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Referendum on Compton Neighbourhood Development Plan after West Berkshire Council approval

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West Berkshire Council has unanimously voted to send the Compton Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) to a public referendum.

The plan outlines development priorities for Compton over the next sixteen years, and councillors voted on December 2 to approve it automatically in the event of a 'yes' vote in the referendum.

The vote is expected to take place in early February, although a specific date has yet to be announced. The date will be publicised in the parish as soon as a decision is made.

The former Pirbright Institute site in Compton.
The former Pirbright Institute site in Compton.

The plan has been drawn up following an extensive consultation in Compton, and it includes a strong emphasis on conserving the rural character of the local area, as well as enhancing biodiversity.

At the centre of the document is the former Pirbright Institute research site, which is set aside for redevelopment into a multi-purpose 'enterprise hub'.

The plan states: "The redevelopment of the Pirbright Site shall provide an enterprise hub for a range of flexible employment floorspace including for small-scale business use, such as offices, research and development space, and light industry, aimed at those wishing to start and grow businesses, that are compatible in terms of amenity with a residential-led mixed use scheme.

"There will be a preference for the re-use of existing buildings for this purpose and any proposals for new employment buildings should demonstrate why this is essential."

The future of the cricket ground to the south-west of the Pirbright Institute site is also outlined, with planners recommending that the premises be opened up for community use once again.

They said: "The community engagement has revealed strong support for the creation of public access to this land. It has significant recreation potential and can deliver benefits for the wider community.

"It is therefore considered that opportunities should be taken to re-establish community utilisation of the cricket pitch commensurate with its status as Local Green Space."

Improved pre-school and community facilities have been identified as a key aspect of future development in Compton.

The Piglets Day Nursery, once a significant local educational asset, is currently closed, and the NDP suggests that its premises should be renovated to host local children once again.

A large section of the NDP is dedicated to parking facilities, said to be inadequate in Compton at present.

Outlining local parking issues, the plan concludes: "The existing parking arrangements across the Parish are therefore no longer considered fit for purpose, and it is evident that without improved or increased vehicle parking spaces, traffic issues will continue to prevail across, presenting issues of safety and urbanisation.

"In follow-up consultations with residents, it has been suggested that additional off-road parking, perhaps associated with electric vehicle charging points, would be beneficial, and this idea has received good support from the community."

The plan has been made available to read on Compton Parish Council's website.

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