Plans to build 227 houses on land next to AWE Aldermaston have met with fierce local opposition, while three local authorities have applied for government money to develop a proposal for a ‘Garden Village’ settlement next to AWE Burghfield.
The plans for building 227 houses on the land surrounding Aldermaston Court were unanimously opposed by over 100 villagers who attended a public meeting. The MOD and ONR have submitted formal objections to the plans, due to fact that all the new houses would be within Aldermaston’s emergency planning area.
Aldermaston Court was purchased by developers Praxis Real Estate Management in 2012 for £4.7 million, having previously been run as a hotel and conference centre. Praxis claim that building the houses is necessary to finance the cost of renovating Aldermaston Court, which would be converted into 23 apartments under the plans.
The Woodland Trust has also objected to the plans and has launched a public campaign to save the 180 ancient trees that would be lost if the houses are built. In total West Berkshire's planning website lists nearly 1800 responses to the plans, many of them objecting to the loss of woodland. Due to the objections, Praxis have been advised by West Berkshire Council to spend 6 months addressing public concerns through better marketing of the plans.
The plans for a Garden Village were submitted collectively by West Berkshire, Wokingham Borough and Reading Borough Councils in a bid for central government money to develop more detailed proposals for new settlements.
Part of the area identified for ‘Grazely Garden Settlement’ falls within the Burghfield emergency planning area. The project was not one of the 14 chosen to be taken forward by central government in January, but it may be re-submitted for future rounds of funding. NIS understands that some local parish councils plan to oppose the project due to the impact on local infrastructure.