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Residents asked for views on Wokingham homes plan

Published: 10 Aug 2014 11:301 comment

WITH 10,000 new homes being built across Wokingham borough over the next 12 years, a council is seeking the public’s help in ensuring new developments become real communities to make them great places to live.

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Along with the new housing being built between now and 2026, there will also be new schools, community centres, shops, sports facilities, play areas and other green spaces.

Wokingham Borough Council says it is committed to ensuring the creation of strong, well-functioning communities and has drawn up a Shaping Our New Communities document will go out to public consultation.

The document looks at issues such as what sort of community facilities should be provided for the new residents, how new facilities should be run, and by whom, as well as how they could be maintained in the long term. Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for planning and highways, said: “Our long-term strategy has been to bring the homes we need in the borough at the same time as bringing investment in the sort of infrastructure and facilities that make communities work.

“We have been very successful in financial terms – we now get about £28,000 per house from developers in the major development locations and have successfully bid for millions of pounds of national and regional funding.

“We have also been successful at engaging with local people on some of the big infrastructure projects – we had a huge response to our consultations over the North Wokingham Distributor Road and Arborfield Relief Road and the feedback received is guiding the work we are now doing on those schemes.

“Now we also need to look at some of the ‘softer’ aspects that will actually be vital in determining people’s quality of life.

“These vary from tangible issues such as what sort of community facilities are needed and how they can be managed to intangible questions such as what actually makes a community work.

“We obviously need to hear from local people on these issues.”

The council says details of the public consultation exercise will be released shortly.

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