The LPU: Revised Growth Strategy which has been issued by Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) for consultation following the loss of Grazeley as a new town site. This revised LPU incorporates three of the development sites in Sonning that were listed in our questionnaire, Site 1 (Bull Close) and Sites 5 & 8, now combined (Sonning Golf Course). These “proposed allocations” are depicted as red areas on the above map; other “submitted sites” are shown hatched in yellow.
Site 1 (25 houses) has been in the earlier Local Plans for some years and Site 5 (13 houses) has already received planning permission on appeal, so the only additional site being proposed at this stage is the expanded Site 5 (renamed Site 8 and now with a total of 37 houses).
Sites 5 and 8 were ranked 2nd and 4th respectively out of the total 11 sites in your Questionnaire responses to “Which of the above sites do you approve of as suitable areas for housing development?” Whilst this would indicate that residents are not overly concerned about further development on Sonning Golf Club this is not a view shared by SPC and the Sonning & Sonning Eye Society. There are strong rumours that developers are planning to submit an application for development of the whole of Sonning Golf Course and Redingensians (Site 10), in our view inclusion of Site 8 in the LPU would create a very dangerous precedent.
Incorporation of a site in the LPU indicates that the planning authority is highly likely to approve development of that site although the fact that Site 1 has not yet been developed shows that it isn’t certain and that it can take some time to materialise. Once adopted, the Local Plan is the most important document defining where development will take place, the Neighbourhood Plan sits below it in the hierarchy and must be consistent with the Local Plan, since it must eventually be adopted by WBC it cannot recommend that development does not take place on sites that are included in the Local Plan.
For the above reason it is important that you voice your opinions through the LPU consultation process. The consultation ends on 24th January 2022 so there isn’t much time to act. Sonning Parish Council and the Sonning & Sonning Eye Society are poised to make representations regarding development of Site 8 and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group asks that you do likewise by registering your opposition through: engage.wokingham.gov.uk
The joint steering group comprises members of Sonning Parish Council and the Sonning & Sonning Eye Society together with volunteers from the local community.