Amongst all of the noise about Shapley Heath it is easy to overlook the work going on in neighbouring areas. A consortium of West Berkshire and Wokingham councils have received £750,000 to explore the Grazeley Garden Town.
It is proposed to develop 15,000 new houses on land surrounding Grazeley village. This site lies just to the south of the M4 and west of the A33, adjacent to AWE Burghfield. The councils have already carried out a master-planning exercise. The plans include a new railway station, primary and secondary schools, employment buildings and outdoor space. Incidentally, this master-plan work looks far higher quality than anything so far produced for Winchfield New Town/Shapley Heath.
The press release from Wokingham Council says the development will require £750m of infrastructure spending for 15,000 houses. This equates to £50,000 per house. Interestingly, the master-plan evaluated 5,000, 10,000 and 15,000 house schemes. Only the 15,000 house scenario produced a viable outcome. The viability assessment for Shapley Heath included only £164m of infrastructure funding for 5,300 houses or only £31,000 per house. Grazeley is proposing around 61% more spending per dwelling than Shapley Heath. It seems Hart Council’s claims of massive infrastructure spending for Shapley Heath are just a pipe-dream.
The Grazeley site is close to the northern boundary of Hart District. Of course the extra traffic from extra 15,000 houses on our doorstep will have a big impact on our district. But the bigger question is, why do we need Shapley Heath Garden Village, if there is to be a much bigger new town just a few miles away?
[Update] Consultation on Grazeley Garden Town planned for February as part of the Wokingham Local Plan [/Update]
Surely Grazeley makes Shapley Heath completely irrelevant?
The full Grazeley Garden Town master-plan document can be downloaded from the button below.
This is another of our posts showing:
- What is Shapley Heath, explaining its location and scale?
- All the reasons why Shapley Heath Garden Village is a bad idea
- An outline of an alternative approach to long term planning in Hart
The master page containing all of these posts can be found here. A link is also provided in the navigation at the top of the page. Please do keep an eye out for further updates and share them with your friends.