Plans to build 257 homes on a golf course have been rejected
Reading Golf Club had sought outlying planning permission to build the estate on its former course in Emmer Green.
The proposal was met with opposition from residents who expressed concerns about the loss of open space, congestion, and lack of infrastructure.
In a meeting on Wednesday, Reading Borough Council’s Planning Applications Committee voted unanimously to reject the proposal.
A previous planning application for the Kidmore End Road site attracted more than 1,000 objections.
Planning officers had also recommended refusal of the estate due to the need to protect open spaces and avoid environmental harm.
But the golf club said the development would leave a legacy for the community and bring much-needed family homes.
Speaking at the meeting, Claire Grashoff, on behalf of campaign group Keep Emmer Green, said the proposal was “inconsistent with its surroundings” and would lead to the loss of “valued heritage landscape”.
Councillor Simon Robinson for Peppard ward, covering Emmer Green, described the plans as a “black cloud” over the community and “nothing short of a tragedy”.
Reading Golf Club’s agent Jonathan Walton asked councillors to defer the application to allow the club time to respond to concerns raised.
Following the vote, committee chair councillor Jo Lovelock suggested the developer tries to find a way to engage with the community and come back for further discussions.
After the meeting, Ian Morgan, from the Keep Emmer Green group, said he was “extremely happy” at the decision.
He added: “Councillors recognised [it] was poorly conceived, poorly designed, with no regard given to green space or biodiversity and proposed in an unsustainable location which would have a massive impact on Reading residents…
“Towns and cities are defined by the quality of their open spaces, and we believe that a better future is now one step closer.”
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