Villagers have been left ‘shocked' that planning officers are asking councillors to approve a development of 230 homes in the countryside.

Up to 230 homes could be built in the countryside at Riverways Farm on New Bath Road between Twyford and Charvil under plans set to be considered by Wokingham Borough councillors.

But the council has had 171 objections from residents, who argue the development will put strain on local roads and services – and mean the loss of green land. They also raised fears that development could increase the risk of flooding in the area.

Monique Melis of Wargrave told the council: “I am quite frankly a little shocked that this could even be considered.

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"The infrastructure here also cannot take any more homes, cars or people."

She added: “The final straw is really the environment. We were flooded three times in January, so badly that you couldn’t even go out in waders.

“The flooding caused enormous damage and we are still trying to settle with the insurance company. To think that we should build on the flood plains that actually absorb water is crazy.”

But council officers have assessed that the plans are acceptable in terms of their potential impact on traffic, parking and flooding.

They admit that the development is on countryside land – meaning it clashes with the council’s own planning rules. They also say its location is ‘not optimal’ in terms of its connection to services and transport links.

But they argue that the development is ‘relatively close’ enough to the village to merit approval.

The officers say: “Notwithstanding its location bringing it into principal conflict with the Council’s current spatial strategy for the location of new housing development, the proposal the site’s location would broadly align with the radial growth which has occurred along the village’s key routes.”

Officers added that it would have ‘a degree of functional connectivity to the village core and railway station not dissimilar to other peripheral parts of the village'.

Planning officers also say the harm to the countryside landscape would be ‘limited’ as it is next to the A4. They say that as the council doesn’t have a five-year plan for housing delivery, national planning rules mean they have to give extra importance to the benefits of new housing.

They say this means the council should only refuse permission if the harm caused by the development ‘significantly and demonstrably’ outweighs the benefits.

Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee is set to vote on whether to approve the plans on Wednesday, June 12.