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  • Thames Water displays latest plans to local campaign group | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Thames Water displays latest plans to local campaign group On Friday 28th October the Save the Bath Road Reservoir STBRR group along with Reading West MP Alok Sharma and local councillor Paul Gittings met with Thames Water where the water company shared the revisions they had made to their plans as a result of the overwhelming negative feedback from the public consultation they held on 24th September Unfortunately only minimal changes had been made despite huge local opposition to the proposed heights and density of the proposed development STBRR campaigner Graham Griffiths commented While some small changes have been made the proposal is still too much and too high It is still not at all in keeping with the local area nor the historic settings and it does nothing to offset the deficiency of open space in the area The building platform height is still a key issue and Thames Water are still being cagey about this despite having had so much time to look into it Fellow campaigner and local neighbourhood watch coordinator Peter Finnan added We have raised numerous concerns over the location of the proposed play area as it stands it would not be a safe location and would not in any way benefit the local area In addition the proposed wildlife area has clearly not been thought through and Thames Water evidently don t care about the fact that no wildlife would survive if their current proposals were to be permitted STBRR campaigner Mel Woodward said The decommissioning process is a huge issue Many houses in this area already suffer from subsidence and there is a real fear amongst the local community about the real implications of such a huge development so near

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/thames-water-displays-latest-plans-local-campaign-group (2016-02-14)
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  • Thames Water display latest plans for the Bath Road Reservoir site to the community | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    were dismissed at appeal early this year but that there is still a long way to go before they are acceptable Local resident Martin Hoare commented With the heights of the buildings proposed on a higher development platform as well residents of Western Road would come out of their front doors and think they were walking into Canary Wharf Schoolteacher and local resident Fiona Watson added Thames Water have been very dishonest about the old and new building heights proposed their before and after figures include only the maximum height figures for their previous application which ranged sometimes from 8m to 12 5m To unsuspecting residents who were unaware of the detail of the previous application this makes it look as though they have listened and reduced the heights but they haven t at all the number of dwellings proposed is less but they haven t reduced the footprint since the buildings would still cover the same amount of space This is a very deliberate attempt to mislead the local community and the local Council and I am extremely disappointed STBRR campaigner Graham Griffiths commented We still feel that Thames Water could allocate more amenity space Social housing with no community facilities makes little sense Thames Water could use one of the buildings proposed as housing for community purposes Further this area lacks ball play areas access to allotments and other such community facilities and a real opportunity to address this is being missed Fellow campaigner Mel Woodward added Building heights are still a major concern as the proposed buildings are still of an unacceptable size and massing and would still dwarf the surrounding buildings One of the key reasons for dismissal was the cluster of buildings in the centre of the site being 10 12m on a raised platform

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/thames-water-display-latest-plans-bath-road-reservoir-site-community (2016-02-14)
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  • Thames Water continues to ride roughshod over local opinion regarding Bath Road Reservoir | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    despite the clear widespread public and political opposition to their application and despite its application being dismissed at Appeal in January of this year Thames Water appears to plan to push ahead with a near identical application to redevelop the much loved Bath Road Reservoir site The proposed development plans aim to shave off only a small number of the proposed 96 units and do not now include the Water Tower They involve the removal of all the embankments and the complete flattening of the site and the construction of large buildings of up to 3 storeys high which will dwarf and overshadow the surrounding properties The character of the area will be permanently changed Mel Woodward from the STBRR Group said We are extremely disappointed with Thames Water s arrogance and their consistent attempts to make only the most minimal amendments to their plans and cram in as many units as possible We had hoped that such a public rejection would make them realise that they needed both to go back to the drawing board and also to actually listen to what the local community wants We have been telling them for the past 3 years that even 80 is too many units and that the local infrastructure and area cannot support this many new dwellings but they just don t care It makes a mockery of democracy Fellow campaigner Graham Griffiths added It was the changes to the Water Tower that really were the last nail in the coffin for the Appeal decision so Thames Water are evidently trying to sneak around this obstacle by leaving it out altogether This goes against what both the Inspector and RBC have dictated the site forms part of the setting of the Water Tower and pumping station and it must be

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/thames-water-continues-ride-roughshod-over-local-opinion-regarding-bath-road-reservoir (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma joins Save the Bath Road Reservoir Celebration | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Sharma joins Save the Bath Road Reservoir Celebration Reading West MP Alok Sharma joined a party organised by the Save the Bath Road Reservoir campaign group to celebrate the rejection of Thames Water s plans to overdevelop the Bath Road Reservoir site The event took place at the Foresters Arms on Brunswick Street on Saturday 5th February Activities and entertainments were laid on for all age groups with a children s disco and games followed by live music from The Newtowners a buffet and a raffle with prizes sponsored by local businesses The party was organised to celebrate the Planning Inspector s decision to reject both of Thames Water s appeals with respect to the application to develop the Bath Road Reservoir site The Inspector whose decision was announced on 14th January concluded that the benefits of the proposed development would not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the site and the wider area and hence she dismissed Thames Water s appeals Speaking after the event Alok said It was great to get together to celebrate the success of the Save the Bath Road Reservoir campaign in preventing this inappropriate scheme from going ahead The next step in this process is for Thames Water if it still wishes to develop this site to engage proactively with the local community and the campaign group to reach a mutually satisfactory plan for the site I look forward to continuing to work with the campaign group and Thames Water to achieve a solution which makes sense for the local community Mel Woodward of the Save the Bath Road Reservoir campaign group added We were delighted that Alok was able to

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/sharma-joins-save-bath-road-reservoir-celebration (2016-02-14)
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  • Victory for local residents as Bath Road Reservoir appeal is dismissed | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    building Mel Woodward of the Save the Bath Road Reservoir campaign group said We are delighted with the news and hope that after this further rejection Thames Water will finally take a step back and engage with local residents to come up with an acceptable proposal for this site We are not opposed to redevelopment of the site but it should aim to fit in with the character of the local area rather than draw the maximum profit possible Fellow campaigner Graham Griffiths added With the new Localism Bill imminent we hope that Thames Water will be a pioneering influence by drawing up some new more sympathetic plans together with local residents The site is highly valued and treasured by the local community and any development must take their views into account The STBRR group sustainability advisor Phil Birch stated This is an interesting lesson for all involved it shows the importance of fighting for what you believe in but also to do it in the correct manner Picket signs and protests are no use without logic and knowledge The irony is that if Thames Water had worked with the community and not against it a solution agreeable to all could have been found Local Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator Peter Finnan said This should never have gone to appeal in the first place It was a disgraceful waste of community money and we hope that Thames Water will finally see sense and go back to the drawing board Reading West MP Alok Sharma who has campaigned over the past three years with the Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Group and local residents against Thames Water s proposals commented This fantastic decision is a victory for localism and for common sense and I want to pay tribute to the professionalism and

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/victory-local-residents-bath-road-reservoir-appeal-dismissed (2016-02-14)
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  • Public Inquiry looms for Thames Water appeal against Bath Road Reservoir decision | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    year The future of the Reservoir site will be determined at a Public Inquiry where a government Inspector has been appointed to consider it The Inquiry will begin at 10am on 16th November at the Town Hall and will last approximately 8 working days The public and interested parties are welcome to attend though obviously can dip in and out as their time permits The proposed development plans include not just 96 dwellings but also the conversion and an out of character extension of the Grade II listed Water Tower into offices It involves the removal of all the embankment and the complete flattening of the site and the construction of up to 4 storey high buildings which will dwarf and overshadow the surrounding properties The character of the area will be permanently changed Mel Woodward from the STBRR Group said Thames Water s evidence is based on their claim that the site as it currently stands is unpleasant and would be significantly improved if it were demolished and replaced with a load of concrete This is obviously ludicrous given how valued the site is by the local community Fellow campaigner Graham Griffiths added They are also claiming that the site despite being the only open green space in the area and sustaining a host of wildlife has only limited value in this respect and which they claim would be improved by building over the vast majority of it We hope that the Inspector will recognize how unrealistic their claims that schools would want to visit a housing estate to appreciate the wildlife appear to be Peter Finnan local Neighbourhood Watch coordinator said The Inquiry is open to public attendance and public speaking The more people who attend in support of the campaign the more weight this will add to

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/public-inquiry-looms-thames-water-appeal-against-bath-road-reservoir-decision (2016-02-14)
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  • Street party maintains awareness of Bath Road Reservoir Campaign | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    on Saturday 18th September Once again it was hailed a great success by local residents and all those campaigning against Thames Water s development plans which they have now taken to appeal following the refusal of planning permission in October 2009 Reading West MP Alok Sharma attended the party met and talked with local residents and judged the children s fancy dress competition Alok commented There was a great community spirit at this event which appears to have become a firm annual fixture in the West Reading community calendar Whilst everyone enjoyed themselves local residents are very much aware that this event was held to keep up awareness of Thames Water s plans to build 96 homes and commercial space on this beautiful green site I very much hope that Thames Water s appeal is turned down I have made my views plain in writing to the inquiry inspector and hope to have the opportunity to speak up at the inquiry on behalf of the vast majority of my constituents who are opposed to Thames Water s plans Local Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Peter Finnan commented Over 200 people came along to the party during the afternoon and evening and we had all sorts of fun activities including apple bobbing a fancy dress competition music dancing and lots of party games like musical statues We were particularly pleased that the weather was kind to us It was great to see young and old having so much fun together Local STBRR campaigner Mel Woodward added The sense of community spirit continues to be very strong and this is in no small part due to the unique nature of where we live We hoped after their proposed plans were rejected in October last year that Thames Water would come back with something more

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/street-party-maintains-awareness-bath-road-reservoir-campaign (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma calls on Planning Inspectorate to reject Thames Water's appeal | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    his written submission Alok wrote to the Planning Inspectorate The development would change the area immeasurably giving a green lung over to more than 80 residential units and office space As well as introducing a design whose bulk and massing is too great for such a place the redevelopment of this open space in terms of loss of amenity loss of trees and loss of wildlife habitat is very much to the detriment of residents A townscape like Reading needs green areas to provide a balance The loss of the embankment at the front of the site will severely affect the streetscape eliminating a break in the built environment Such breaks for parks or green landscaping are prevalent travelling west on the Bath Road These green frontages are a character of the area symbolic of moving away from Reading Town centre Alok continued in his letter of objection The original Development Brief states that Reading s most pressing need is for family homes yet this application seeks 40 of the units to be flats The change in demographics resulting from a higher density in such a number of flats however will place an increased strain on local infrastructure This strain will also extend to traffic and parking Bath Road is a busy arterial road and as such it is already difficult to park in the local area and the congestion is severe at peak times Inappropriate development will make the resulting access a dangerous point on the road Alok concluded in his letter of objection The appellant makes mention of the Regional Spatial Strategy whilst setting out the reasons for appeal You will be aware that the new Coalition Government issued planning guidelines scrapping Whitehall set density targets with immediate effect I hope and trust that emerging policy will be

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/sharma-calls-planning-inspectorate-reject-thames-waters-appeal (2016-02-14)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-15