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EXCLUSIVE Two bridges and 700 homes coming to Thatcham?

Major development includes sports complex, housing, football pitch and new school

William Walker

William Walker


01635 886641

EXCLUSIVE Two bridges and 700 homes coming to Thatcham?

After more than 40 years of discussion and debate a long-awaited bridge to bypass Thatcham’s level crossing may at last be in the pipeline – but at the cost of a major new 700 home development, the Newbury Weekly News can reveal.

Developer, the Colthrop Village Consortium, is heading up the proposed mixed use project which plans 700 homes, a 100-berth marina, a sports complex, playing fields and a new primary school.

If successful, two new road bridges would form part of the development sited to the south of the Kennet and Avon Canal between Colthrop Mill and Station Road.

According to the developers – a consortium made up of waste management firm Grundon and members of the Henry family – the first bridge would be a double-span bridge crossing both the railway line and Kennet and Avon Canal, accessing Pipers Lane.

The second smaller bridge would cross the River Kennet to the south, providing access to the development via Crookham Hill.

Developers have also reportedly expressed an intention to widen parts of Crookham Hill into a dual carriageway as possible mitigation for any increase in traffic and also provide an improved towpath and cycleway, and enhanced pedestrian and cycle access to the River Kennet.

Thatcham town councillor Jeff Brooks (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) argued, however, that the plans on a greenfield site would put an unsustainable pressure on Thatcham and represented overdevelopment and urban sprawl.

He said: “It is over-development of the town.

“It is another huge number of houses and I cannot support it.

“I would not wish to support it. What I am worried about is overdevelopment and the town not coping with it.

“I am not supporting a bridge if it’s going to lead to more homes.

“I can, however, understand drivers sitting in the traffic jams wondering when their bridge will be built.”

Vice chairman of the Greenham and Crookham Commons Commission, Chris Austin, said that although the bridge over Thatcham’s level crossing was an “essential piece of infrastructure” any plans would need careful scrutiny for their impact on nearby common land.

He added: “There will be concerns of an increase in traffic and we would need to be certain that a new bridge didn’t lead to more traffic.”

Paul Woodbridge, a member of the Colthrop Village Consortium, could not confirm when a formal application would be submitted to West Berkshire Council.

He said: “Over the next few months, we will be working closely with the community, local stakeholders and councillors to develop our proposals.”

For more details, images of the plans and local reaction pick up a copy of this week's Newbury Weekly News on sale now.

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Article comments

  • ARealThatchamResident

    14/07/2018 - 10:10

    So who are the people behind Colthrop Village Consortium who produced a brochure that purports to be a consultative document seeking the views of the real residents of Thatcham? Their website makes no mention of the people who formed the consortium but we can be confident that as massive landowners already their motivation will simply be more wealth for themselves and/or their shareholders as a result of what in reality is destruction of just as much green as brown field sites, increased pollution as crookham hill will become another 'A4' with massive increases in traffic with the train gates gone and the weight restrictions ultimately being removed again. If these rich landowners care so much about the environment then restore the brown field areas and open them up to the public. Don't patronise us with offers to listen to our views as in reality these people are only about increasing their corporate or personal wealth.


  • NewburyLad

    23/11/2015 - 15:03

    Out of interest, what does Lib Dem Jeff Brooks think about immigration and refugees? Normally all I hear from Lib Dems is that they want immigration and of course want to bring in as many refugees as possible. Just wondering how that sits with his statement about over development and no more homes.


  • metalli

    23/11/2015 - 10:10

    We NEED homes. Britain needs homes, the South needs homes, Berkshire needs home and Thatcham and Newbury need homes. I am fed up with people accepting that but then adding "but not in my backyard". In a few months times these people who are trying to prevent new homes will be the same people blaming immigrants (or worse asylum seekers and/or refugees) for the housing shortage. Of course we ALL want to live in wide green open spaces but we can't , If we choose to live in the South we can't! If people are looking for Britain's "green and pleasant" then they need to move north or to Scotland Wales. People need homes and LOCAL people need homes. Time to stop being so selfish and start providing them.


    • snowhunter

      24/11/2015 - 14:02

      Took the words right out of my mouth. We house hunted for over a year, constantly being out bid in a ebay feeling war on the few homes available. We have now been waiting over 8 months for the chain to close for the home we did get an offer on because the homeowner struggled getting into another property. It is out of control.