listed or not), local planning authorities should have regard to the importance of retaining these heritage assets and, where appropriate, of explaining their historic and social context rather than removal [NPPF 197].  This is very good news.

Trees make an important contribution to the character and quality of urban environments, and can also help mitigate and adapt to climate change [130].  This should help to protect the trees which contribute to our historic landscapes as well as ancient and veteran trees which were already protected.


The Drawery, Sunninghill:  This application is for a change of use for a Netflix film set.  The proposals lacked any investigation into the historic environment surrounding and including the application parcel of land. BGT requested more evidence on the former uses of the area, with particular reference to the Great Pond, so that the impacts of the proposed film set can be more fully assessed. We were also concerned about protection of the ancient woodland and the pressure to fell trees close to the proposed access tracks.

Mineral Extraction site at Ditton Park: This application was for a variation to the restoration of the land which lies within the Grade II Historic Park and Garden.  BGT has long been concerned about the impact of this development on the park and the need to achieve enhancement works on the parkland adjoining the extraction site.  Land ownership here is complicated and holding up agreement to these enhancements works.   Should the ownership issues be resolved BGT would want to see conditions to include removing the rubble causeway, burial or removal of pipelines across the canal and parkland tree screening to the security fence to the south of the site near to the office complex. We also believe the protection of the key surviving parkland features, namely the parkland pale and ornamental canal, and any surviving designed views in and out of the landscape, is critical.


Slough Spatial Strategy:  We fully supported the principles including protecting the existing open space in Slough and providing open space in new development with no further loss of parks and open spaces; regenerating the route to the Jubilee River and the Canal Basin; and prioritising the Upton Court Park for tree planting.  However, we urged the Council to undertake an audit of the heritage of both public and private parks and open spaces, including smaller ones such as those attached to churches or listed buildings.  We were also concerned that the Registered Parks and Gardens which lie on the Borough boundary were at risk from some potential cross boundary allocations for strategic housing sites that could result in direct adverse effects, or impacts on the settings of these assets.  

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