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org Quarterly Newsletter - Jan 2012

A Big Thank You To All AG-RAG Members
Thank you to everyone who wrote to Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) during the July 2011 consultation. Over 800 responses were received and 60% related to the Arborfield SDL. Also a big thank you for submitting questions to the October 5 2011 Executive meeting. 76 questions were submitted, again the majority came from AG-RAG.

Arborfield by-pass?
The latest Arborfield News edition has stated the MOD consortium are not in favour of funding a by-pass. What the consortium do say is that they will fund 89% of a 2.5m improved Arborfield Cross roundabout to be completed by 2016 in line with the 750th house built. The consortium estimate it will take 6 months to build/ modify the roundabout with an 18 month lead time and the funds should be in place by the end of 2014, in line with the 200th house built. There will be no traffic lights but a widening and reshaping of exits. They see no justification for an Arborfield Cross by-pass from their traffic analysis. If WBC insist on the 9m by-pass for Arborfield, for which the consortium claim they have shown no technical or budget detail to justify its construction, then the consortium will only pay 2.25m towards the costs. This will most likely make it prohibitively expensive.

Judicial Review
Both Hampshire County Council and Eversley Parish Council have taken the first steps towards instigating a Judicial Review because they believe they were not properly consulted about the traffic impact of Arborfield SDL in Eversley. We know the feeling! * Yet another indictment on the way WBC have managed the whole process. Further proof that they've failed to brief all relevant parties or take their views into consideration. * How long will this judicial review take? We're now reaching a stage where there may not be time to build the "all" by 2026 * How much will the review cost the council tax payers of Wokingham Borough Council (WBC)? Because of WBC's ineptitude the council tax payers have already had to pay for the SPpG successful review and WBC recently had to add another 2m to the SDL budget.

Steering Group action

Your Steering Group has been busy continuing to highlight the concerns of residents in Arborfield, Finchampstead and Eversley through articles in the Wokingham Times and slots on South Today and Radio Berkshire. We have recently met with planners at WBC and regularly attend Parish Council meetings as well as keeping in contact with our Councillors. A meeting is being arranged for early January with the MOD. Unfortunately Martin Rutter is no longer able to give as much time to AG-RAG because of work commitments. If there are any members who feel they could make a contribution to the group, either by becoming a Steering Group member or just a general offer of help, please let us know.

Planning Application submission

We expect a number of planning applications to be submitted to WBC from the various members of the land consortium early in 2012. There is also to be an over-arching application detailing all the infrastructure. We need as many people to comment on these as possible. Again we will let you know when and how to submit your comments and what the key issues are as soon as we have the details.

BBC Berkshire - Flooding Investigation

BBC Berkshire are running an investigation into the impact that recent increases in the cost of flood insurance are having on Wokingham residents. If you have direct experience of escalating premiums or flooding issues contact