Drop-in surgery plan for Finchampstead housing scheme

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RESIDENTS keen to know more about the regeneration of a housing development in Finchampstead are being encouraged to visit a new drop-in surgery.

A steering group for the new Gorse Ride regeneration project has been established, creating a link between residents and developers.

The first phase of the regeneration will see the rehousing of residents and subsequent demolition and redevelopment of Cockayne Court, some properties in Arnett Avenue) and 154 Barkham Ride.

A community engagement will take place ahead of a planning application being submitted for the first phase, expected in the spring.

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) expects that the first phase will include around 40 new homes, made up of one- and two-bed flats and two- and three-bed houses, with the tenure mix still to be decided.

The Council has commissioned consultants to look into the potential of regenerating the main estate as part of Phase 2, which includes working around properties at Whittle Close, Gorse Ride South, Billings Avenue, Orbit Close, Dart Close, Firs Close and Vicarage Close.

The design team are currently drawing up options which take into account technical information and community views, and a preferred option for an illustrative
masterplan will be identified in the new year.

The outcome of the feasibility work will be reported to the Council Executive in March 2018, who will make a decision on the next steps.

The Steering Group, which met for the first time last month, will ensure there continues to be meaningful input into the regeneration from the local community. It comprises representatives from across the estate, including council tenants and owner occupiers, as well as Wokingham borough councillors and officers.

WBCs deputy executive member for adult services Cllr Richard Dolinski said: “The consultation we carried out ahead in 2015 showed strong general support for regeneration of the estate and we know it will bring great benefits.

“We understand that people will naturally be concerned about the details and we will work closely with the community to get those right. The steering group and surgeries are very positive steps and will play an important role in making sure local people guide the regeneration of their own estate.”

The next steering group meeting will be on Wednesday, December 6 and the next drop-in surgery will be at the Community House, Billing Avenue on Tuesday, November 28. For further information or to get involved visit www.wokingham.gov.uk and search for ‘Gorse Ride Regeneration’.

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