Ashridge Interchange  

The Ship Inn from London Road, with Peach Street to the left

Market Place and Broad Street from Cockpit PathShute End looking northwards, with The Terrace on the right

   "The Ashridge Interchange Movement ('AIM') is a non-party organisation that exists to promote the
   best possible traffic solution for Wokingham for the least overall environmental impact."

                The Woosehill development

Berkshire County Council Minutes:

Ashridge Interchange

Woosehill development

Highways and Transportation sub-committees

Summary of Newspaper Reports, 1968-69

Wokingham Times Articles, 1968-9, by subject:

Bracknell Town

Wokingham Town

Wokingham One-Way System

The Land Commission and Woosehill

Reading Road and Winnersh

Build-up of opposition to Ashridge proposals

Public Inquiry
Week 1

Public Inquiry
Week 2

Public Inquiry
Week 3

Newspaper reports, late 1970

Summary of Newspaper reports, 1971-5

Wokingham Times Articles, 1971-5, by subject:

Wokingham Town

Woosehill

Woosehill
Public Inquiry, Summer 1973

Winnersh

Woodley and Earley

The M4, A329(M) and IDR

 

These Berkshire County Council Minutes are taken from documents lodged at Berkshire Record Office.

Planning Committee Minutes, December 1969:

Planning application being considered:  “Proposed development by the Land Commission, Woosehill Lane, Wokingham”.  25 land-owners, so CPO required. 360 acres.

Officers’ notes:

  • 5 year growth in Berkshire to June 1964 at 18.3% was the highest in the country.

  • Remained highest in 1965 and 1966 but moderated in 1967. 

  • Local growth in 5 years to June 1968: 

  • Wokingham Borough, 29.2%;

  • Wokingham RDC, 16.7%.

  • Housing completions in Wokingham Borough:

 

1966

327

 

1967

335

 

1968

388

“The only satisfactory method of dealing with traffic likely to be generated on the Woosehill Site will be by means of a major access on to the existing A329, but this could only be after completion of the A329 Relief Road, and the construction of a link road between the relief road and Wokingham north of the town, in the vicinity of Ashridge Farm.”

With these and other factors,  the County Council officers recommended refusal since the application [for a housing site at Woosehill] was premature.

[Note: At this time, he annual housing growth for Wokingham Borough ALONE
was two-thirds of those planned for the entire District from 2001 – 2016 ]

 

Planning Committee Meeting Minutes, July 1971:

The A329 Relief Road alignment was announced in November 1970. A very rapid study was put in hand to review sites for future residential use in the general area of Wokingham which had been deferred at the time of the preparation of the initial Second Review document in 1969.

It was apparent that the land to be allocated had to be sufficient to accommodate between 20000 and 25000 persons.  [This resulted in sites at Calcot and Tilehurst in addition to those in Wokingham, Sandhurst and Owlsmoor.  It was thought that Woosehill “would not accentuate the east-west pattern of development”].

Concern was expressed by the residents of the town [Wokingham] that the character and identity of Wokingham would be lost if the Woosehill allocation were permitted.  It was promised to re-assess the need for Ashridge Interchange if Woosehill were implemented.

Observations from the Borough of Wokingham: “The further development of Wokingham is accepted, but the recent high rate of growth there is such that the Council feels a general reluctance to accept more development in the near future is justified”.

A Pro-Forma was passed unanimously at a packed Town-Hall meeting in June 1971:

“This meeting opposes the population explosion for Wokingham envisaged in the County Council’s Plan for Residential development in Central Berkshire, bearing in mind that in the last ten years Wokingham’s population has expanded faster than anywhere else in the County and that the town’s services are even now quite inadequate.  This meeting strongly urges the County Planning Committee not to endorse this Programme”.

 

Planning Committee Minutes, December 1971:

The Wokingham Society and CPRE stated that the findings of the landscape study they had commissioned led them to concur with the County Planning Officer’s assessment in selecting Woosehill [over other potential sites in Wokingham Borough].

 

[Thus the Woosehill development went ahead without proper provision for traffic on the Reading Road. It was also planned around a dual-carriageway spine road which petered-out without providing an alternarive exit onto either Barkham Road or Bearwood Road. These would have taken through traffic from Barkham and Finchampstead away from Wokingham Town Centre]

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