Development Watch Alert 17-12-2018 Barkham Square and Local Plan Update
This mail is being sent to the Barkham Development Watch email list but is from Barkham Parish Council and Barkham Village Residents' Association. There is a separate mailing list for petition updates and if you are on both lists you may receive this report twice. Apologies if this is so, but we have endevoured to minimize any such duplication.
This is an update to the Development Watch alert sent out on 5 December regarding the Barkham Square petition and the Local Plan Update consultation process.
The 4000 signature Petition sent a resounding message to Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) regarding your concerns about over-development in the Barkham area which, despite strong support from many Councillors, WBC chose to ignore these concerns when the Petition was debated on Thursday 22 Nov 2018. Instead, they merely voted to record the status quo on behalf of the Officers responsible for delivering the Local Plan Update (LPU) as proposed by Cllr Munro.
Moreover, it was advised that those who had already expressed concerns via the petition should do so again by responding to the Consultation that was launched on 12 Nov 2018.
On Barkham Parish Council's behalf, our Ward Councillor, John Kaiser, is in discussion with the new Conservative leader of WBC, Cllr. McGee Sumner, to have your concerns recognised and is also raising practical issues about the Consultation process. The Consultation process is complex and one of the issues being discussed is the possibility to respond via a simple e-mail rather to complete the entire process. Another is that even though we are now four weeks into the consultation period, we understand that many of you have not received formal notification of the Consultation. Cllr. Munro has confirmed there have been problems with distribution in the south of the Borough and whilst he is addressing that, we attach what we believe you should be receiving. If by 31 December you have still not received any postal notification, then we suggest you let us know.
You have already expressed your views via the Petition and as these concerns were ignored at the debate you may now feel less inclined to respond. However John Kaiser is stressing that point with his colleagues and therefore we feel we have no other choice but to implore you to also respond to the Consultation for the following reasons:
1) It would be ‘Belt and Braces’ to make sure your views continue to be heard and heeded.
2) To demonstrate the continuing strength of feeling.
3) This will be the last chance to influence WBC before ideas are further cast in stone as the draft LPU is completed and presented for approval.
The consultation process at first sight may deter some from responding. To assist, we are preparing guidance notes which we will send to you early in January together with an update on the above-mentioned discussions which subject to the outcome of those discussions may include a simplified alternative form of response by email, rather than having to complete WBC's detailed questionnaire format, but in the meantime you may prefer to complete that.
The scheduled close of the consultation period is 22 Feb 2019.
Barkham Parish Council / Barkham Village Residents Association