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.


Schooling

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

C/O WBC

 

 

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 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

Residents Meeting 1st May 2015 �?? Cancelled

Posted by Stephen Newton on April 29, 2015 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Residents Meeting 1st May 2015 – Cancelled


 

It was thought initially that a residents meeting should be held this Friday 1st May 2015, however following subsequent discussions between various parties and based on further guidance it was decided that this meeting should be postponed.

Stop Notice - ignored by the occupants of the land.

 

Stop Notice – ignored by the occupants of the land.

 

We would appreciate your patience in dealing with this issue and would like to thank you all for the concern shown and the support given at this difficult time. The prompt actions taken to date should help resolve this matter as soon as possible.

 

 

We will hold a community meeting in mid May to update you all on this and other local matters, in the mean time we will continue to update the website, send out email and pass on any and all information that we receive about this issue.

 

Kind Regards

Ken Rowlands : Chairman NAG

 

John Walker : Chairman EARA 

Message from Police: Ref contact over Halloween

Posted by Stephen Newton on October 29, 2014 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Message sent by

Rebecca Webber (Police, Communications Officer, Corporate Communications)

 

Halloween and Bonfire Night are two of the busiest nights of the year for Thames Valley Police, especially the officers and staff who work in our Police Enquiry Centres and Control Rooms.

On Halloween we receive an average of 3,700 calls in a day, a large number of them in the evening. This year Halloween falls on a Friday and during half term, so we expect to be busier than ever!

We want everyone celebrating these events to have a good time, however we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour of any kind. To report any issues you may have on Halloween or Bonfire Night, please call the Police Enquiry Centre on our 24-hour non-emergency number - 101. If it is a crime in progress, call 999 immediately.

Remember, you can also report crime online via our crime reporting form and our website FAQ section contains a wealth of advice and information on a huge variety of topics.

If you need to contact us about something more routine, such as to get in touch with your local neighbourhood team or get advice about any policing issue – from fixed penalty notices to police station opening hours - it might be better to wait and contact us at a less busy time.

 

During both evenings, our neighbourhood policing teams will be undertaking high-visibility patrols to deal with any anti-social behaviour and have also been working with schools and parents to reduce the incidents of nuisance and criminal damage that can happen at this time of year.

 

Please visit the Thames Valley Police website to download and print off publicity material about Halloween or visit your local station.

Road closures around the Station/Oxford Road from 27 Oct�?�..

Posted by Stephen Newton on October 23, 2014 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Please see the link below for road closures around the Station/Oxford Road from 27 Oct…..

 

 

 

http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/transport/roads/stationlinkroad/

MISSING NUMBERS PUT LIVES AT RISK

Posted by Stephen Newton on October 22, 2014 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

MISSING NUMBERS PUT LIVES AT RISK

 

By Ted Hodby - Community First Responder

 

House owners who do not display a house number clearly at the front of their property are putting

 

their lives and safety at risk in the event of an emergency.

 

I work as a volunteer Community First Responder (CFR) in the Wokingham area with South Central

 

Ambulance Service (SCAS). My job is to get to an emergency quickly to treat the patient until the

 

professionals arrive. All I have to go on is a text message with the address and postcode. All too often

 

there is just a house name and a postcode which covers a group of houses.

 

Three times recently in the small hours, an ambulance crew and I have wasted precious time scouring

 

both sides of a road to find a house with no number where as far as we knew, someone could have been

 

dying. Without a number, there is no knowing whether you are moving towards the emergency or away

 

from it. With heart attacks and strokes, fast treatment is crucial. The minutes we waste looking for

 

houses can make the difference between full recovery and permanent disability or even death.

 

Even when we have a house number, addresses are not easy to find when the number is in small

 

numerals on a front door 50 yards down a drive. All the emergency services have the same problem as

 

well as Royal Mail and other delivery services.

 

Ideally we need a national system of house numbering (NHNS) . House owners could still use a name as

 

well if they wished. A house number is permanent and with the post code uniquely identifies that

 

property. A house name can (and usually is) changed by a new owner. If you agree with this argument, I

 

urge you to contact your local Borough Councillor or MP.

 

In the meantime, if your house has a number or name, make sure it is plain to see by someone in a

 

moving vehicle approaching from either direction. Large clear numerals are best. If your house is set well

 

back, fix the number to the front gate or the fence – anywhere it can be seen easily and quickly.

 

If you do have to call an ambulance, open gates and leave lights on. Ideally, leave someone at the front to

 

flag us down. If it is safe to do so, leave the front door ajar if you have to stay with the patient. If your

 

property is protected by a coded barrier or gate, it would help if it could be left open, or the barrier left

 

up. Alternatively have someone waiting at the entrance to let us in. It all saves time.

 

If your house only has a name and not a number, ask Wokingham Council about having a number

 

allocated . Failing that, make sure the name of your house is prominent from both directions. It could

 

save your life. If you do have need to call 999 for an ambulance, a First Responder may well

 

be dispatched and be at your property within a few minutes, so you may well have to act

 

Don’t let your number be up for the sake of a house name. Support the call for a National House

 

Numbering Scheme (NHNS).

 

Ted Hodby, Community First Responder.