Old Forest Road Meadows – Update
Many of our residents use the SANG, or Old Forest Road Meadows as it is more formally titled these days, whether it be for exercise or to walk their dog or simply to have a stroll through the area for recreation.
Although it is well used, there have been issues getting it up to standard. Simon Bartram, of the Council’s Cleaner and Greener team, recently gave us this update on the plans to improve it:
“The Old Forest Road SANG has unfortunately not been handed over to the authority in an acceptable state as regards the meadows and their management.
“We had specifically requested that the area you [ERA} have been talking about (the area of wild flowers) should have been sprayed off with herbicides to remove all of the docks that had taken over the meadow, followed by the meadow being re-seeded with an appropriate wildflower mix. Unfortunately the docks had not been sprayed properly and the correct flower mix was then not used on the site (the cornflowers were only planted to offer a bit of colour in the first year and were unlikely to flower again).
“The Countryside Service are now managing the site and to re-address these issues we have appointed a contractor who will come in during the next few weeks, spray the dock, and re-sow the meadow with the correct wildflower mixture later in the autumn.
“The area was cut to make this spraying easier as the docks were up to 1.5m high, and also prevent them from going to seed and further adding to their domination of the meadow. I do appreciate this really is very unfortunate for the site and that all of the archaeological survey work has also left its scars making it all look quite tatty at the moment. I would like to assure you that the northern meadow will be hay cut after flowering sometime later in the summer.
“I hope that once we have completed the work that we have planned you find the meadows far more interesting to walk through. I also hope that once and they are being managed correctly, they will thrive and improve in the years to come.”
We appreciate Simon’s work and with his help (and budget!) look forward to a much improved environment in the future.
We have been working with Bovis and the Council for some time now on a project to turn the trunk of an oak tree felled during the housing development into a sculpture for siting on Old Forest Road Meadows.
We are pleased to say that progress has been made. The tree trunk has been moved to the sculptor’s workshop, a budget and funding agreed (a combination of money from the Council and Bovis) and a rough design agreed (a seated deer incorporating a bench).
We expect the sculpture to be in place some time in the Spring.
North Wokingham Community Forum, June 2018
The latest of these meetings took place in the Briar Suite at Cantley in June. That venue has its limitations but the meeting was well attended and we are pleased to say that the Council reverted to the format we think works best – a “market place” session with experts available for discussion on key topics, followed by short presentations and an open “question and answer” session.
Some short notes of the meeting have now been issued – see below
Notes and actions from North Wokingham Community Forum:
Old Forest Road Traffic Calming
A public consultation has been launched to hear views on whether WBC should seek to reduce the speed limit in Old Forest Road to 30mph now and install the traffic calming measures on the road that are required if a lower limit is to be enforced. This consultation closed on June 28 and the results are being considered.
Enforcement action against Linden Homes
WBC is looking to take enforcement action against Linden Homes for breach of planning conditions relating to out-of-hours work. Due to weaknesses in enforcement legislation, WBC prefers to work with developers to solve problems (which is generally more effective).
Linden Homes apologised to residents at the meeting and stated that, in order to improve compliance on site, it has employed a security manager who can act independently from the site manager and reports to a senior representative at Linden Homes. Linden has also re-written to all its sub-contractors to remind them of the hours of work and other site rules.
Linden also confirmed that a contractor who was abusive to residents has been sacked and will no longer work for Linden Homes.
Land at Summerfield Close and condition of Emm Brook
Residents complained about the condition of land bought by WBC for the North Wokingham Distributor Road at Summerfield Close. Residents stated the land had become overgrown with brambles and believed this was contributing to increased flood risk at the brook.
A WBC flood risk officer has since investigated this site and found that the brook is flowing freely and the brambles are not causing any increased flood risk. WBC has also been in communication with the residents who raised the issue and are investigating what can be done about the brambles.
North Wokingham Distributor Road
During discussion it was confirmed that:
The NWDR will be delivered in full, with some sections to be built by Balfour Beatty under contract with WBC and others to be built by developers. (Update since meeting: the section through Matthewsgreen is now open.)
There will be no parking allowed on most of the NWDR once WBC has adopted it, although there may be some sections of parking.
WBC will only adopt sections of the road once it is satisfied with the conditions and all snags and legal issues have been resolved
Other issues covered:
The primary school and community centre will share a site but will have separate entrances and will meet all safeguarding and security requirements.
We are pressing for the dates of forthcoming events to be agreed and published as soon as possible, and for the Emmbrook School to be secured as the most suitable venue. We will publish this as soon as it is agreed
As mentioned in the Forum meeting notes, WBC officers and ward councillor Philip Mirfin announced at that meeting that the prosecution – related to repeated instances of working outside of permitted hours by Linden Homes – would proceed.
Unfortunately it now seems unlikely that this will happen. WBC’s legal advisers seem to be of the opinion that they do not have enough evidence for the prosecution to succeed.
We are extremely disappointed at this given that WBC were made well aware of every violation at the time it happened by emails from vigilant residents, sometimes accompanied by photographs. We do not think that WBC were ever keen to proceed, have not been diligent enough in assembling the evidence and are overly risk averse.
On the plus side, the threat of prosecution has resulted in much improved behaviour by Lindens.
Posted 8th October 2018.
Bovis to Redesign Toutley Road Crossing
Bovis have agreed with Wokingham Borough Council to carry out a redesign of the pedestrian crossing at the end of Toutley Road. They are currently planning to carry out the work in November. ERA has suggested that, to minimise disruption, the best timing would be at the next school half term at end of October.
ERA is still pursuing a simple tidy up of the whole area and a reduction of the hedgerow back to the height before development began, so that signs are clearly visible and street lighting is not impeded.
Posted 5th October 2018.
Please be advised that Wokingham Borough Council is now publishing Roadworks Alerts on its website. To access the relevant page, please use this link:
Posted 20th September 2018.
Bell Foundry Lane to be Closed for Four Months
We have been notified that, as part of the North Wokingham Distributor Road (NWDR) project, Bell Foundry Lane will be closed from 1st October until 25th January to allow essential works to be carried out to widen the road. Advanced warning signs will be put in place next week with letters going out to local businesses and key stakeholders (including Cantley Park users via the Wokingham Borough Council sports development team).
Posted 11th September 2018.
Community Event at the Matthewsgreen DevelopmentThames Valley Housing and Wokingham Borough Council are holding an event on the new housing development at Matthews Green phase 2 on Saturday 15th September from 10am -1pm. If there are any volunteers who might like to come along and help out with refreshments, they will be very welcome.The usual WBC groups will be there, as well as the Police, and hopefully the fire brigade will make it to this event. TVH are inviting the Circus skills group along to cater for the children, face painting, balloon shaping and also have ordered a bouncy castle. They are going to be having refreshments throughout the time but will be providing sandwiches etc at 12 noon. It should be a nice event. The location is just on the development off the roundabout on Twyford Road at the back of Emmbrook Place on the Toutley road extension if you come from the other direction. Posted 11th September 2018.
Notes From the Last Community Forum
Notes from the last North Wokingham community forum, which was held on 11th June, are now available on the Wokingham Borough Council website at http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/major-developments/north-wokingham/
Posted 11th September 2018.
New Speed Limit for Old Forest RoadAt a meeting of ward councillors and Wokingham Borough Council officers on 29th August it was agreed that a 30mph speed limit will be implemented on Old Forest Road with chicanes. The timescale is not clear yet but the new limit could be in place before the end of 2018. ERA has not seen the survey results but understands there was a slim majority in favour of the reduced speed limit (but a clear majority amongst residents of Old Forest Road), and a strong preference for chicanes rather than speed bumps. This brings Old Forest Road more in line with other roads in Emmbrook where the speed limit is 20mph or 30mph. The Northern Distributor Road between Twyford Road and Toutley Road is also limited to 30mph.
Posted 29th August 2018.
Wiltshire Concrete – An Update
We have received by email, from the Head of Estates, Commercial Property, at Wokingham Borough Council the following update on the situation regarding the concrete batching plant at the Toutley Depot.
“Legal proceedings have been instigated against Sita/Suez for forfeiture of their lease and WBC has now heard that Sita/Suez are defending the application.
“As WBC is taking the action to forfeit the lease, as and when that action succeeds and Sita’s/Suez lease ends, all of their sub-leases fall away too, Wiltshire’s sub-lease. The Council is hopeful of a court date some time in approximately late September but such a date is Court dependant and cannot be confirmed.
“Wiltshire’s planning position remains unresolved in that they have sought pre-application advice with regard to resubmitting a planning application for a smaller, temporary & mobile site. Sita / Suez solicitors have perhaps inadvertently confirmed that the use is at least partially not authorised by planning consent. That in itself does not guarantee success because the court has very wide powers to grant relief from forfeiture but is of consequence.
“Unfortunately, Wiltshire continue to cause nuisance on the roads and spillage of concrete from their trucks as well as dust generated are a constant problem for local residents. Highways is aware of this and is continuing to work to stop this. Wiltshire’s use of the roads has also been reported to both the police & Traffic Commissioners in respect of their Operators Licence.”
We will keep you informed as and when we receive any further information.
Posted 19th August 2018.
Thames Valley Police Open Day, Saturday 18th August
This summer, Thames Valley Police (TVP) will once again be opening its doors to the public for its annual force open day. As this year marks 50 years since the formation of TVP, the force will be celebrating the work it has done for the past half a century. You are invited to join them on Saturday 18th August at their Training Centre in Sulhamstead, near Reading (post code RG7 4DX) between 10am and 4pm.
There will be something for everyone as stalls showcase what TVP has to offer. Some of the highlights include:
- Arena displays, including the public order team combined with the mounted section
- Children’s fancy dress competition – come dressed in a police themed costume to be in with the chance of winning a fabulous prize
- Pat and chat with the mounted section – A chance to meet officers and their horses
- See the force helicopter and meet the pilots
- Learn about different departments such as the Forensic Investigation Unit and FISO (Force Intelligence and Specialist Operations)
- Visit the police museum
- Hear about what it is like to be on the other end of 999 and 101 calls in our specialist talks, also including how it feels to be at the centre of complex major crime investigations
As at past events, TVP will be raising money for two worthy charities. This year, these are Mind Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and the Police Dependants Trust.
After the record breaking 8,000 visitors last year, organisers have been working hard to improve access to the event. This year there will be two entrances for visitors at South Drive and White Lodge. Due to this, it is important that visitors follow the signs to the event. The roads will be busy and narrow country lanes can make it difficult to turn around if you go the wrong way. Car parking is available on a first come, first served basis and will open from 9.30am. Only assistance dogs are permitted, visitors who arrive with dogs will be turned away and dogs must not be left in cars. On entry to the event bag searches will be taking place.
The event, which has free entry, starts at 10am with last entry at 3.30pm for a 4pm finish. The police look forward to welcoming you to the event and celebrating 50 years of TVP.
Closure of Emmbrook Road – Diversion Route We have just received from Wokingham Borough Council a map showing the diversion route that will be in operation during the closure of Emmbrook Road from 6th to 31st August (see the notifications below). The map is illustrated below for your information.Posted 25th July 2018.
The Emmbrook School – Planning Application There is a planning application in (number 181565) to install an artificial grass pitch with floodlights at the Emmbrook School, of which we have recently become aware. A number of residents have entered objections related to traffic/noise and light nuisance issues given that the application is to provide use outside of school hours till 10pm.
However, some might consider that this pitch is an essential addition for the children and is a welcome addition to the recreational facilities in the area.
ERA will enter a submission before the deadline of 31st July.
If you want to know more about the application and make your own comment, follow the link below before the deadline.http://planning.wokingham.gov.uk/FastWebPL/detail.asp?AltRef=181565&ApplicationNumber=181565&AddressPrefix=&Postcode=&KeywordSearch=&Submit=SearchPosted 25th July 2018.
Emmbrook Road – Temporary Closure – An Update
Further to the announcement that we made on 4th July (see below), the dates for this closure have been firmed up and we now understand that Emmbrook Road will be closed between Woodhurst Lane and Toutley Road from 6th to 31st August.
Posted 20th July 2018.
“Soft” Opening of Part of the Northern Distributor Road
Although it has not yet been formally opened, the section of the NDR between Toutley Road and Twyford Road is now available for use, following what the developers Bovis have described as a “soft” opening.
Posted 9th July 2018.
The (Unfinished) History of Emmbrook – New Book Launch Impending!
The next in the series of Emmbrook – Unfinished Histories, due shortly, contains items on Matthews Green House, an inventory of its contents in 1831 and showing its social importance nationally in 1892 with a Grand Band Contest. There is detail of the development of Emmbrook and a commentary on the history of a house in Emmbrook Road revealed by a series of sales from sale of the land in 1905.
There is more petty crime including poaching which involved a member of the Emmbrook Cricket Eleven. Both the football and cricket teams feature in reports of their matches in the early C20th .
The owner and occupier of Bill Hill feature at the time of an incidence of Tractarianism at Hurst and there is further information on the Vendors of the Village Hall site in 1867.
Being the 65th Anniversary of the ending of the Korean War in July, there is a record of an Emmbrook man who fought with the “Glorious Glosters” at Imjin River.
This book will be distributed free to paid up members of the Emmbrook Residents Association when it is published. Copies will be available for sale from the Chairman and from Embrook Post Office.
Posted 4th July 2018.
Emmbrook Road – Temporary Closure
Wokingham Borough Council, as Traffic Authority, proposes to make an Order under Section 14 (1) (a) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 the effect of which is prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along Emmbrook Road, Wokingham between its junctions with Commons Road and Toutley Road. The reason for this prohibition is allow Wokingham Borough Council contractors to undertake essential bridge refurbishment works and Bovis Homes contractors to install a new pedestrian crossing in safety.
The alternative route for all vehicles affected by this restriction will be via Commons Road, Old Forest Road and Toutley Road, or by this route in reverse. Access for residents and businesses within the boundary of the restriction will be maintained at all times.
The restriction imposed by the Order will only apply during those periods when traffic signs complying with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 are lawfully displayed. The restrictions contained in the Order will come into operation on 26th July 2018 and will continue in force for a period not exceeding 18 months or until the works have been completed, whichever is the earlier. It is, however, expected that works requiring this restriction shall be completed by 23rd August 2018.
Posted 4th July 2018.
ERA Quiz Night – a Date for Your Diary
The ever-popular ERA annual quiz will be held this year on Saturday 17th November. As usual it will take place at the Village Hall, starting at 8.00pm and running until 10.30. Further details will be announced in due course.
Posted 22nd June 2018.
Exhibitions Relating to M4 Roadworks
Most residents will be aware that Highways England will be making changes to the M4 to convert the existing hard shoulder into a running lane – although whether or not one agrees with the definition of this scheme as creating a “smart” motorway depends on individual opinion.
Highways England will be running a series of exhibitions to demonstrate to the public what the aims and objectives of this scheme will be. The dates, times and locations for the exhibitions in this general area are given in the table below.
Posted 18th June 2018.
Update on Community Forum, Monday 11th June
We have received further details from Wokingham Borough Council about the above forum, as follows:
Marketplace Drop In
This is your opportunity to find out the latest news about what’s happening. We’ll have officers there to answer your questions on planning, highways and transport, the new community centre and school, the nature parks and allotments and the next phase of the North Wokingham Distributor Road – west of Old Forest Road. We will also have representatives from two developers, Bovis and Linden, and the new community centre operators, Kings Church Wokingham.
Following the marketplace, we will have a Q&A session led by local Emmbrook Cllr Philip Mirfin.
A reminder that the forum will take place in the Briar Suite of the Cantley House Hotel, starting at 6.30pm and finishing at 9.00pm on Monday 11th June.
Posted 8th June 2018.
Wokingham Borough Council – Consultation re Speed Limit on OFR
ERA and your ward councillors have been putting pressure on the Council for years to reduce the speed limit on Old Forest Road (OFR) from 40mph to 30mph. We have eventually got to the point where they are prepared to do that subject to the responses received to the current consultation. As a resident of Emmbrook you should have received a letter from WBC – if not or if you have binned it, a copy is attached.
Traffic speeds along OFR, much of it heavy lorries (thanks, Berkshire Concrete) and with the imminent opening of the road through the new estate from Twyford Road to Toutley Road it will get worse as volume increases. The full Northern Distributor Road is not expected to open until 2021 so we have at least three years before (hopefully) the volume of traffic on OFR eases off.
Please note that the letter says “Recent traffic surveys show good compliance with the current 40mph speed limit” – they didn’t! They showed that the average speed is near to 40mph which means that in amongst that average are many individual instances of more than 40mph! This was not just our interpretation, it was the interpretation of the council officers we met with.
There is a very quick online survey to complete, two questions only – follow the link via the WBC website
The views of ERA and ward councillors are as follows:
Yes to traffic calming
We want the road to be safer and quieter, with less vibrations for adjacent houses
Yes to chicanes
We know that speed bumps are not favoured by WBC and emergency services, for good reason in our opinion, and if that is nevertheless the chosen option we suspect it will be resisted and never actually happen
Whatever your views, please complete the survey by the deadline of June 28th so that the wishes of local residents are accurately measured. We have been told that if there is a clear preference for traffic calming, measures will be put in place by the end of 2018.
North Wokingham Community Forum
You are reminded that the next North Wokingham Community Forum will take place next Monday evening at the Briar Suite of the Cantley House Hotel. ERA would like to encourage you to come along.
It’s seven months since the last one and so there is a lot to catch up on. Following some pressure from ERA, we are pleased to say that we have managed to get the format back to something more useful.
The running order will be:
6.30pm to 7.30pm: Drop-in session with stands including:
- NDR West of Old Forest Road section (the next section to be built)
- New school/community centre in Emmbrook Place
7.30pm to 9pm: Q&A
Chaired by Councillor Mirfin, with panel to include WBC officers and senior councillors able to cover a range of topics including:
– Highways issues (NDR including the imminent opening of the Matthewsgreen section, and
Old Forest Road speed calming)
– Planning issues (including enforcement….)
In the Q&A, there will be a brief introduction that will pick up on conversations that have taken place during the drop-in session and any questions submitted in advance followed by an open session with questions.
It is also intended that there will be a written hand-out on the concrete batching plant at Toutley Depot
The venue is a bit further away than the Emmbrook School (it wasn’t available) but it’s not too far to walk if the weather is OK and if you come by car there is adequate car parking adjacent to the hotel and the Wokingham Theatre/sports fields.
This is your chance to hear from the decision makers and tell them your thoughts and concerns. Remember – officers and councillors are charged with delivering what YOU want so tell them!
Please do come.
Posted 6th June 2018.
Local Store to Host Family Fun Day
Sanjay Odedra, the proprietor of the One Stop Shop and Embrook Post Office at 139 Reading Road, will be hosting a Family Fun Day on Saturday 9th June, from 11am until 3pm. The event will be held at the shop, and it is in honour of Sanjay’s 30th year of ownership. Visitors will find a variety of free offerings including children’s “goodie bags” and food and wine tasting opportunities. There will also be a raffle, with a prize of a mountain bike. All proceeds will go to a good cause.
Posted 5th June 2018.
Road Works at Matthewsgreen Road/Toutley Road Junction – Additional Information
Further to the posting made yesterday, Bovis Homes have an update for you regarding the improvement works at the junction of Matthewsgreen Road and Toutley Road.
Works will take place Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th June under ‘give and take’ traffic management, controlled by the contractor. The road closure will now take place on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th June between the hours of 9.30am and 3.30pm. This will allow for the resurfacing works to be completed.
Posted 5th June 2018.
Wokingham Society Open MeetingThe next Wokingham Society Open Meeting will be held on Tuesday 10th July at 7.45 pm in the Town Hall, when Jan Nowecki, Town Clerk, will talk about and illustrate the topic: Town Not Borough Council: What Does Your Town Clerk Do? The meeting is open and free to all to attend.
Posted 4th June 2018.
JPRA Party in the Park 2018
The Joel Park Residents Association is once again organising its annual Party in the Park (Joel Park of course)! This highly popular and successful event will take place this year on Sunday 1st July, commencing at 2pm and continuing until late. All are welcome to attend.
Posted 4th June 2018.
Reminder – Road Works at Matthewsgreen Road/Toutley Road Junction
Following the letter from Bovis Homes sent of the 8th May 2018, you are reminded that Bovis Homes and their contractors Gracelands Ltd will be undertaking highway improvement works at the above junction including the installation of new zebra crossing in Toutley Road.
These works will commence on the 4th June 2018 under three way traffic signals and then a road closure to complete final surfacing. The traffic signals will be controlled manually during peak hours to minimise traffic impact.
Posted 4th June 2018.
Matthewsgreen Development – Road Names
Readers might be interested to know about the origin of some of the street names on the Matthewsgreen Farm development (Emmbrook Place). ERA was asked, at an early stage of the development, if it would like to suggest any names for the new streets, and it fell to our resident local historian, Peter Shilham, to come up with some ideas. Peter made numerous suggestions, based on Emmbrook families that were notable (for a variety of reasons), and many of these have been adopted. To see which roads were named at Peter’s suggestion, and to read about the history behind them, please click here.
Posted 4th June 2018.
Regular users of the Village Hall will probably have noticed that a defibrillator has been installed there. This easy-to-use and potentially life-saving machine can be accessed 24 hours a day.
Posted 4th June 2018.
Calling Year 10 Footballers!
Wokingham & Emmbrook Football Club is in need of three or four experienced footballers in Year 10 at school, to complete its Under-15 side. If you are interested, please contact Robin Gofton, the manager of the side, using the contact details on the flyer illustrated.
Posted 21st May 2018.
Information About New Roads in Wokingham
Wokingham Borough Council publishes on its website regular updates on the progress of the various new roads in the area. Please use this link to go to the relevant page of their website. To subscribe to a newsletter on the subject that is published by WBC, please emailthem at email@example.com and ask them to sign you up for regular updates.
Posted 21st May 2018.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Like any other organisation that holds personal data of individuals, such as names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses, ERA is required by the GDPR to implement and publish a data protection policy. Our policy, which has been adopted with effect from 14th May 2018, can be found by following this link.
Posted 15th May 2018.
Matthewsgreen Farm – Newsletter from Bovis
Bovis have just published an updated newsletter about activities on the Matthewsgreen Farm development. To read the newsletter, please click here.
Posted 11th May 2018.
Advance Notice of Road Works
We have received the following communication from Cratus, the public relations company representing Bovis with regard to the Matthewsgreen Farm development:
“Following the works undertaken in the summer of 2017, Gracelands Ltd (working on behalf of Bovis Homes) plan to complete highway junction improvement works at the junction of Matthews green Road and Toutley Road. These works are due to commence on 4th June 2018 and will be completed by 15th June 2018.
To complete these works safely, three-way temporary traffic signals are required and will be manually controlled during school peak times to minimise disruption to the travelling public. Pedestrian management will be in place to ensure safe access to Toutley Road and to the bus stop in Matthews green Road. A road closure will be required to complete the final surfacing of the junction.
“The team’s working hours during these improvements will be from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. This work and its associated traffic management measures have been agreed between Bovis Homes, Linden Homes and Wokingham Borough Council.
“The main focus of the works will be a new zebra crossing which will be installed in Toutley Road and the completion of the surfacing of the carriageway.
“We apologise for the inevitable inconvenience these works will cause and thank you in advance for your patience. When the work is completed we hope you will appreciate the improvement.
“If you need to contact us in an emergency, please call my Contractor’s representative, Andrew Grogan on 01962 718855. For any other enquiry relating to these works, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
“We apologise for any inconvenience these works may cause and I thank you in advance for your patience. When the work is completed we hope you will appreciate the improvement.”
Posted 11th May 2018.
Wokingham Borough Council – Community Forum
Wokingham Borough Council have announced the dates of the next round of community forum events. The one for residents of North Wokingham will take place at 7pm on Monday 11 June at the Briar Suite of the Cantley House Hotel.
Posted 3rd May 2018.
Archaeological “Dig” Near Old Forest Road
We have received an email from the Highways and Transport Department of Wokingham Borough Council informing us of investigation work that will be done at the North Wokingham Distributor Road, west of Old Forest Road, for three to four weeks commencing on 8th May 2018. The borough’s communications team has also been informed of the activities.
The nature of this work is archaeological investigations, and to undertake this successfully and efficiently, the council will be using digger machines in the area.
Posted 3rd May 2018.
Problems with Traffic Lights on Old Forest Road Bridge
In response to a message from Cllr Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey, Heather Eley of the Traffic and Transport Team at Wokingham Borough Council has issued the following reply:
“Thank you for your recent email regarding the traffic lights at Old Forest Road Bridge.
“I understand that Siemens have identified problems with the detectors at these lights. Our signals engineer is working with them to source and install above ground detectors, rather than the current ones which sit under the road.
“I have emailed our signals engineer asking for an update as to when these will be installed.”
Hopefully this action will lead soon to an improvement in the operation of these traffic lights.
Posted 6th April 2018.
Works on Twyford Road Roundabout
We have been advised by Cratus Communications, acting on behalf of Bovis, that works will be taking place on the new roundabout on Twyford Road for about two weeks from the 16th April. The rest of their announcement follows:
“Following the works undertaken in the summer of 2017, Gracelands Ltd (working on behalf of Bovis Homes Ltd) are to complete the highway junction improvement works at the roundabout on Twyford Road. These works are due to commence on Monday 16th April with a planned completion date of the end of April, weather permitting.
“The majority of the work will take place between 9.30am and 3.30pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays, to reduce the impact on traffic disruption in the area, although there may be times during this period where works might need to take place outside of these hours. This work and it associated traffic management measures have been agreed between Bovis Homes and Wokingham Borough Council.
“The main focus of the works will be planting of landscaping in the roundabout, to complete the final sufficing to the footpaths as well as the installation of road signage and barriers on the approaches.
“If you need to contact us in an emergency, please call the contractor’s representative, Andrew Grogan, on 01962 718855. For any other enquiry relating to these works, please email email@example.com.
“We apologise for any inconvenience these works may cause and thank you in advance for your patience. When the work is completed we hope you will appreciate the improvement.”
Posted 6th April 2018.
Berkshire Concrete – An Update
As many residents will be aware, the concrete batching plant at the council depot is continuing to operate in spite of the fact that planning permission has been refused. In response to the concerns of residents about this, the Chief Executive of Wokingham Borough Council today issued the following statement by way of clarification of the situation:
“Wokingham Borough Council would like to take the opportunity to clarify a number of issues relating to the installation at Toutley Depot on Old Forest Road.
“In early summer last year, following a request the Council gave permission, as Landlord, for a temporary mobile concrete batching installation which did not require planning permission. Subsequently, a planning application for a more permanent operation was submitted to the Local Planning Authority and was refused following a period of public consultation. This is where confusion may have arisen about the nature of planning permission.
“A notice of breach was issued to Suez (the main lessor of the Toutley Depot site) before Christmas listing breaches of the lease.
“The Council is very aware of the concerns expressed by residents, the residents association and ward councillors about the nature of the business and its continuing operation. It wishes to assure residents that due process is being followed with the objective of allaying those concerns as soon as possible. Due process can entail legal actions and unfortunately this can take time.
“I understand and empathise with residents and hope this clarifies the facts of the situation.”
It appears from this that things are, at least, moving in the right direction. Be assured that we will keep you in touch with further developments as they happen.
Posted 23rd February 2018.
Emmbrook Road – Partial Closure
We have been advised by Wokingham Borough Council that it will be necessary for them to close Emmbrook Road, between the railway bridge and the junction with Reading Road, for a period of approximately four weeks from Monday 26th March. This is to enable drainage work to be carried out. The closure will only affect road traffic – the road will remain open to pedestrians, and access will be maintained for residents. Please click here to view the full text of the letter announcing the closure.
Posted 22nd February 2018.
Emmbrook Community Showcase
A number of different community groups will be gathering at the Emmbrook Village Hall on Sunday 25th February for a “Community Showcase”. Details of this event are given on the flyer shown here, which has also been distributed to most households in the area.
Posted 19th February 2018.
Latest Newsletter from Bovis
Bovis have just published a newsletter covering various aspects of the Emmbrook Place (Matthewsgreen Farm) development. To view the newsletter, please click here.
Posted 16th February 2018.
As previously advised, Lesley left the position of Secretary to the ERA at the end of 2017. Her initial intention was to remain as a committee member for a while, however after some further thought Lesley has decided to make a clean break. Lesley said “I have enjoyed being part of, and contributing to, the progress and changes we have made as a unit and hope this continues to thrive”. We were glad to have you on the team Lesley, and you will be sorely missed. Best of luck for the future!
Posted 1st February 2018.
Free Bicycle Security Marking on Offer
Joyce Stoner of Wokingham Borough Council will be running a free bicycle marking event at The Emmbrook School on Saturday 17th February, from 10.00am until 1.00pm. Please take your bike along to her between those hours if you would like to take advantage of this offer.
Posted 1st February 2018.
Our Policing Page
We recommend strongly that readers look at our Policing page, at least from time to time, because we post on that page news and advice from Thames Valley Police about crime in the area and how to minimise your risk of falling victim to it. You never know, paying heed to this advice could make all the difference to your home and personal security!
Posted 30th January 2018.
Matthewsgreen Farm – Latest News from Bovis
Bovis have just published a newsletter for January, principally concerning their involvement in the local community. If you wish to see what they have to say, please click here
Posted 19th January 2018.
Light on Toutley Road
Where you cross the road by Langman Close (the new cul de sac) there has been a light out for a number of months. There has been a lot of confusion as to who is responsible for fitting a supply to this light, Bovis or WBC. It’s now sorted and WBC should be doing this with their contractor on 5th of January. We will keep the pressure on till this is resolved!
Posted 29th December 2017.
Updated on 16th January 2018:
Unfortunately we missed the 8th of January but a valiant effort was made due to problems to find the live feed and other telecom works in the area. With the assistance of David White of WBC keeping the pressure on Volker the council street lighting contractor it was resolved on Monday the 15th. Thank you David – this is a example of the ERA liaising with WBC to get a result.Concrete batching plant, Toutley Depot
We are very pleased to tell you that Wokingham Borough Council has refused the planning application for the above. Thank you to the many of you that responded to our alert by sending in your comments to WBC – we are sure they helped in reaching this decision.
The “decision notice” can be viewed on the Council’s website (search against application number 172876). It cites a number of reasons for refusal including:
- the design not being in keeping with the local area
- insufficient information provided in respect of noise impact, pollution impact and traffic movements
- flooding risk at the location.
We are aware that the Council has now referred this matter to their “enforcement” team. We take this to mean that steps will be taken to ensure that the operation stops and presumably the removal of the plant. We are trying to get more detail on this and will post as and when we get it.
So far, so good and thanks to both residents and ward councillors for their efforts on this. Of course, the company has the right to appeal – again, we will let you know if we hear anything.
Posted 15th January 2018.