The Wokingham Paper

87 houses are ‘inappropriate’ for flood risk zone in Sindlesham

87 homes sindlesham
A map showing the location of the proposed homes in Sindlesham

RESIDENTS across Sindlesham and Winnersh are concerned about the flood risk of building 87 new houses on Mill Lane.

The road — which is almost annually closed due to flooding — was heavily impacted in the January floods this year.

The plans include building a new roundabout on Mill Lane, with the development straddling the road with arching cul-de-sacs.

The ecological impact assessment included in the application notes there are seven waterbodies nearby — five of which are 250 metres away. And the River Loddon flows 120 metres north of the site.

Since consultation began, residents have objected to the plans on a number of grounds.

Sindlesham resident, Jenny McCurry objected to the plans, stating: “Mill Lane is closed several times a year due to flooding which puts additional pressure on Mole Road and King Street Lane which are already at or close to capacity.

“With provision for 186 parking spaces this represents an increase in traffic which will have a further detrimental impact on existing road users.”

Ms McCurry added: “Such a large development would have a major impact on the open space and feel of the local neighbourhood. It is also out of scale in comparison to other nearby developments and out of keeping with the historical character of the area.”

Other nearby residents said the newly approved Nirvana Spa hotel would put increased pressure on the roads — and that this should be taken into consideration too.

Mark Heppelthwaite wrote: “Nirvana Spa has planning already which will greatly increase traffic… access to and from this site will be a disaster on our already busy roads in the area.”

Winnersh resident, Catherine O’Nyons questioned how any of the potential new homeowners would be able to insure their properties for flooding, because “Mill Lane and the surrounding area floods at least once a year.”

And due to the houses’ proximity to the M4, the traffic is too loud to open windows.

The noise risk assessment concluded that “target internal noise levels would not be achievable with open windows for ventilation for any plot.”

This means that “alternative means of ventilation” would need to be used for each home instead.

Cllr Paul Fishwick, Liberal Democrat councillor for Winnersh, said: “The proposed development of 87 dwellings at land known as Hatch Farm, Mill Lane, Sindlesham is an awful lot and is partly within the countryside on both sides of Mill Lane adjacent to the M4 motorway.

“Mill Lane is a country lane with several bends and a narrow footway on one side only and no street lighting.

“It is a busy road, and traffic congestion along with other local roads such as Mole Road, King Street Lane and Bearwood Road is normal at peak times and the congestion can get so bad that it becomes one big queue.  This development will only add to this problem.

“Between the motorway and Lower Earley Way roundabout, Mill Lane is often closed to all through traffic several times a year due to flooding by the River Loddon, adding to further pressure on an already congested road network.

“Access to the nearest public transport — buses and trains — is around a 1.8km walk, along narrow footways adjacent to the busy B3030.

“This distance is too far for most to walk and therefore the majority of residents would only drive, adding to the current issues of congestion.”

The consultation ends on Thursday, July 23.

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