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‘It’s bonkers. 1,000 homes in Barkham Square is madness’

Barkham Square

LOCAL politicians have reacted with shock over the news that three big settlements are being discussed for the borough.

Cllr Andy Croy, who grew up in Wokingham and is the only Labour councillor on the council, said: “I’m stunned. One thousand homes in Barkham Square is bonkers.

“I can’t believe it – it’s just absolutely bonkers. It’s absolute madness.

“They should be building 2,000 council homes across the borough, but these will just be built by speculative owners and rented out.”

A similar reaction came from Clive Jones, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson, who questioned why some of the documents exploring issues relating to Grazeley and Twyford building plans dated back to February this year – under the previous council leadership of Cllr Keith Baker.

“It’s amazing that they’re dated the beginning of this year. It’s clear there isn’t any chance of direction under the new leadership.

“Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor and Cllr David Lee are still dancing to the tune of developers.

“It’s all to get money in – they didn’t give a damn on housing numbers in the borough over the next 20 years.

“We’re hearing some people who have submitted local plan applications being told they will get it – it isn’t 20,000 homes and then no more, it’s the tip of the iceberg.”

Anger over plans for 19,500 homes in Twyford, Barkham Square and Grazeley

This sentiment was shared by independent councillor Gary Cowan.

“The other 260 sites put forward for consideration will not go away either so expect over 40,000 when it’s all done and dusted,” he said.

And Cllr Lindsay Ferris, the Wokingham borough Liberal Democrat leader, questioned the timing. As the council was exploring ideas for building homes and roads on Twyford’s green belt, it was also taking Hare Hatch Sheeplands to the high court over work it carried out on its site, which is also in the same green belt.

“I find it ironic that it was in legal action with Hare Hatch Sheeplands while at the same time creating a transport study on the very same land. It’s hypocrisy of the first order.”

He also wondered if the plans would prejudice the other sites put forward.

“If they do this before others, if I was a developer I’d make a bloody huge complaint.”

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