Second group joins battle against Ruscombe housing proposals

An image of Ruscombe from the Ruscombe Voice Facebook page

A new group has been formed to fight building a possible 3500 homes on greenbelt land.

One thousand people from Twyford and neighbouring Ruscombe attended protest meetings set up by The Campaign to Protect Rural Wokingham last September.

Now a second group, Ruscombe Voice, has joined the battle. It has over 1,000 names on its petition asking Wokingham Borough Council to do “everything in its power” to protect  “much loved historical countryside” in Ruscombe.

Jane Holmes, who founded Ruscombe Voice with four other residents, denied there had been any row, rivalry or ill feeling with the Campaign.

“They have been working on the legal side of things …  We felt a residents’ group would complement that,” she said. The new group was independent, for residents by residents. It did not involve politicians and would tackle other issues as well.

She added: “People are worried Ruscombe Voice has been set up in opposition to CPRW.

“We felt strongly it was a good idea to work alongside with the CPRW. We’re delighted they’re doing well. They’re promising petitions which we eagerly await.”

The Ruscombe Voice petition was to make residents’ feelings known to Wokingham Borough Council and also to local MP Theresa May.

Ruscombe Voice members had met Mrs May who very much supported keeping the Green Belt green while alternative sites were available, said Mrs Holmes.

The Ruscombe Voice petition says 3,500 new homes would cause traffic chaos, strain public and local services, and blight the area with urban sprawl and overcrowding.

One of the Campaign’s leaders Cllr John Halsall said of Ruscombe Voice: “They are extremely welcome to join us in the campaign. We are doing our very best to represent Ruscombe, Wargrave and all the other borough northern parishes residents.”

He emphasised that the parish and borough councillors who were part of the Campaign and the northern parish councils’ campaigning group were all elected by residents. The groups were apolitical.

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