Reading Golf Club Development

eddieed
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Reading Golf Club Development

Post by eddieed »

Last night we went to the consultation development for the proposed development of the Reading Golf Club in Emmer Green. It was a bit of a shock, and they are proposing the building of 250 houses (in a first stage with more possibly to follow) on the area of the golf course that sits in Reading Borough Council. These mainly 3 bed plus family homes will add significant numbers of people and cars to Emmer Green and the surrounding areas.

RBC has identified that a small parcel of the land, for about 80 houses is in the Local Plan, but a golf course and facilities (including the club house) must remain. They also state in the Local Plan that developments north of the river are not sustainable until a third bridge is built. Reading Golf club plan to close the current course and move to Caversham Heath where they have already signed a long lease - they state that most of the course will become a country park.

In order to handle the volumes of cars they intend to widen Kidmore End Road, removing the grass verges and urbanising the area. There is a massive destruction of wildlife habitat as well

Reading Golf club state they have no choice but to move but they haven't even explored extending the existing facilities and adding to them. They have just seen the pound signs.

Whilst this may not directly impact you in development terms the impact of the additional traffic is likely to if you live or travel north of the river at any time. Link to the campaign website is below (hopefully it will be updated) and I'll add a couple of photos when I can reduce them in size.

https://www.keepemmergreen.com/
IMG_20200211_174820_resized_20200212_014516487.jpg
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MickEdge
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

Post by MickEdge »

Why does the local plan specify golf must remain when it’s in decline and not exactly a very inclusive game, which is probably why it has declined. It would be much better to use the land for a range of sports and outdoor leisure facilities.
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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There are also plans for a health centre with flats above, but no description as to what the 'health centre' may be...it could be a GPS surgery, or equally a gym, as far as I can tell.

We obviously need more housing, but I suspect these properties will be fairly upmarket and may not really address that problem, while at the same time negatively impacting traffic, schools and medical care ( until we know the nature of the Centre)
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

Post by joe_smooth »

I've not got a problem with this development but ONLY if they chuck in some better infrastructure. Needs a health centre and probably a school!

Highly unlikely we'll get either so that's possibly another 250 kids to squeeze into emmer green or the Hill and possibly 1000 new patients for Balmore and EG surgery to take on. It will need a bus service too.
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Last edited by j9j9j9 on 25 Apr 2020 19:13, edited 1 time in total.
joe_smooth
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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How could I forget about the Heights! LOL!
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Oh yes, the school that is still in it’s temporary accommodation and still has a section of park fenced off despite finding it impractical and actually using Christchurch Meadows as local residents originally suggested....

Potentially another 500 cars on the road and still no shift in the third bridge situation won’t be much fun for Peppard Road and CVP roads in rush hour...
On the other hand people need to live somewhere ....
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Mayfield wrote: 13 Feb 2020 17:12 Oh yes, the school that is still in it’s temporary accommodation and still has a section of park fenced off despite finding it impractical and actually using Christchurch Meadows as local residents originally suggested....

Potentially another 500 cars on the road and still no shift in the third bridge situation won’t be much fun for Peppard Road and CVP roads in rush hour...
On the other hand people need to live somewhere ....
They do, yes. And what better place to put them than on a space currently only being used by old people in bad trousers.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Problem is using the lack of third bridge as being against it, isn’t much of an argument as its RBC that want to build the houses, and RBC are all for a bridge, as is WBC

It’s just SoX that are against it unless only limited to buses / pedestrians / cyclists which is about as much use to easing commuting as having a chocolate teapot!
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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OLDMAN wrote: 14 Feb 2020 11:22 Problem is using the lack of third bridge as being against it, isn’t much of an argument as its RBC that want to build the houses, and RBC are all for a bridge, as is WBC

It’s just SoX that are against it unless only limited to buses / pedestrians / cyclists which is about as much use to easing commuting as having a chocolate teapot!
Whatever - if sometime in the future SoX do agree, there’ll be more wrangling, discussions de-dah de-dah by which time the children of the initial residents, will be teens or adults before it’s actually built, and of any use.... together with the proposed legislation to curb the use of private cars - so a false argument.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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The location / road layout etc has all been decided, even the design etc has been looked into so apart from some nitty-gritty I don’t think there would be much wrangling etc over it all

And TBH I think as the proposed legislation is to cut down / stop use of vehicles in towns and cities then it should help push for a ‘proper’ full vehicular third bridge, mainly as I can’t imagine the thousands of people who travel ‘through’ Reading from (and to) the SoX area at the moment being very happy about paying congestion charge or whatever and will soon be lobbying their own council to Get-It-Done as it will by-pass the town!
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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My guess is that it won't get built until someone senior enough in The Government takes an interest, otherwise SODC and the rest will keep disagreeing. Would Alok Sharma want to push it, now he's Business Secretary? They could name it Sharma Crossing. However, if they are serious about levelling-up The North and The South, then the third bridge probably won't get a look in. Also, if Reading is allowed a congestion charge and it does put enough drivers off, then maybe there isn't such a strong case.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Understandable, but my point is, given the very high percentage of vehicles that only ‘pass through’ the town (found from surveys a few years back) then a congestion charge will only make the drivers seek alternative routes – which is a good thing
BUT there aren’t a lot of decent alternative, plus those already in existence would soon become congested

Whereas a third bridge would alleviate a lot of that problem, and why I fell more would lobby for it particularly non-Reading residents
Oldman........

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MickEdge
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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OLDMAN wrote: 14 Feb 2020 13:20 Understandable, but my point is, given the very high percentage of vehicles that only ‘pass through’ the town (found from surveys a few years back) then a congestion charge will only make the drivers seek alternative routes – which is a good thing
BUT there aren’t a lot of decent alternative, plus those already in existence would soon become congested

Whereas a third bridge would alleviate a lot of that problem, and why I fell more would lobby for it particularly non-Reading residents
I'm struggling to find these "pass through" driver numbers, so do you have a link.
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OLDMAN
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Just posted about it on the Low Emissions thread

Wish I did have the figures etc, I only saw them as paper documents when we had it presented to us at a local meeting
It was supposed to have been on the RBC web site and some was but I don’t think it’s still there
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

Post by Pooneil »

Application now submitted and open for consultation, according to the end of this news report, which does give a link to the RBC planning application site, if you wish to register any comments there.
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Clearly not popular - according to this BBC news report, whilst there 110 comments in favour Thursday, there were apparently over 1,100 against.
The consultation closes next Friday.
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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It’s not popular, but quite honestly some of the people involved with the campaign are clearly just Nimby's....asked about homes for people and they site Spencer’s Wood as an alternative development....what good is that if your work and family are North of the river.? Talk about pulling up the drawbridge, I hope none of them live in Bugs Bottom 🙄
As far as I can see they have also assumed that every property has two cars, and children who don't already go to existing schools, and families who aren't already patients at existing Doctors or Dentists.....
I'm not keen on the proposal, for many of the reasons they say, but their 'tone' on social media is quite often plain unpleasant....
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

Post by eddieed »

Pooneil wrote: 19 Sep 2020 11:57 Clearly not popular - according to this BBC news report, whilst there 110 comments in favour Thursday, there were apparently over 1,100 against.
The consultation closes next Friday.
It isn't popular and I agree with Mayfield about the campaign group, some of their tone is a bit Nimby. However there is a lot of local opposition, hopefully this will have some weight to it, but sadly unless it is against planning policy it often doesn't. However this development is contrary to the local plan. As Mayfield will also know we will be very affected by this development. Don't forget its 260 homes now, followed by the highly likely outcome that if successful there will be planning permission sought for the remainder of the land within the built up area but in South Oxfordshire control (probably another 150 homes approx). Followed by the greenbelt land in South Oxfordshire. (another 400 houses approx.) I do agree that this is the planning permission that could really open the floodgates for development in South Oxon on the Reading Border.

The main access road to the site really is single lane, traffic and impact on the area really is my main concern, including safety of my children walking to school and whilst they are in the school. The loss of 120 mature trees is also devastating and will change the skyline forever.

The 110 people in favour come from all around Reading as they are mainly golf club members who will financially gain from this - whey else would someone who lives in Calcot (as an example) support the development and within a day of the planning being available online!
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Post by MickEdge »

If you are concerned about this development, then be very afraid about the new Government proposals to radicalise the planning system in this country. That’s when Cummings vision for concreting over the countryside could really begin, with little opportunity to object to where and what’s put up, if it’s in a designated Growth area.
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Last night the group posted in every FB site they belong to, a letter from a local councillor who the developers have formally complained about. Pretty unpleasant stuff and one has to wonder why the developer bothered, it leaves a nasty taste .....but it’s a side issue, it shouldn't affect the decision.

I have every sympathy with eddieed , the access is poor , it will put a strain on local facilities, bad for the environment etc but sooner or later that Club is going to be sold ( not sure the developer has actually paid until they get PP ) so either the group should propose something that is more acceptable or start trying to raise the funds to purchase the site themselves....
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Mayfield wrote: 23 Sep 2020 07:33 Last night the group posted in every FB site they belong to, a letter from a local councillor who the developers have formally complained about. Pretty unpleasant stuff and one has to wonder why the developer bothered, it leaves a nasty taste .....but it’s a side issue, it shouldn't affect the decision.

I have every sympathy with eddieed , the access is poor , it will put a strain on local facilities, bad for the environment etc but sooner or later that Club is going to be sold ( not sure the developer has actually paid until they get PP ) so either the group should propose something that is more acceptable or start trying to raise the funds to purchase the site themselves....
From golfers I know, money has been paid and the golf club is committed to taking over the Caversham Heath Golf Club, next year, where they’ve already spent a lot of money on that course. That might explain the unpleasant and completely unfounded complaint about the Councillor, as they are panicking about having to give the money back.
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Why on earth did they ever do a deal that involved a development not in accord with the local housing plan ?

Honestly you would think if most of them can afford to pay Golf Club fees, they have a brain.....that makes no sense to me....

I'd have slightly more patience if they included affordable housing, but my understanding is that the development doesn't.
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Mayfield wrote: 23 Sep 2020 07:33 Last night the group posted in every FB site they belong to, a letter from a local councillor who the developers have formally complained about. Pretty unpleasant stuff and one has to wonder why the developer bothered, it leaves a nasty taste .....but it’s a side issue, it shouldn't affect the decision.

I have every sympathy with eddieed , the access is poor , it will put a strain on local facilities, bad for the environment etc but sooner or later that Club is going to be sold ( not sure the developer has actually paid until they get PP ) so either the group should propose something that is more acceptable or start trying to raise the funds to purchase the site themselves....
They have been given £10m from Fairfax and there is a charge on the companies house for all to see. This is based on 4 parcels of land across the whole course. They haven't received a payment for the land as a saleable unit which is more likely to be in the multiple millions Lets say 260 houses. average of £650k each (3 to 5 beds round here easy to get that). Just under £170m turnover for the developer! Fairfax is not the developer they are the land selling agent! The income for RGC will be much higher.

My understanding is that this is a loan and should the land not be sold within a period of time then it doesn't have to be paid back but I am not sure if this is accurate.

The slightly scary part in my mind is they have said they were losing money (actually Companies House accounts don't back up this story) but they are now moving somewhere they have to pay a lease charge - their current site the land is effectively free. However the financial position of an organisation doesn't matter for planning. They wouldn't care if they club was rolling in it or bankrupt!

We know the councilor as our children are at school with hers and its shocking the complaint that has been made. Worryingly it was based on house prices falling - something that you would think the GC would be trying to avoid - falling house prices means falling land prices. As she states with the other 2 councilors for our ward being on the planning committee and having the need to remain mutual she is the only person that can represent the the community and it is obvious the majority of community do not want this!
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Mayfield wrote: 23 Sep 2020 11:05 Why on earth did they ever do a deal that involved a development not in accord with the local housing plan ?

Honestly you would think if most of them can afford to pay Golf Club fees, they have a brain.....that makes no sense to me....

I'd have slightly more patience if they included affordable housing, but my understanding is that the development doesn't.
They are hedging their bets - the big payout for the golfers comes when further development in South Oxon is approved. If RBC approve this I can see it being a matter of months before there is a planning application in at South Oxon for the land under their control but still within the built up area. Thats the bit of land I have highlighted in red on this map...approx another 100 houses at least! For thoses that don't know I have highlighted the land roughly included in the Local Plan (which RBC lobbied to included) in yellow.
Capture.JPG
EDIT: Sorry for a slightly unfortunate shape!
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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It’s hard to see how anyone profits from house prices falling, unless they think she is going to 'buy to let' or buy and hang on.....

Is there going to be this sort of protest if the old BBC site is developed, let alone the parcels of land in CPV that have recently been sold ?

What we need is proper family homes at affordable prices...it’s horribly reminiscent of Bugs Bottom that went for years and years, and some of the most ardent campaigners ended up moving there 🙄
The other aspect the campaign group fail to mention in their frequent citing of 'brown' basically infill building is that very often these parcels of land are developed and the community gets diddly squat...a house here, another there ...Micklands ( although residential so not quite the same ) was like that....no benefit to the community at all....yet added traffic, strain on medical services and schools ....

Can't see this getting through at RBC level hopefully....
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Mayfield wrote: 23 Sep 2020 12:45 It’s hard to see how anyone profits from house prices falling, unless they think she is going to 'buy to let' or buy and hang on.....

Is there going to be this sort of protest if the old BBC site is developed, let alone the parcels of land in CPV that have recently been sold ?

What we need is proper family homes at affordable prices...it’s horribly reminiscent of Bugs Bottom that went for years and years, and some of the most ardent campaigners ended up moving there 🙄
The other aspect the campaign group fail to mention in their frequent citing of 'brown' basically infill building is that very often these parcels of land are developed and the community gets diddly squat...a house here, another there ...Micklands ( although residential so not quite the same ) was like that....no benefit to the community at all....yet added traffic, strain on medical services and schools ....

Can't see this getting through at RBC level hopefully....
I would certainly object to a BBC development - access is better - or can be made better with some ease but it will still cause the traffic issues.
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That’s always going to be the argument in Reading generally and to the north particularly....so where are our increasing population who want to live in a family home in Caversham and Emmer Green going to live ? Or will prices just escalate ever skyward ?

PS Have you noticed how the site behind Waitrose has had an extra property squeezed on it ?
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Mayfield wrote: 23 Sep 2020 13:03 That’s always going to be the argument in Reading generally and to the north particularly....so where are our increasing population who want to live in a family home in Caversham and Emmer Green going to live ? Or will prices just escalate ever skyward ?

PS Have you noticed how the site behind Waitrose has had an extra property squeezed on it ?
Realistically - and this is RBCs argument as well is that until a 3rd Bridge is built no significant number of houses can be built North of the River - either on RBC controlled Land or South Oxon Controlled Land.

It's also worth noting that any new developments have to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy (CiL) - even our build was liable because we increased the floor space by over 100 sq metres. We get an exemption because we live in it but have to live here for 3 years otherwise we have to pay it. I think it was about £16.5k for ours, and if we sell or rent before the end of 3 years then it has to be paid. So all those small infill properties do have to contribute something!
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Oh good, I thought I'd read that scheme had stopped....glad it hasn't....

When I moved to Caversham I was assured that the third bridge would be built within the next 5 years.....that was 1979 🙄

I'm not holding my breath....
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Our neighbours moved to Reading because Crossrail was coming...
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

Post by eddieed »

It was on South Today at lunchtime - it wasn't the best article but at least it got coverage. There are now over 1700 objections - it will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few months.
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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Mayfield wrote: 23 Sep 2020 17:04
When I moved to Caversham I was assured that the third bridge would be built within the next 5 years.....that was 1979 🙄
No, I wouldn’t hold your breath Mayfield! I just read on GetReading that the latest plans have been chucked out by Oxfordshire - again :)
And further down it says that if/when the plans are accepted it will 20-30 years before its built!
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

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piwacket wrote: 25 Sep 2020 16:27
Mayfield wrote: 23 Sep 2020 17:04
When I moved to Caversham I was assured that the third bridge would be built within the next 5 years.....that was 1979 🙄
No, I wouldn’t hold your breath Mayfield! I just read on GetReading that the latest plans have been chucked out by Oxfordshire - again :)
And further down it says that if/when the plans are accepted it will 20-30 years before its built!
Blimey, I didn't think there were any medieval cathedral builders still in business :wink:
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Re: Reading Golf Club Development

Post by Mayfield »

Do the protesting group have any positive ideas, given the members want to sell? Less houses ? More affordable housing, buying it themselves ?

I doubt it will get through anyway but also I suspect the developers will keep going....
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