Tuesday, 16 February 2016

WestBerks Council Threatens to Close Theale library

West Berkshire Council are proposing to close all their libraries, except that in Newbury, to save money. The proposed closures include Theale. They are consulting on the closures until 7th March. It is very important for everyone who cares about Theale Library to respond to the consultation urgently. Possible reasons include: 
  • difficulty of getting to Newbury library by public transport for those without use of a car
  • expense of getting to Newbury library will put off those on low incomes or benefits
  • closure will stop children attending literacy sessions
  • it would make life very difficult for those who rely on using computers in libraries to access the housing list and universal benefit websites
  • closure will have a large negative impact on older people who rely on the library for a variety of reading matter
  • closure of the library will discourage children from reading 

But please add your own reasons!

Please respond to the consultation, then sign my petition to Save Theale Library.

IKEA Latest

IKEA have withdrawn their application to build a 42 metre-high “navigation tower”. Thank you for everyone who commented on this and heled persuade them that it would not be approved.

Application 15/03427/ADV for a 3 metre high, internally illuminated, “parapet” sign on top of their store has attracted 15 objections so far, so that application should be decided by West Berkshire Council’s Eastern Area Planning Committee.

Application 15/03426/ADV for 13 signs and 3 sets of flags has only attracted 8 objections so far, so will be decided by officers unless there are another couple of objections

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Please sign my petition to stop the closure of Lloyds Bank in ‎Theale‬.

Lloyds Bank have announced that they intend to close its branch in Theale on 8th June. This would cause hardship to local businesses and residents.
It would particularly affect pensioners and those without cars as the nearest branch (in Tilehurst) is very difficult to reach using public transport.
I am therefore raising the following petition:

I call upon Lloyds Bank to reverse its decision to close its Theale High Street branch. This is the only bank in Theale and closure would cause hardship for local businesses and residents. Closure would particularly affect pensioners and those without cars as the nearest branch (in Tilehurst) is very difficult to reach by public transport.

Please sign and share the petition.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Two new IKEA planning applications will affect #Theale

IKEA have submitted two more planning applications for adverts that will affect Theale:

Application 15/03427/ADV is for a "parapet advert". The three metre high, internally lit, "IKEA" letters would project above the tree line and be visible from parts of Theale:

Application 15/03426/ADV is for 15 fascia signs and 3 projecting/hanging signs The signs on the multi-storey car park would be visible from parts of Theale:

The second advert from the right is for one of their sofas. The "IKEA" and "P" signs would be internally lit. The "IKEA" sign would be 3.5 metres high and the "P" sign seven metres high,

If you wish to comment on either or both applications then please send an email to planapps@westberks.gov.uk specifying the application number(s).

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Proposed IKEA 42m high advertising mast would be visible from ‪‎Theale ‬High Street.

IKEA have submitted planning application 15/03428/ADV to build a 42-metre high "navigation tower" at the corner of their multi-storey car park. This is really a mast with three faces at the top with "IKEA" on each of the faces in 2.5 metre high, internally lit, letters.
Please see the photo montage below to see how it would appear from the end of Theale High Street. 
If you have any comments on the plan then please email them to planapps@westberks.gov.uk, giving application number 15/03428/ADV.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

New planning application submitted for lakeside site in Theale

An outline planning application for a residential development of 325 houses and apartments (including 70 extra-care units) has been submitted for the Lakeside site in Theale. The application number is 15/02842/OUTMAJ. The planning documents can be accessed by clicking here

The following map shows the location of the site (shaded black):

The proposal is for:
  • 91 3-bedroom houses
  • 38 4 or more bedroom houses
  • 16 1-bedroom flats
  • 110 2-bedroom flats
  • 29 1-bedroom "cluster flats"
  • 41 2-bedroom "cluster flats"

"Cluster flats" are flats that share a kitchen or common room. I suspect that the 70 "cluster flats" make up the extra-care sheltered housing.

Access to the site is proposed to be by both the existing (closed off) access off The Green and from the end of St Ives Close.

The southern part of the site already has planning permission for 350 homes, including 5-storey blocks of flats.

A special meeting of Theale Parish Council will be held on 30th November to decide on objections to the application. The meeting will start at 7:30pm and will be held at:

    The Peter Gooch Room
    The Pavilion
    Englefield Road

Although the application says "matters to be considered - access", many details are supplied that will set the scene for detailed applications. These details need to be taken into account now if you are considering any objections.

You can comment on the application on the Public Accesssystem or send them to mailto:planapps@westberks.gov.uk

West Berkshire‬ Housing Site Allocations DPD, including the sites in Theale approved for submission

The West Berkshire‬ Housing Site Allocations Development Plan Document was approved for submission at a special West Berkshire Council meeting on November 5th. The DPD allocates sites around the district for building homes and included these two sites in Theale:

THE003: 15 homes (reduced from 50 in the "preferred options" version of the DPD)

THE009: 70 homes (reduced from 125 in the "preferred options" version of the DPD)

I tried to table an amendment to exclude site THE009 (70 homes) in Theale, among others in Thatcham and Newbury, but this was ruled out of order. Council officers claimed that my amendment would negate the motion to approve the DPD. I disputed that removing four sites out of a total of 29 negated the motion but had to accept the Chairman's ruling. I then spoke against these sites in my speech on the main motion.
The DPD has now gone out to formal consultation, which will close on 21st December. It is important for as many of you as possible to respond to the consultation. These responses, along with the ones submitted to the preferred options DPD last summer, will go to the planning inspector who has to approve the DPD before it can be adopted. Things have changed since the preferred options stage. It is important to comment on those changes and to support the rejection of the old Theale sewage works site, land at M4 J12, and Pincents Hill - the landowners/developers will be likely to try to get them put back in.

You can read the DPD and associated documents by clicking here. You can take part in the consultation on that site or by emailing your comments to planningpolicy@westberks.gov.uk