The Wokingham Paper

Fence separating construction site and nature reserve removed

Keep Hatch nature reserve

RESIDENTS and dog walkers had cause for concern after a fence separating a nature reserve and construction site was removed without warning.

The wire fence separating the Keephatch Nature reserve and a new road being built by Bellway Homes was removed by the developer.

Local resident Caroline Burwood said: “Earlier this week with no notice, no communication, nothing, that fence was fully removed.

“The area is used by many families with children and dog walkers.

“You could imagine my horror as I walked my dog earlier this week and realised there was nothing between us and [the] active construction traffic.”

Ms Burwood added that Wokingham Borough Council has no record of permission sought to remove the fence between the reserve and the new road under construction.

In place of the wire fence, a wooden fence and gate have been installed in the field backing onto Binfield Road.

However, the gate has no latch, and blows open and closed in the wind.

The wooden fence also has large gaps — big enough for a dog to escape through.

Ms Burwood and a group of local residents are asking for Bellway Homes reinstate a wired fence the full length of the Nature Reserve and into the field, as well as addressing the newly installed wooden gate without a latch.

The Wokingham Paper understands that the fence’s removal was planned as the opening date of the new Northern Distributor Road comes nearer.

It is also planned to rectify the position of the kissing gate, so it will be closer to the nature reserve.

A spokesperson from Wokingham Borough Council said: “We are aware of residents’ concerns regarding fencing between the Keephatch Nature Reserve and the new road. Officers at the Council are currently discussing this matter with the developer.”

But there is no agreed date for the fence completion.

In the meantime, residents will have to be careful walking their dogs in the Keephatch Nature Reserve.

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