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CABE pans 'poorly connected' Berkshire housing scheme

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A massive housing scheme in Wokingham, Berkshire has been panned by CABE for lacking 'vision' and a 'sense of space'.

The 600-home development in Winnersh, which is being masterplanned by Tetlow King and Lennon Planning, was particularly criticised for being 'poorly connected' with neighbouring areas.

The design review panel went onto say that the scheme for Bovis Homes/Persimmon Homes would need 'much work' to bring it to an 'acceptable standard'.

The report reads: '[We] see little within this scheme to give us confidence that the masterplan will lead to an appropriate development in this part of Winnersh and therefore we cannot give it our support.

'We are also concerned that there is a limited rationale behind the connections that are proposed- the masterplan is insular and hermetic.'

CABE was also worried about the position of the scheme within a floodplain.

However, sources close to the project have told the AJ that they feel some of CABE's comments were unfair - especially when, it is claimed, nobody from the design watchdog took the time to visit the site.

A spokesman for Bovis Homes added: 'The floodplain and flood compensation issues have now been addressed and the Environment Agency is satisfied with the location of the development and the compensation works proposed.

'[Wokingham District Council] is also now assured that flooding issues lie outside the proposed residential areas and are no longer a cause for concern.'

The developer also hit back over the connectivity issues, saying: 'Where desire lines for connecting routes are not achievable these have been fully explored and dismissed for detailed and robust reasons.'

by Richard Waite

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