Association has been involved in numerous issues since the last AGM
and these are summarised as follows:
the severe but necessary cutting of the hedge alongside the allotments
the Association contacted the Council regarding the gaps that had been
created and the concerns about ease of access for casual vandalism to
take place. The Council efficiently responded by putting palings in the
gaps and agreed to monitor the regrowth in case new bushes were needed
to close any breaks. Since then Council recutting has been carried out
Association contacted the Council last Summer to request repairs to the
entrance of the recycling facility at Highdown School. The Council’s
Technical Services Department responded in August to say that they planned
to make the entrance wider, repair the fencing, take out the grass area
to the side, fill in the potholes and resurface the area. It was hoped
this work would be completed before the Winter. However, although the
Association has continued to press for the maintenance to be carried
out, nothing has been done. The Council has delayed work partly because
of insufficient funds but also due to the fact that Transco are planning
to lay a new gas pipe-line that goes through the recycling facility.
Dates for this work have not been confirmed and the Council have been
requested to at least fill-in the potholes as a temporary measure.
matter of the footpath through Chambers Copse unexpectedly resurfaced
with new evidence being presented at another Inquiry at South Oxfordshire
District Council offices on 16 August. The Association’s Treasurer
attended the meeting. The additional information, presented by new witnesses,
was little different from earlier evidence and the Inspector informed
the Association on 29 January that the determination made previously
would not be reversed.
Park (BBC Monitoring)
the illustrated talk at the last AGM on the history and work of BBC Monitoring
based in Caversham Park, the Association asked if a visit for local residents
might be arranged during the summer to view the house and gardens. BBC
Monitoring agreed to open Caversham Park as part of their Heritage Open
Days on the Sunday afternoon of 9 September 2001. This was a very popular
event, being so oversubscribed that many people were disappointed not
to gain entry, and it is hoped that BBC Monitoring will repeat the event
in a future year.
last year local residents, ward Councillor Annette Hendry and the Association
were in discussions with Reading Buses regarding the service to Emmer
Green. We were all pleased that eventually the idea proposed of rerouting
services 44 and 45 was implemented. The service to the north of the area
is much improved with a schedule of six 44/45 buses per hour along Courtenay
Drive and Kidmore End Road.
Association’s book, Emmer Green - Past and Present, was formally
launched by local MP Jane Griffiths on Saturday, 20 October at St Barnabas
Church Hall. This was attended by our ward Councillors, representatives
from the local schools, many local organisations and groups and over
400 residents. Much hard work went into compiling and producing the finished
article, not least by the Association’s secretary who acted as
editor, and the committee were very gratified by the many compliments
from residents who purchased copies.
sales topped 400 copies and more than 100 copies were sold at the launch.
The book was so popular that by the 19 November all 850 books had been
sold. Complimentary copies were provided to the Berkshire Records Office,
the Museum of Reading, the Central Library’s Local History Section
and similar organisations.
project realised a profit of about £2,300. The committee subsequently
invited members to make suggestions as to what this money could be
used for. Two ideas were received. One was for the Association to make
a contribution in memory of Bill Goodworth towards the Emmer Green
Surgery’s fund for a new heart monitoring unit. A donation of £250
has been made and in total the William Goodworth Fund contributed £969
towards the final cost of £1685.32 for the machine. The other
idea was to fund the long standing project for a village sign for Emmer
Green. An updated quotation has been received from the local group
of the Berkshire Woodcarvers and this is being considered.
End Road - Parking
concerns had been raised by local residents at the last AGM regarding
congestion along this road due to parking between Chalgrove Way and Peppard
Road. The Association requested, through the local councillors, that
the Council undertake a consultation with residents of Kidmore End Road
before considering any action on parking issues along this road. In September
this resulted in Councillors Annette Hendry and Bob Green, together with
two officers from the Council’s Transport Management Section, visiting
Kidmore End Road to review the situation. However, the Council made no
progress during the autumn as they estimated it would cost £3500
for an initial consultation. Margaret Ormonde agreed to conduct a survey
on behalf of the Association to establish the number of cars in the area
belonging to residents. Even numbers from 2-70 Kidmore End Road (including
Fishers’ Cottages) were given forms to complete. There was 80%
response and an estimated shortfall of parking spaces of around 14 cars.
The comments received from residents were very diverse. Councillor Hendry
has agreed to review the results of the survey and make recommendations
to the Council; parking permits were a possible first step.
Reading Youth Project
On behalf of the Association the vice-chair sits on the management
committee of the North Reading Youth Project. Over the last year
the committee has overseen
considerable changes in the staffing of the Project. Not least of these was
the departure of the Senior Area Youth & Community Worker, Steve Green,
who had done sterling work with the youth of the area over several years. Dominic
Salter, who joined the Project in May of last year, has taken over the acting
role of senior worker. He and the trainee youth worker, Liz Heading, have a
comprehensive programme of activities scheduled for the current year. One issue
that it is hoped to take forward is a consultation with local young people
that use the skateboard facility next to Clayfield Copse car park. The views
of the users will inform the Council in either repairing the existing unit
or completely replacing the facility with more modern ramps and surfaces.
members continue to represent the Association on this group, which deals
with issues associated with safety and crime or the fear of crime in
the three local wards. One activity in which committee members contributed
was the car theft awareness campaign during the week 16-22 July covering
the area’s car parks and many side roads in Caversham and Emmer
Green. This consisted of placing different leaflets on car windscreens
dependent upon whether the car was well secured with no valuables visible
or was not secure and/or had valuables on show. The Association supplied
about half the manpower, which was much appreciated and gratefully acknowledged
by the Forum.
capital grants are available through the Safer Forum to address issues
associated with safety or to combat fear of crime. A number of areas
with poor street lighting have been improved through this means. In
Emmer Green there is a current proposal for improvements to the lighting
along the walkway from the surgery past Chiltern Court to Gorselands,
which was supported in a survey of local residents. A second proposal
has being consulted on recently to improve the lighting in the vicinity
of the bus stop on the north side of Courtenay Drive near the junction
with Kidmore End Road. A request for this to be assessed has been submitted.
Other such concerns from members can be reported through any of the
North Area Consultative Committee
members have continued to represent the Association at meetings of this
group. Over the last year there have been discussions on the need for
additional bus shelters and seats (all in Caversham), progress on the
capital projects for improved recycling facilities at Hills Meadow and
on the village sign in St Martin’s Precinct for the Caversham and
District Residents’ Association, the planning application for a
Tesco store at the Buckingham Drive Petrol Station, proposals for restoration
and improvements at Caversham Court, gates for St Anne’s Well and
the future of Mapledurham Pavilion.
the December meeting it was mentioned that there was still about £7,300
of the current capital budget unallocated. A suggestion was made that
this money could go towards the illumination of the arches under Caversham
Bridge. However, as neither the Peppard ward nor Emmer Green have previously
benefited from these funds the Association would welcome ideas for
a local project.
Association continues to try to monitor planning applications and to
respond to those that have an adverse effect on the local environment
or pose traffic safety or congestion issues. It has to be reiterated
that it is usually inappropriate for the Association to make formal objections
about individual house modifications. The following are those planning
applications in which the Association has raised concerns over the last
to rear of 35-49 Grove Road
of 6 detached houses plus an access road by the demolition of 39 Grove Road
by Infill Land Consultants. The local planning authority (LPA) had refused
permission on the original application to build 8 houses and although the developer
made an appeal the Inquiry Inspector dismissed the appeal. The developer simply
submitted a new, modified application and unfortunately the LPA granted permission
at the meeting of the Planning Applications Committee on 7 November 2001.
to rear of 19-29 Grove Road
Erection of 7 houses with access from Unity Court. At its meeting in early
March 2002 the LPA refused permission on this development because of the adverse
affect on public safety and the flow of traffic at the access road onto Grove
Road. The proposal was also refused as it failed to confirm a contribution
to the provision of local education facilities and to RBC integrated transport
behind 70 -76 Kidmore End Road
Erection of 6 houses by Annsgate with the demolition of houses 74 & 76
Kidmore End Road. Previous concerns have been expressed by adjacent householders
and by the Association regarding additional traffic entering Kidmore End Road
causing congestion and increasing the risk to the safety of both pedestrians
and motorists. The LPA has noted these objections and the developer has submitted
amendments to the access and the ‘internal turning head’ and this
new outline planning application is still to be assessed by the LPA.
behind 46-52 Kidmore End Road
Application to build 2 large detached houses with access to the side of no.
46. The Association did not object to development on this site per se but did
note that the proposed dwellings were out of keeping with existing properties.
The Association were notified by the LPA on 12 September 2001 that this application
had been refused.
adjacent to 164 Kidmore End Road
Application by Millgate Homes to build 3 houses with access adjacent
to the Chambers Copse entrance. The Association objected to the proposed
particularly the access road which was considered dangerous. The Council planning
committee, at its February meeting, considered the proposal breached the government’s
guidelines protecting greenfield land and the application was refused.
A number of masts have been proposed in Emmer Green over the last year.
10 metre antenna for BTCellnet on the wedge of land between Buckingham
Drive and the old section of Peppard Road, a 15 metre antenna for TELECOM
SECURICOR in the White Horse pub car park and three more antennas and
four microwave dishes for Hutchinson 3G on the already festooned Water
the Association submitted objections, current legislation allows telecommunications
companies to erect any equipment they like so long as it meets certain
proposal at the junction of Buckingham Drive and Peppard Road was also
opposed by petitions from local householders and the developer did
discuss the concerns raised with the Association, Cllr Chris Brown
and residents. BT Cellnet subsequently discussed with RBC the possibility
of incorporating the proposed antenna in a 2m extension to a nearby
8m street lamp. Another mast in nearby Chiltern Road had already been
given the go ahead and RBC planning authority confirmed permission
for the 15 metre mast in the White Horse car park in May.
Last summer Clive Ormonde kindly put together a web site for the
Association, which contains copies of the current and the previous
newsletter, minutes of
the latest committee meeting and of the last annual general meeting plus a
copy of the corresponding chairman’s report. There is also the facility
for publishing member’s photographs and articles plus pages with general
historical information about Emmer Green, links to other web sites of interest
and a current issues page. The site can be found at www.map-reading.co.uk/egra
thanks as usual to all the committee members for their active and invaluable
support throughout the year and the time they have unselfishly devoted
to pursuing matters brought to their attention by members of the Association.
Sadly, it has to be reported that the Association’s Treasurer for
over ten years has decided to stand down from this post. Jill Verran
has been a superb Treasurer and her meticulous hard work has been greatly
appreciated. Part of Jill’s role has been to maintain the membership
records and fortunately we have been successful in persuading her to
continue in this facet of the Association’s work. Finally, thanks
to the local ward councillors for their continuing interest and support
of the Association in its concerns and activities within Emmer Green.