PLANS to build 389 homes and set up 40,000 solar panels in Wokingham could be given the green light this week.

At a meeting on Wednesday, December 9, Wokingham Borough Council’s Planning Committee is due to make decisions on three major planning applications.

All three have been recommended for approval by council planning officers.

249 new homes 

Wokingham Borough Council has applied for planning permission to build 249 homes on the Gorse Ride Estate in Finchampstead, as part of the £30 million regeneration of the estate.

The council says it wants to replace 178 run-down prefabricated houses and bungalows on the site with “high quality and modern” homes.

It is planning to build 121 apartments, 107 (two and three storey) houses, 21 bungalows and 398 car parking spaces on the site, which is to the east of Gorse Ride South.

The council insists that almost two thirds (185) of the properties will be affordable and all of the people who currently live on the site have been offered the chance to return and live in one of the new homes.

The current homes, built in the 1970s, are in a poor condition due to various issues, such as damp and condensation, and the council says “it is not economically viable” to repair them.

140 homes on former Reading FC training ground

Bracknell News:

Reading Football Club wants planning permission to build 140 homes on Hogwood Park in Finchampstead, where they trained until their new training facility at Bearwood Park was completed.

The club have drawn up plans for two, three, and four-bedroom homes on the 25 acre site and promised to ensure that 56 of them are affordable.

There are also plans to provide an area of public greenspace, known as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG).

A letter written by a planning consultant states: “The club consider that Hogwood Park is a sensitively designed, high quality, sustainable development proposal which will meet local needs while delivering both market and affordable homes.”

40,000 solar panels 

Bracknell News:

Wessex Solar Energy wants planning permission to build a solar farm with 40,000 solar panels on 48 acres of agricultural land just off Swallowfield Road in Arborfield.

The plans state the solar panels will generate enough renewable electricity each year to power 3,736 homes.

The company is also planning to build a control room and 11 inverter cabins on the solar farm, that would be surrounded by a 2.5 metre high mesh security fence.

Planning officers have recommended the company grants planning permission to operate a solar farm on the site for 40 years, saying “the benefits of renewable energy provision would be significant”.

However, almost 90 people have objected to the plans and one claims it “would look ugly”.