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Over 1,600 objections to Tilehurst hill home plans

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"In this increasingly built-up area, we need space to walk and relax"

There are more than 1,600 objections to plans to build hundreds of homes in Tilehurst.

A company called U+I Pincents Lane Ltd wants to build 265 homes and a GP surgery on a patch of green space just off Pincents Lane.

According to the plans, it also wants to create a nine-hectare public park and plant enough trees to create a 20m 'woodland buffer' between Tilehurst and the new housing estate.

The company has promised to ensure 106 of the new homes are affordable and provide £1m that can be invested in local infrastructure.

But the project has proved to be extremely controversial, as West Berkshire Council has received more than 1,620 objections and 235 letters of support.

The council is still considering the application and a spokeswoman said a decision is due to be made at a public meeting "at the end of March or beginning of April".

Supporters believe the project will provide much-needed affordable housing in Tilehurst, but objectors claim the development will put a huge strain on local schools, roads and other infrastructure.

They are also concerned about the loss of green space and the impact on wildlife.

One objector wrote: "This is a much-loved recreational area in a part of the greater Reading area which has been losing its green spaces bit by bit over the last 20 plus years.

"Moreover, footpaths will be affected, trees lost, with the consequent loss of wildlife.

"In this increasingly built-up area, we need space to walk and relax."

One woman wrote: "The idea of all the new homeowners trying to get on to local roads and the A4 in rush hour fills me with dread.

"Calcot and Tilehurst grind to a halt at rush hour as it is."

Another objector claimed that local wildlife will be left "homeless" if that area of green space is turned into a large housing estate.

She added: "The area in question is used locally for exercise and enjoyment of the countryside.

"Too many open spaces are being destroyed and this latest proposed development would be a travesty."

But many supporters claim they are being priced out of the area and they welcome plans for more affordable homes.

One wrote: "The prices in Tilehurst are ridiculously expensive.

"There simply isn't anything that is affordable.

"I work for a school and have two children. I'm a single parent of two teenagers.

"The mixture of homes that are planned for Pincents Lane would enable me to get my foot on the housing ladder.

"Not only would we get our own roof over our heads, but we would have the park next door as well."

In 2009, plans to build 750 homes, a hotel and shops on the site in Tilehurst were rejected by the council.

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