following summarises the numerous issues that the Association has been
involved in since the last Annual General Meeting on 10 April 2003.
official unveiling ceremony took take place on Saturday, 6 September
2003 by the Mayor, Councillor Jeanette Skeats, ably assisted by local
resident, 87 year old Esme Ellingham. Although there was some intermittent
rain nearly 200 residents turned out to make it a very successful event.
There was also good news in February 2004 when we finally received the
contribution from the Council’s ACC community projects fund towards
the cost of the sign. This enabled us to pay the Berkshire Woodcarvers
for the carving of the sign and post insets and a letter of thanks was
then sent to the Council officer who had expedited the payment.
second edition of the Association’s book Emmer Green, Past and
Present, was reprinted in July with nearly 200 outstanding orders at
that time. Thanks must go to the secretary, Margaret Ormonde, who kindly
agreed to up-date the book and who also bore the printing costs. The
second edition is on sale locally or via the Secretary.
Considerable progress had been made on preparing an up-to-date tradesmen’s
list and particular thanks must go to the vice chairman, Bob Cruickshank, for
all his work in telephoning tradesmen and co-ordinating the list. The list
comprises selected names from an earlier local list, which Bob has verified,
together with additional entries submitted by Association members. When complete
a copy will be delivered to all current members and a complimentary copy will
be supplied to the traders concerned. It will also form part of a welcome pack
that the Association is putting together for new residents moving into Emmer
For over a year we have pressed the Council to clean the graffiti from the
Clayfield Copse pavilion and the recreation ground pavilion and eventually
in February 2004 the pavilions were repainted and cleaned respectively.
In addition, the Council have planted prickly bushes around the buildings
so that, hopefully, when these have grown they will present a sufficient
barrier to deter future paint sprayers. At the time of writing this has
failed at the recreation ground where the pavilion brickwork has already
been sprayed on again.
at the shopping precinct
it has taken a year of pressure, exerted by committee member Jill Verran,
but the lights nearer the shops are now working, although some in the
car park itself are still in need of attention. Concern had been expressed
about the uneven pavement immediately in front of the supermarket, which
appears to be a shared responsibility of Budgens and the landlord, Wolfe
Properties. Consequently, it is proving difficult to get this area maintained.
secretary Margaret Ormonde has communicated with the Council at some
length on the neglected areas in the heart of the village. This has resulted
in a new litterbin in front of the post office. However, the one that
was thrown into the pond has only been replaced by a plastic bag attached
to the railings. The Council are to be asked to replace this litterbin
as well. Thanks also to committee member David Miles who has been personally
vigilant in clearing litter from the grass triangle outside the bookies.
of Clayfield Copse
of you will have attended the Woodlands Day at the end of May organised
by The Friends of Clayfield Copse (FOCC). The group were unsuccessful
this time around in securing a grant from the Millennium Fund and incurred
considerable costs. The committee unanimously agreed at its meeting on
27 November to make a donation to the FOCC group of £100 to help
them become solvent again.
Barnabas Church Garden Party
We again participated in the St Barnabas Garden Party last July with
Treasure Hunt based on the characters from Alice in Wonderland. Also on sale
were copies of a ‘Walk around Emmer Green’, which comprised a map
plus three sheets full of pictures and questions about interesting features
seen around the village. We made a total of £30 towards the Amajuba Education
Fund that helps students in South Africa to get degrees or professional qualifications
to become doctors, nurses or teachers.
Having lost their workshop facility at Newtown School the Association assisted
the Woodcarvers in seeking alternative accommodation, which was finally found
in Highdown School. We also canvassed on behalf of the Woodcarvers for new
members to join their group, which successfully resulted in three new carvers
Following a request at the last AGM, the Association enquired of
Royal Mail whether they would consider repositioning the mailbox,
about 50 metres, to
the small green area between Grove Road and Evesham Road. However, Royal Mail
have declined, saying “the box is in a prime position and is much used.
Moving the box to the position requested would lose this”. This seems
a little simplistic as people would undoubtedly drive or walk the extra distance,
particularly as there is no nearby alternative box.
When the bollards were removed from the section of pavement outside the pub
there were several minor accidents when people with impaired sight missed their
footing and in one case a wheelchair missed the edge of the narrow pavement.
We were pleased to see that, following our representation, the Council clearly
defined the pavement edge alongside the pub with white paint.
Following the felling by the Council of trees in Peppard Road and Courtenay
Drive early last year the Association asked if we could be consulted in
future felling in Emmer Green. Although they agreed to do so the attractive
Beech tree on the small green near Fallowfield Close was felled in June
without any notice. The Council informed us that the tree was weakened
by the fungus Ganoderma and presented ‘an unacceptable safety risk’,
although to the untutored eye it appeared pretty solid. Again they have
said they will notify the Association about future tree work, which will
allow wider consultation to be undertaken with members, particularly if
the reason for felling is not on the grounds of safety.
Association has continued to monitor planning applications and to respond
to those that have an adverse impact on the local environment or pose
traffic safety or congestion issues. These included the following:
behind 70 -76 Kidmore End Road
The proposal to develop this land by demolishing 76 Kidmore End Road
to provide a new access road has continued to cause concerns and
thanks are due to member
Jon Barclay who has kept the Association aware of the developer’s intentions
and made various representations to the Council’s local planning authority
Square /Heathcroft site
The developer, Fairview New Homes Limited, appealed against the LPA’s
refusal for planning permission to build 35 flats/maisonettes and at an inquiry
on 10 June the Inspectorate overruled the LPA and allowed the development to
go ahead. Obviously this is most unfortunate for local residents as such a
high density of development is almost certainly going to bring increased noise
and traffic congestion. The development is now well underway.
(gardens) to rear of 41-49 Grove Road
Planning application to demolish 49 Grove Road and build 10 terrace
houses and one detached house in the gardens to the rear of nos.
41-49 Grove Road.
In February 2004 the Council’s Planning Applications Committee refused
this application pending additional information on the proposal.
(gardens) to rear of 10-18 Highdown Hill Avenue
A planning application to demolish 14 Highdown Hill Road and build 11 dwellings
was replaced in February with a new outline planning application for 13 dwellings.
The additional two houses being on land at the rear of 4 and 6 Highdown Avenue
and 22 Highdown Hill Road. Both applications include a proposal to widen part
of the road from Gravel Hill to 20 Highdown Hill Road.
Adjacent to 228 Peppard Road (Cavendish Road)
January the erection of 6 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom flats was permitted
by a delegated decision of the planning department, subject to a legal
in January an outline application to demolish 11 Buckingham Drive, the
modification of 15 Buckingham Drive and the erection of 13 dwellings
with car spaces and access road was permitted by the Council’s
Planning Applications Committee, subject to a legal agreement.
In November the Reading Chronicle reported that Highdown School proposed to
sell off an unused area of land near the entrance to the school to raise enough
money to provide 20% of the cost of a new assembly hall for the school. In
February it was learnt that the land being considered by the governors for
disposal is that area currently occupied by the tennis courts.
Ormonde kindly continues to maintain the web site for the Association,
which contains current and previous newsletters, minutes of committee
meetings, a current issues page, AGM minutes and reports plus links to
other web sites of interest. 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.
Thank you also to Julian Pearce for again auditing the Association’s
accounts. Finally, thanks to the local (Peppard) ward councillors for
their continuing interest and support of the Association’s activities.