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  • Sharma joins Save the Bath Road Reservoir Celebration
    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 join our celebration Clearly we were pleased with the Planning Inspector s rejection of Thames Water s appeals However we are not opposed to redevelopment of the site as long as it fits in with the character of

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/184 (2016-02-14)
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  • Victory for local residents as Bath Road Reservoir appeal is dismissed
    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 perseverance of the Save The Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Group who have worked so diligently over the past years to protect this valuable green lung in the centre of our town Reading Borough Council also deserves praise for the manner in which they have approached this issue and the support of our local Reading papers and other media has been invaluable in keeping this issue in the public eye Alok concluded I hope that Thames Water finally understands that they cannot ride roughshod over the views

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/173 (2016-02-14)
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  • Public Inquiry looms for Thames Water appeal against Bath Road Reservoir decision
    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 the STBRR arguments If anyone would like to speak as an independent member of the public please get in touch to discuss details Local Reading West MP Alok Sharma who has been working with local residents and the Save Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Group since 2008 to oppose Thames Water s plans to build almost 100 homes on the reservoir site said Thames Water s plans are unacceptable to local people and ultimately they have failed to take on board local concerns or to engage in a mutually

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/160 (2016-02-14)
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  • Street party maintains awareness of Bath Road Reservoir Campaign
    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 appropriate and sympathetic but unfortunately they appealed and we now have to fight them at a Public Inquiry in November We accept that some form of development will take place on the site in the future but the proposed development in its current form would shatter this community and detrimentally alter the character of the area Fellow campaigner Graham Griffiths concluded The fate of the site is now in the hands of the appointed government inspector Concerned residents can still make a difference by attending the Inquiry

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/149 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma calls on Planning Inspectorate to reject Thames Water's appeal
    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 taken into consideration when looking at this appeal The forthcoming Localism Bill is to abolish Regional Spatial Strategies bringing decision making closer to the locality Local people have already spoken on this matter rejecting the plans for good reasons and I hope that you will concur that their conclusions were sound and dismiss the appeal Commenting after the submission Alok noted Over development is a serious issue and of huge worry to many of my constituents and I will certainly aim to raise the concerns of

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/136 (2016-02-14)
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  • Save the Bath Road Reservoir Group encourage public to participate in latest LDF consultation | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    The Save the Bath Road Reservoir Group together with Alok Sharma the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Reading West are calling on local residents to take part in the latest round of Reading Borough Council s LDF Local Development Framework consultation which will take place over the coming six weeks Reservoir campaigner Mel Woodward said We were absolutely delighted to see from published reports on the lastest LDF consultation process which ended last year that more people commented on the Bath Road Reservoir site than any other site under consideration for development by Reading Borough Council It is absolutely clear that the vast majority of local residents want to preserve this site and see it turned into an educational resource for our local schools to study Reading s urban wildlife and unique architectural heritage Fellow campaigner Graham Griffiths added This is a unique site and a rare green lung in the centre of Reading which deserves to be preserved However we have always maintained that we are not anti development and would be prepared to take part in a reasoned discussion with Thames Water and Reading Borough Council on the sustainable number of homes this site could take Certainly the maximum of 80 homes being proposed in the current LDF proposals is way above what would be acceptable for local residents however we look forward to working with Reading Borough Council and all local politicians cross party who have supported us to develop a revised planning brief for the site which is appropriate and takes into account the views of the local community Alok Sharma commented I together with local councillors have been working with the Save the Bath Road Reservoir Group over the past two years to save this site The response of the Reservoir Group and local residents has

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/save-bath-road-reservoir-group-encourage-public-participate-latest-ldf-consultation (2016-02-14)
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  • Bath Road Reservoir site – reasons for rejection to be heard on 4th November | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    Survey Save the Bath Road Reservoir Campaign Southcote rat infestation The Reading Futures Fair Underwood Road Precinct Development Visitor Parking Permits Letters Gallery Contact Links Bath Road Reservoir site reasons for rejection to be heard on 4th November Thames Water s application to redevelop the Bath Road Reservoir site was unanimously rejected by the RBC planning committee at their meeting on Weds 7th October On Wednesday 4th November at 6 30pm the planning committee will meet again to establish the full reasons for their rejection Campaigner Mel Woodward said It is in the best interests of everyone the planning committee the planning officers and the Save the Bath Road Reservoir campaign that these reasons cover ALL of the planning grounds that justify why the application is unsuitable for the site because then if Thames Water appeal the government will then not be able to overrule it and we won t end up with a potentially similar or worse development Local resident Graham Griffiths said Although we have come far it is still really important to keep the motivation on the campaign alive so we would ask as many people as possible to come along and show their support at this meeting We packed out the council chambers at the last meeting and it would be great if we can do this again Graham continued Now will be the chance for Thames Water to make good on their claims of putting the environment and the community at the heart of everything we do of which there has been very little evidence so far Alok Sharma the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Reading West added We only achieved a partial victory with the rejection of this application last week and Thames Water will undoubtedly be reviewing their options for an appeal We therefore

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/bath-road-reservoir-site-%E2%80%93-reasons-rejection-be-heard-4th-november (2016-02-14)
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  • Bath Road Reservoir site lives to fight another day | Alok Sharma MP - Member of Parliament for Reading West
    delighted by the unanimous decision by the Planning Committee to reject Thames Water s application that has taken them two years to complete We were completely knocked out by the overwhelming support of the local community who turned up to overfill the council chambers We are hugely grateful to our elected representatives particularly Martin Salter Alok Sharma Paul Gittings Terry Byrne the public Lord Stoddart and to everyone else who spoke in our favour this evening We realise that this is by no means the end but we would encourage Thames Water to reflect on and be mindful of all the issues that were discussed and we would invite them to reconsider and come forward with a new vision for the future use of this site Mel Woodward a campaigner and local resident added We feel pleased that common sense has prevailed and that justice has been done with regards to the hugely unpopular development plans proposed by Thames Water We are not opposed to development but what Thames Water was proposing would have been a massive overdevelopment of the site completely out of keeping with the surrounding area and was driven by corporate greed We would welcome a reopening of our previous discussions with Thames Water as long as they will listen to us this time We do not feel that the previous public consultations they have done have been genuine exercises in listening to the real views of the community Mel Woodward concluded It is likely that Thames Water will appeal against this decision The public its representatives and the planning committee are aware of this and believe that there are an overwhelming number of legitimate planning reasons why the application should not be permitted We would invite Thames Water to approach the community and its representatives to

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/content/bath-road-reservoir-site-lives-fight-another-day (2016-02-14)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-24