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Plans for new car park at Mortimer Station set for refusal

GWR proposals ‘do not justify the need’

Local Democracy Reporter Nathan Hyde

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Plans for new station car park set for refusal

PLANS to build a 150-space car park next to Mortimer Station are expected to be rejected tomorrow (Wednesday).

Great Western Railway (GWR) has applied for permission to build to car park on an agricultural field, just off Station Road, to increase the number of parking spaces for passengers to 200.

Passenger numbers at the station rose by just three per cent between 2004 and 2019, and GWR claims a lack of parking is “suppressing” that growth.

But West Berkshire Council planning officers say the planning application “does not justify a need for an additional 150 spaces” and the large car park would have “an urbanising impact” on the village.

GWR has also drawn up plans for a footway along station road, but the officers say it “is not considered accessible due to the steep gradient over the bridge”.

The council’s Eastern Area Planning Committee will make a decision on the application at a meeting tomorrow.

During a public consultation, eight people objected to the plans, and raised concerns about the impact on the rural landscape, extra traffic and pollution.

They have also asked whether GWR can justify building a new car park when the long-term impact of Covid-19 on commuting remains unclear.

Supporters say it would prevent on-street parking in Mortimer and provide much-needed parking at the station, meaning less people would drive to Reading or Theale to catch a train.

Plans to build a 100-space car park at the station were rejected in 2008 and that decision was upheld at appeal.

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