Residents have been understandably distressed by the scale of tree felling and clearance of vegetation along the end of Toutley Road and the bottom end of Old Forest Road last week and this. We have been heavily involved in discussion with Wokingham Borough Council and Balfour Beatty about this. They assure us that all of this was necessary either because of the way being cleared for the NDR and link road from Old Forest Road OR because of the diseased or dangerous state of some of the trees as determined by an independent ecologist. This may well be true but the communication of what was about to take place by those organisations was somewhere between woefully inadequate and non-existant! We have made this point strongly.
Residents have also been concerned about clearance during the bird nesting season. We now understand that this is allowable if there is no nesting in progress, as confirmed by the assessment by an independent ecologist at the time, and we are told that this has taken place.
We are also told that there has already been a large amount of planting of saplings in the area we can’t see yet on the enlarged SANG and more to follow once the road structure is in place. Of course, it will be many years before these saplings will mature and grow large.
WBC have now provided a map illustrating what is going on:
Please believe that we have repeatedly told both organisations that such information should be provided BEFORE work begins not afterwards when we have rightly caused a fuss – they tell us they have now got the message…
I must be getting paranoid. Everytime I see a drawing related to the NWDR it seems to change. The drainage pond by Ashton Road didn’t appear until recently (ot used to be trees). The flood defences and realignment of the stream seem to be new (though probably sensible). Also I thought due to objections during the planning phase the corner by Toutley depot was changed to have a turning lane but that’s not shown here. It appears to me that they’re making it up as they’re going along.
My previous comment has yet to appear. Didn’t think there was anything contentious in it but hey ho.
Anyway I did some digging (funny how WBC website keeps changing so you have to search for things again!).
It appears that back in September approval was given for Balfour Beatty enablement works under application191824 in which they submitted revised plans. The document is over 200 pages long and can be currently accessed here
http://publicaccess.wokingham.gov.uk/AniteIM.WebSearch/(S(s1hvopvieobtlmvxscixhnrv))/Download.aspx?ID=491472 or search for the planning application and look at the document called “Revised CEMP WMHP-BB-NWDR-PLN-PM-001”. The drawings are in the Appendicies but there are quite a few previously retained trees marked for clearance and in the detail further down several which were on the Tree Protection Plan (e.g. 2 Oaks at the end of Ashton Road – see page 135). Oh and on the subject of Oaks. it may not have gone last week but the one on Toutley by the Scout Hut is for the chop too.