Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Petition against the 900 home Pincents Hill Plan in Tilehurst

The group campaigning to stop development on Pincents Hill in Tilehurst has launched an e-petition at the Downing Street website last week.

Developer Blue Living has announced its intention to submit a planning application s to build up to 900 homes on the Pincents Hill site and held a series of public consultation meetings in the area to gauge local opinion.

The Save Calcot Group’s e-petition says: “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to prevent a strategic gap of 48 acres at Pincents Hill being developed. “Pincents Hill is a beautiful woodland and natural heath which rivals an area of AONB. It is home to a wonderful diversity of animals, including badgers, a small herd of deer, red kites, yellow hammers, green headed woodpeckers, it is a wonderful haven.”

Supporters of the petition can sign it by visiting

Campaigner Joan Lawrie said: “We have launched this e-petition to raise the profile of the Save Pincents Hill campaign to a national level and to send out the message to all politicians and decision-makers that protection of strategic gaps and green belt is vital and the rules should not be relaxed to encourage development on these areas.

“Allowing building on strategically important green spaces will just lead to more urban sprawl and once we lose our green spaces they will be lost to all future generations.” John Betteridge defending the wildlife in the area, said: “We would like as many people as possible to sign our e-petition. "Any development on the Pincents Hill site will destroy entirely the character of this unique green space which is home to protected wildlife. “Communities up and down the country are likely to be facing similar threats of development as we are and together we need to send out the message: enough is enough!”

Another group member Antony Greenfield said: “There was a planning application in 1985 for 250 homes on this site but the Planning Inspectorate refused permission for this development and surely if a site was not sustainable for 250 homes in 1985 it is likely to be even more unsustainable today.

“We feel that West Berkshire Council has enough brown field sites to build on to meet the Government’s housing targets without any need to use the Pincents Hill site. "Sadly however the Government appears to wish for all sites, beautiful or not, to be built on. Please don’t let us lose the last open green space in Tilehurst we desperately need it.” “Make no mistake about it, we are set for a mammoth struggle to save Pincents Hill from development and having worked closely with the Save Calcot Group it is absolutely clear to me that they deserve all our thanks for standing up against the huge resources of developer Blue Living. "Once the developer’s outline planning application is submitted, probably in April, the group will organise a public meeting to mobilise support against the proposal and I would urge local residents to look out for details on the website.”

A developer bought the site last year. This is agricultural land that has a 37 acre unofficial disused golf course on it. The public have used this land as amenity land for over 30 years for nature walks (schools,etc.) It has two public rights of way. It has been a landmark site since the 1100's Tigel Hurst. The Hill is a green landmark just off the A4. It adjoins an AONB and is so beautiful it should be part of the AONB. Tilehust is ordinary it has 3 things to offer, schools, this beautiful coutryside site and its people. We need this area, it is the quiet soul of Tilehurst. We are threatened with a development of some 900 dwellings and Tilehurst will lose it's identity. We need to leave something beautiful for our children to enjoy. West Berks Council says that there are enough brown field sites to meet the governments housing requirements with no need to use this site. There was a planning application in 1985 for 250 homes but the Inspectorate refused permission and surely if a site was not sustainable for 250 it is still unsustainable. The government wishes all sites, beautiful or not to be built on. Please don't let us lose the last open green space in Tilehurst we desperately need it.

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