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Chairman: Alan Dixon
Secretary: Pam Edwards
Treasurer: Ian Overton
Membership: Jim Butler
Development Watch: Stewart Richardson
Newsletter: Alan Dixon / Stewart Richardson
Webmaster: Dave Clements
Social Event: Contact Gill Powell

Barkham residents invited to attend the debating of the Barkham Square petition at Wokingham Borough Council on 22 November

Wokingham Borough Council will on the 22 November 2018 at 7.00pm be debating the substantial Petition submitted on 20 September, reflecting the concerns of over 4000 residents about over-development in the Barkham area, and in particular any impending plans for up to 1000 houses on Barkham Square.

This is the largest petition ever presented to WBC. Given the strength of feeling from residents, a clear message needs to be given to the Borough that this is not sustainable and 'Enough is Enough'.

Prior and separate to the Debate itself, there will be a 30 minute period allocated for questions from the Public. These will take the form of written questions submitted in advance by residents. To set the scene for the debate a number of Barkham residents have already taken this opportunity to submit certain relevant questions which will be read out and answered by the Executive Members.

Everyone is welcome to attend this full Borough Council meeting and your support will be much appreciated. This is scheduled to take place at WBC's offices at Shute End on 22 November starting at the earlier time of 7.00 pm. Given the ongoing building works outside of WBC, there are various other parking spaces within reasonable proximity, with the closest being Denmark Street car park, Rose Street car park or the Carnival multi-storey, all of which offer free parking after 6.00pm. Please note that the Elms Road multi-storey closes at 6.30pm.

Kind regards,
Barkham Parish Council/ Barkham Village Residents Association

New Barkham Newsletter Editor required – can you help please?

The Barkham Newsletter was started in 1987 and has been produced regularly ever since. I have been editor since 2006 and before that Paul Steel edited for 10 years. I am stepping down as editor at the end of 2018 (after the winter edition) so this is an appeal to Barkham residents for someone to come forward to take on the role. For information, previous newsletters (number 100 onwards) can be viewed on the BVRA website

It is published 4 times per year - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. The main tasks for the editor for each edition are as follows:

  • About 3 weeks before the cut-off copy date, send a calling notice email to the (existing) potential contributors list. A core group contributes articles regularly and others occasionally.
  • Receive articles via email, edit as necessary, which can simply be checking the spelling and grammar or more extensive editing if space is tight or if part of the text is not relevant (or perhaps will be out of date at the distribution date).
  • Write the Editorial (doesn’t have to be very long!) and design the front cover (I mainly use Powerpoint but it could be any suitable software). If necessary, the BVRA could arrange a software licence.
  • When I have all the articles I decide how many pages to allocate, which has to be a multiple of 4. We have had 20 or 24 pages as the norm in recent times but is dependent on the quantity of submissions.
  • Finally, I do the newsletter layout with our “publisher” who has the publishing software, which he drives whilst I tell him where I want each article. We take about 2.5 hours in an evening to do the layout.
  • When finalised, I email a PDF to the printer who prints and delivers them to Barkham and on to the distributors (the editor is not involved in this)

Finally. sometimes people think of volunteer roles like this as something they may do when they retire. This role should not be seen as only suitable for a retired person with more time to spare! I did it for 10 years before I retired (from a very busy job) and the previous editor also had a full-time career. So, please come forward – don’t wait for someone else to do so! Full training will be provided (not that much is necessary!)

Stewart Richardson



Petition to the Leader of Wokingham Borough Council and Executive Member(s) responsible for Planning

BPC Petition

The petition has now closed with 2429 signatures on-line and over 1600 on paper forms. Thank you for your support.

This has vastly exceeded our target of 1500 and the petition will now be presented to the Leader of Wokingham Borough Council. 

Updates on this and other development matters in Barkham will be sent to all who have subscribed to our development watch mailing list. To subscribe please click here HERE 

The main site proposed is Barkham Square, adjacent to Arborfield Green. Residents accepted the development of the former Arborfield Garrison site as it involved largely regeneration of brownfield land, but now the wider area is being exposed to potential development creep, meaning encroachment upon the much valued countryside and on our overstretched roads within Barkham, Arborfield and Finchampstead. This goes against the Council’s current planning policies (such as CP11) which were designed to protect the separate identity of settlements.

Background: The rural setting of Barkham defines the character of the village. The attractive and varied landscape is punctuated with settlements of varying ages, styles and sizes. Taking into consideration the 3500 houses being built in Arborfield Garrison, 1800 of which are in Barkham, any additional homes will then have the effect of more than doubling the size of the parish.

Impact on Traffic: The roads around Barkham are narrow, most are residential and the few country lanes contribute to the country ambience. Barkham Square along with several other sites is landlocked with access only onto rural country roads. The current traffic load on these unsuitable roads and those in the neighbouring parishes is already excessive and will only get worse, meaning even more traffic on the crowded local roads of Barkham Street, Barkham Road, Langley Common Road, School Road and all the other surrounding roads. This increased congestion would have an economic, social and health impact as well - residents arriving late for work or appointments, leaving home early and everyone having to endure the traffic fumes from the endless queues.

Impact on the Countryside: The development of the Arborfield Garrison site is a good use of a brownfield site on the margins of the village and replaces run down army buildings. In contrast, Barkham Square and other possible sites are greenfield, towards the centre of the Parish, very visible from many vantage points and would encroach on the rural countryside, much valued by local residents and other groups, such as ramblers, horse riders and nature lovers. Besides a loss of countryside, it would be another step towards engulfing our villages in a continuous urban sprawl.

Conclusion: The Leader of the Council and the Executive Member(s) responsible for planning are requested to discard any future plans to develop Barkham Square and other inappropriate and unsustainable sites in Barkham and focus on more suitable sites across the Borough.


New Chairman and Committee Members

We have been successful in recruiting new members to our BVRA committee. These are: Richard Roberts (Chairman), Alan Dixon (Vice Chair), Pam Edwards (Secretary). We'd like to thank all of them for stepping forward in our hour of need!

Voice Your Opinion About Barkham

The Barkham Village Residents Association website was re-launched last year. Since then we have focused on bringing you the latest news about Barkham.

The forum has now closed and been replaced by a Facebook disccusion group. To join please visit please visit our Facebook page and then select the Groups option in the lefthand column.


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