Wokingham Town and Evendons Neighbourhood Action Group

Working together to make our neighbourhood a better and safer place


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Public Budget Engagement (Wokingham Borough Council)

Posted by Stephen Newton on October 4, 2016 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)
Budget engagement sessions. Join us to learn about the Council's difficult financial position and the budget challenges it faces. Share with the council your views on the principles and priorities that will guide how they spend your money to fund your services. Senior councillors and staff will be at the sessions to answer your questions. The sessions take place between 7pm and 9pm on: Monday October 17 St Mary's Church Centre, Station Road, Twyford Thursday October 20 Maiden Place Community Centre, off Kilnsea Drive, Lower Earley Monday October 24 Bradbury Centre, Rose Street, Wokingham Tuesday October 25 Finchampstead Baptist Church, Gorse Ride North, Finchampstead Monday October 31 Waingels College, Waingels Road, Woodley If you can't make any of our sessions but would still like to have your say, an online survey will be available at: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'budget consultation'). If you attend a session you can take part in our prize draw - your chance to win one of these great prizes: �?� A year's Family Membership (2 adults and 2 children) at any 1-Life leisure centre in Wokingham Borough �?� Four day tickets for the Marvellous Festival at Dinton Pastures in 2017 �?� A voucher worth £100 for the Dinton Activity Centre �?� A home garden waste composter

Travellers eviction and request to be vigilant

Posted by Stephen Newton on August 23, 2016 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Arbor Lane, Winnersh eviction of travellers

For your information the travellers on the Arbor Lane, Winnersh site have been served with a Section 61 eviction notice yesterday to be off the land 


All land owners are requested to take steps to ensure that their land is secure so as not to incur further unlawful encampments or unlawful trespass.

If you see any signs of further areas, industrial or rural being entered, please ring the police on 101.


Update on Blagrove Lane Travellers

Posted by Stephen Newton on August 16, 2016 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The applicants challenged the Planning Inspectorate’s decision. The basis of the challenge is: The Inspector has erred in law - he has said that a planning obligation for financial contributions is required and in fact the Council said it was not. 

Until this matter is resolved the enforcement notice (To vacate) does not come into effect and hence the 9 month time scale for compliance has not commenced.

The permission hearing was scheduled for 14 July 2016 in the High Court. (We appologise for the late notice on this. There was a disconnect in communications)

For information on process:

The decision on permission can be handed down at the hearing itself.

However it is much more likely is that this is handed down separately, following detailed consideration by the Court. The process of drafting a Judgment normally takes 1-4 weeks. 

    1. If permission is refused, the appellants have the right to request that the decision is reconsidered at an oral renewal hearing within 7 days (except where the case is considered “totally without merit”;). The Planning Court aims to hear oral renewal hearings within 1 month of this request.
    2. If permission is granted, the matter will be entered into the warned list. Matters in the warned list are normally heard within six to nine months. The Planning Court considers statutory reviews a matter of priority, and aims to hear them within six months of issue. Therefore the target date for the substantive hearing would be mid-October 2016.
    3. If the Court refuses the appellants’ claim, it is possible for the appellants to seek leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal. This would depend on the content of the Judgment. The appellant would once again need permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. In broad terms, if permission is granted, the overall Court of Appeal process normally takes between 6 months – 1 year.
    4. If the High Court agrees with the appellants, this will not necessarily have the effect of reversing the Planning Inspectorate’s decision. The Court does not necessarily have to quash the decision, but the normal process is that the matter is returned to the Inspectorate for reconsideration.


However; The Planning Inspectorate has accepted that the Inspector erred in law and that he has reached the unsupportable conclusion that a unilateral undertaking was required where that was not advanced. The Government Legal Service are therefore proposing to concede the appeal, and agree a form of Order by which the decision is remitted to an Inspector for re-hearing.

It therefore seems that the way forward will be that the appeal decision is invalid and there will be a further appeal hearing. The enforcement notice continues to be held in abeyance.

The good news is that the injunction is still in force so they cannot bring any further caravans onto the land.

It does take a long time to resolve these issues so please be prepared for the unauthorised use to continue for some time.

It’s not great but we are completely reassured that WBC officers are doing all they can.

They are as frustrated about this situation as we are.



Thank you to Mark Ashwell for this update. Note: I have edited the response - without changing the facts or message.

Update 8 - 28 My

Posted by Stephen Newton on May 28, 2015 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Update 8 May 28th 2015

Dear all

At our meeting last Thursday we agreed to take a number of issues back to WBC for clarification and further comment, the questions and answers are summarised below.

Planning Process and timing of appeal:

The process and timing of the appeal is determined by the Planning Inspectorate. 

It is likely that the planning application appeal and the enforcement notice appeal will be linked and heard at a public inquiry. We have just had a date set for another enforcement appeal which is 16 Dec. Therefore we anticipate that the Inquiry will not be until next year.

There is an informal hearing into this appeal arranged (attached) with date to be confirmed ??? residents can input until 26th June 2015   

Environmental Impact on flood plain:

The flood plain maps are produced by the Environment Agency. The site is not in the flood plain. Residents would find it useful to read the officers report in relation to the previously refused planning appeal which is on the Council's web site under application reference: F/2014/1582

Restoration of land to previous conditions: The enforcement notice requires restoration of the land to its former condition.  If the appeal is dismissed the enforcement notice will come into effect and restoration is required.                                           

Drainage and sanitation:

There is a portaloo on site and presumably camping toilets within the caravans.

There is no connection to sewers. Provision of fresh water              

How provided:

The temporary injunction prevented any further engineering operations. On 13 May the Council applied for the order to be made permanent. The travellers did not object to the order being made permanent but asked if they could undertake the work to connect to the water supply (provided by Thames Water). The judge agreed that this work could be carried out (subject to consent from Thames Water)                                                                              

Who pays:

The travellers pay Thames Water to connect to the water supply and then receive water bills                                                   

Is it for drinking only: It is a water supply just like to a house. However, there is no connection to foul drainage so not possible to have flushing toilets.

If used for sanitation is it a breach of the injunction: The injunction prevents further engineering/building works and prevents further caravans from being moved onto the site.

There are no restrictions on what they can do with the water but there are restrictions on connecting to foul drainage.


Which school will the children attend, what if residents have not been able to get children into the same school? The Council would not disclose which schools the children attend as this information is confidential.

These answers have been provided by the Council and have been shared with you without any comments or additions by ourselves We will continue with updates as and when we have relevant information (good or bad) to share with

Your Kind Regards

John Walker Chairman EARA

Ken Rowlands Chairman NAG

Update 7 May 7th 2015 - Blagrove Lane Appeal.

Posted by Stephen Newton on May 27, 2015 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Update 7 May 7th 2015

Dear all

Please find below the letter from WBC outling the start of the planning appeal process, we as EARA will be appealing but that should not stop any individual appeals being forwarded as per the documented process



Tel: (0118) 974 6437 (Direct Line)

Email: [email protected]

Date: May 27, 2015


My ref: F/2014/1582/A




Councillor Ashwell




Dear Councillor Ashwell



APPLICATION No: F/2014/1582

APPEAL BY: Mr & Mrs Ann and Richard Coyle

SITE: Land off Blagrove Lane Wokingham

PROPOSAL:Proposed change of use of land to use as a residential caravan site for two traveller families, each with two caravans including one static caravan/mobile home, laying of hardstanding and erection of amenity building.


This is to inform you that an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will hold an Informal Hearing into this appeal. You will be advised of the date and venue when they are known.


Comments already made, following the original application for planning permission, will be forwarded to The Planning Inspectorate.


If you wish to make further representations, you may email them to [email protected] If you post them, you should, if possible, send three copies to Mr Nicholas Kessler, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/10, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN. Please quote reference APP/X0360/W/15/3012013. Comments received after 26/06/2015 will not normally be seen by the Inspector, and will be returned.


Documents relating to the appeal will be sent in a separate email.



Yours faithfully


Appeals Assistant




We will continue with updates as and when we have relevant information (good or bad) to share with you

Kind Regards

John Walker

Chairman EARA


Update 6 - 23 My

Posted by Stephen Newton on May 24, 2015 at 3:05 AM Comments comments (0)
Update 6 May 23rd 2015 Dear all Thank you for attending the meeting on Thursday evening, as agreed this is a copy of the statement made by Mark Ashwell The planning situation is as follows: There is currently an appeal against the refusal of the planning application. The procedure for determining the appeal has not yet been agreed. However, the Council has served a planning enforcement notice. It is likely that this will be appealed and that the Planning Inspectorate will link the two appeals and change the procedure to a Public Inquiry. The Planning Inspectorate will set a date for the Inquiry. There are currently delays at the Planning Inspectorate. It is the guestimate that we will have to wait about three months for an Inquiry date to be set and the Inquiry may not take place until early next year. In the meantime the enforcement notice is held in abeyance. Local residents can attend and speak at Hearings and Inquiries. This is the link to the Planning Inspectorate's guidance. http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/pins/taking-part_planning-inquiry.pdf http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/pins/taking-part_planning-hearing.pdf Local residents could consider clubbing together and appointing their own planning consultant to represent them at the appeal if they chose. The appeal will either be allowed or dismissed. We usually have to wait about 4 months for appeal decisions. If allowed the pitches can stay. If dismissed the enforcement notices comes into effect. The enforcement notice requires the caravans to be removed 9 month after it comes into effect. The existing injunction prevents any further caravans coming onto the site. We will do everything possible to accelerate this process Cllr Mark Ashwell WBC Evendons Ward This statement has been provided by the Council and has been shared with you without any comments or additions by ourselves We will in addition be taking forward a list of questions to WBC to seek clarification on any and all the outstanding points that came up at the meeting, these questions will include any raised prior to, during and after the meeting. We would also like to thank you for your contributions both before and after the meeting as well as on the night, we will not respond individually to those points but rest assured they will be included in our questions We will continue with updates as and when we have relevant information (good or bad) to share with you Kind Regards John Walker Chairman EARA Ken Rowlands Chairman NAG

Travellers Update 4 May 2015

Posted by Stephen Newton on May 13, 2015 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Update 4 May 2015


One or our residents, Stephen Newton, represented the NAG at a meeting with other NAG chairs


and the Thames Valley Chief Constable, Rob Frances.


The issue of Blagrove Lane was raised at this meeting and it is worth noting the following points:


- The presence of the travellers and occupation of the field is a Civil dispute not a criminal


one. Even in light of the injunction, it's still a civil matter. The Police therefore have no


powers to move them on.


-  The police stand ready to react to any criminal activity by any party or parties. It was again


confirmed that the Police have increased the patrols and presence in the lane to help


support the neighbourhood and to have a strong visible presence


- The reported incident of a Police Woman being harassed and requiring backup when the


travellers arrived is unsubstantiated. The Chief Constable Rob Frances has personally looked


into this and spoken to everyone and checked logs. No officer reports any incident and there


is no log of a call for backup.



Our thanks to Stephen for this update and please continue to take the usual precautions to keep


both yourself and your property safe.


Kind Regards


John Walker Ken Rowlands


Chairman EARA Chairman NAG

12 May update Blagrove Lane

Posted by Stephen Newton on May 13, 2015 at 3:00 AM Comments comments (0)
Todayâ??s update: 1) Additional van is a camper van 2) WBC visited on the afternoon of the 12 May (have made appointment!) 3) Serving a formal notice to vacate today (Tuesday) 4) High court decision tomorrow (Wednesday) 5) They have registered for Council Tax 6) They have registered for waste collection 7) They have registered for a GP 8) There are 11 children under 10 years on site 9) WBC have a statutory duty to provide a fresh water supply

Evendons Primary School news

Posted by Stephen Newton on May 12, 2015 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Evendons Newsletter, Community Events & Fund, & Crossing Article

There is lots going on at the school and in the local community at the moment that we would like to update you with.


Evendons Parents Newsletter


Please find a copy of the most recent Newsletter in the documents section of this site: just to give you an insight as to what has been going on in school. As you will see, a lot of the messages I mention below have been included in our Newsletter to the Parents.





The school is going to send out two Travel Surveys in the coming months; 1 to existing parents to find out how they are currently getting to school and how they intend to in Sept, 2 to new parents starting in Sept 15 - where are they located, how will they be travelling to school.


Depending on the outcome of these will depend on how many Walking Buses we run and the start locations.


Community Fund


Please can you spare two minutes to click on the link below and vote Evendons Primary School in the Aviva Community Fund? You have to fill in a few details (email and name etc.,) to register, and then click on the link in the email they send you and then search Evendons, and vote for us (you can vote ten times in one go). It won’t cost you anything other than a minute or so of your time, and could help us raise as much as £25,000 to help pay for some fantastic equipment. Please help – and feel free to ask friends and family to help too!!. Flier attached to pass onto friends & family. Vote for us now at https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/2335/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

There is also an active link in the attached flier.


WBC Leslie Sears Play Equipment Meeting


The council will be hosting a meeting at Evendons for parents and the local community to view and provide feedback on the proposals for the new Leslie Sears Play Equipment. The meeting is set for Tuesday 9 June at 7:15pm – 9:15pm. There will be 6 different companies displaying their proposals for all to view and feedback on.



Update from EARA and NAG 29-04-2015

Posted by Stephen Newton on April 29, 2015 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Update from EARA and NAG 29-04-2015

Posted on April 29, 2015


We would like to take this opportunity to share with you the actions taken to date in respect of the occupation of land in Blagrove Lane.


The Chairman of both the Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) and Evendons Area Residents Association (EARA) have agreed that a joint platform and approach will best help the local community.


We have made contact with all of our local councillors and they are all very supportive in trying to resolve as quickly as possible the occupation of this land. The statement below from Inspector John Donachy Neighbourhood Inspector of Thames Valley Police helps to clarify the legal issues


“From a police perspective this appears to be a planning issue for WBC to progress in accordance with any legal powers they may have. Any powers that we would ordinarily use under the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act are not applicable in these circumstances as the travellers clearly have the consent of the landowner to do what they are doing – all be it without the relevant planning consent. TVP will support WBC with any enforcement action that they chose to take.”


Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) served a temporary stop notice which was not adhered to, therefore will continue to use fight the unauthorised change of use of this land to a site of mobile homes for human habitation.


Through our own actions via our local councillors we are chasing WBC for an update on the proposed action in respect of the various breaches that have occurred to date. This information once available to us will be shared with you.


Returning to Thames Valley Police a further extract from their statement is shared with you below


“We will be providing reassurance patrols in the area in the coming days in order to show a strong visible presence in the community. Any fear that local residents have about this incident causing an increase in crime are unfounded. There has been no increase in crime incidents since the weekend.”


We will be delivering a letter update in the next few days to those households closest to the development to ensure everyone is kept informed.


Finally, we understand the concerns that exist within the community but we are doing everything we can to help resolve this issue and to communicate with you all any and every update we get as soon as we can.



Kind Regards


Ken Rowlands : Chairman NAG

John Walker : Chairman EARA