The Wokingham Paper

Earley Town Council comes out against bus lane bridge over River Thames (again)

MRT revised proposal

EARLEY Town Council has once again come out against plans to build a bus lane bridge over the historic Kennetmouth.

On Tuesday, November 13, its planning committee met to discuss Reading Borough Council’s application to concrete over land next to the banks of the River Thames to create the single lane bridge that, if approved, will provide a bus only route from Thames Valley Park to Reading Station’s Vastern Road. Cyclists and pedestrians will be able to use it, but the access points will be at the start and finish of the bridge.

In the summer, Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee threw out the original plans citing the height and scale of the project among the reasons.

In a statement, Earley Town Council said:

“Councillors considered this application but once again requested that Wokingham Borough Council refuse the application highlighting their concerns as follows:

  • That the height, scale, prominence and proximity to the River Thames and River Kennet, would be harmful to the landscape character of the area including its riparian appearance.  This would be contrary to Wokingham Borough policies CP1, CP3 and CP11 of the Core Strategy.
  • That the flood compensation measures would have a severe impact on flora and fauna.
  • That there were concerns over the environmental impact on the National Thames Path and the natural environment of the River Thames from the extra vehicles diverted to the area.
  • The loss of wildlife habitat.”

The final decision will be taken by Wokingham Borough Council Planning Committee, the date is yet to be determined.

Wokingham Borough Council’s planning department’s online consultation ends on Friday, November 23, and a petition from campaign group SOAR is still online and could force debate at Reading or Wokingham Borough councils.

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