Plans to give Gorse Ride residents top quality homes have taken a big step forward now the planning application has been submitted for the final phases of this ambitious community regeneration.
The multi-million pound project will see low quality housing on the Finchampstead estate demolished and replaced with a range of 249 energy efficient homes, a new landscaped village green, and improved pedestrian spaces for residents to enjoy.
The planning application for this stage covers the redevelopment of Billing Avenue, Orbit Close, Dart Close, Firs Close and parts of Gorse Ride South and Whittle Close. It can be viewed on Wokingham Borough Council’s planning portal, by searching for application number 202133. Public feedback on the plans are welcomed and the deadline for this is 18 September.
The former Cockayne Court Care Home and surrounding properties were demolished last year, under an earlier planning application, with 46 new homes currently being built to replace them.
“The Gorse Ride development is an incredibly important project for the area,” said Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for finance and housing. “Unfortunately, the existing houses are in poor condition and refurbishment simply wasn’t an option. We’ve worked closely with residents on the designs to make sure we could incorporate lots of their ideas into the scheme such as including additional bungalows, reduced heights on the apartment blocks, better designed parking areas, and improved pedestrian routes to help them feel safe and secure.”
“We also wanted to make sure the area retained the green and wooded feel the resident’s love and have paid lots of attention to choosing materials, and including extensive landscaping across the site focused on a new green park that runs through the heart of the development. Not only does it offer a fantastic open space where the community can gather, relax and enjoy, but it also helps address historic flooding issues in the area with an integrated pond where water can drain away naturally and wildlife can flourish.”
“Tackling climate change is incredibly important to the council so reducing the carbon footprint of the development has been a key part of the design process. It also helps residents by lowering the running costs for their properties.
“The new homes have been designed to be eco-friendly and include elements such as integrated waste stores to encourage recycling, electric heating and, hot water in the houses , high quality glazing and insulation to keep homes warm in the winter and cool in summer, and electric car charging points with the infrastructure to add more as demand increases in years to come.”
Steve Bowers, chairman of the Community Steering Group, said: “The new development will bring some great new social housing to the area along with properties for shared ownership and full home ownership. I look forward to the regeneration so we can rebuild the community.”
The Gorse Ride planning application is expected to be considered later this autumn. Subject to planning consent, it is envisaged the scheme will be delivered in phases during the next five years.