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Wokingham residents celebrate after Woodcray homes plan rejected again

WP Woodcray

CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after a housebuilder lost a second attempt to build a huge housing development on a popular green site.

Wokingham Borough Council has refused planning permission for 216 houses on Woodcray countryside off the Finchampstead Road.

It was the second time in 18 months that Gladman had applied for permission, the last involving 250 homes.

The Save Woodcray Countryside Campaign Group launched a massive campaign to prevent the move which led to over 600 people making objections.

Locals tied yellow ribbons to trees and their homes as a sign they opposed the development which they feared would lead to increased traffic congestion, pollution, anti-social behaviour and the loss of unspoilt countryside.

A spokesperson for the group said it was “overjoyed” council bosses had rejected the application.

“We would like to say a big thank you to all those who submitted objections as well as all those who protested, delivered leaflets, car counted, monitored air pollution levels and a whole lot more; this was a real community effort.

“We would also like to thank our ward councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner who has worked extremely hard and supported us from the start, over two years ago, as have many other local Borough and Town Councillors. They have all been fantastic.

“We would also like to thank The Wokingham Paper which was very supportive to our campaign. We really do appreciate all you did.”

The spokesperson added the housing development would have ruined the area.

“There were many reasons for refusal, among them the planners determined that the development would cause harm to the green-gap countryside including the protected veteran trees along the Finchampstead Road and in Luckley School’s grounds.

“It would also have an adverse impact on the already heavy traffic on the Finchampstead Road and is situated in an unsustainable location, as there are very few amenities within walking distance of the site.”

It is not clear yet whether Gladman will try a third attempt.

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