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Arborfield relief road

Arborfield Cross Relief Road

Schedule of work 

  1. Summer 2018: Detailed design complete
  2. Winter 2018 / 2019: Site preparation and utilities re-routing
  3. Spring 2019: Construction begins
  4. Summer 2020: Open for traffic

Why we're building an Arborfield relief road

A sustainable new village with about 3,500 new homes is being built on the former Arborfield Garrison site. Shinfield Parish is also seeing significant development, with about 3,000 new homes being built in extensions to Shinfield Village, Three Mile Cross and Spencers Wood.  The relief road is intended to minimise the impact of traffic growth on the villages of Arborfield and Arborfield Cross and the surrounding rural lanes.

To find out more about the Arborfield Major Development see the: 


Our Local Plan (Core Strategy), which set Arborfield Garrison and Shinfield Parish as major development sites, identified a possible relief road for Arborfield. A study considered four potential routes and made a technical recommendation that Option A be taken forward. We consulted on the options in 2013 and found there was a clear public preference for Option B.

The Council’s Executive approved the progression of Option B in March 2014 and a refinement study was undertaken. Following completion of the refinement work our Executive approved the refined Option B to be developed to a full planning application in March 2015. 

Current project status

Full Planning Consent was granted for the Relief Road at Planning Comittee on 10 January 2018.  Detailed design has commenced which will take into account all planning conditions. The detailed design package will be used to discharge these conditions and allow Balfour Beatty to construct the new road.

Enabling works have now started with further site surveys and investigations to inform detailed design.

Route option appraisal

The 2010 Wokingham Borough Council Local Plan (Core Strategy) identified a number of major development locations across the Borough. A number of strategic transport improvements were highlighted in the Local Plan (Core Strategy). Policy CP18 and Appendix 7 specifically identified a relief road for Arborfield Cross.

The Council commissioned a study to examine the potential options and interventions to reduce traffic growth on Arborfield Cross and local facilities. The outcome of the study was presented in an Options Appraisal Report (below) with a technical recommendation to progress with Option A.


In September to October 2013 we consulted on the 4 routes for the Arborfield Cross Relief Road. We got about 1,300 responses which was one of our biggest consultation responses ever. There was a clear public preference for Option B. The consultation also provided other useful information.

On 27 March 2014 the Executive approved additional funding to carry out the technical studies necessary to progress Option B. Details of these studies are available under the 'Refinement' tab, below.

Refinement work to Option B commenced in 2014 to further understand the delivery implications and costs of the preferred route.  This involved developing a preliminary alignment and junction designs, undertaking survey works, refining traffic modelling, scoping for an Environmental Impact Assessment (which will be available with the planning application) and liaising with landowners and immediately affected stakeholders.

During this stage the alignment was refined to minimise the amount of land it would take, retain as much of the field areas as possible, and take account of the need for noise, visual and landscaping mitigation.  

On 26 March 2015 the Executive approved the refinements to Option B and for the scheme to be developed to a full planning application. Details of the planning application progress are available under the 'Planning application' tab below.

Work on the planning application for the Arborfield Cross Relief Road began in late 2015 and an application was submitted in summer 2017. Significant survey work has been undertaken including ecology, groundwater, archaeology, geotechnical and tree surveys to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment. Further transport modelling has also been undertaken to inform a Transport Impact Assessment.

We have spent time engaging with landowners, the parish council, key stakeholders and user groups including the Local Access Forum to develop the design, including the provision of a green bridge for pedestrians and wildlife for a footpath that crosses the new road (PROW AR17.)

Pre-planning exhibitions

We held pre-planning exhibitions to update the public on the following dates at the cafe in the Henry Street Garden Centre, Swallowfield Road, Arborfield, RG2 9JY

  • Tuesday 13 June 2017 (11am to 5.30pm)    
  • Wednesday 14 June 2017 (2pm to 8.30pm)   
  • Saturday 17 June 2017 (9am to 1pm)     

You can view the pre-planning exhibitions below:  

We would like your feedback on the updated proposals, which will be summarised in the Statement of Community Engagement submitted as part of the application. Please take a few minutes to complete our online feedback questionnaire.  

The Planning Application was submitted and validated under planning reference (172209). Full Planning Consent was granted for the Relief Road at Planning Committee on 10 January 2018. 

Designed design

As part of the Council's Major Highways contract, Balfour Beatty will be undertaking detailed design of the Relief Road. This will involve developing the consented design in order to discharge the planning conditions. They will then produce sufficient detail to construct the new road. Detailed design commenced in early 2018 and will be on-going throughout the year.

We have  also included designs for improvements to an existing Environment Agency drainage system on the Arborfield Road between Bridge Farm and the River Loddon. This was found to be in poor condition during investigations and also drains part of the Arborfield Road. Including this in the design scope for the project will provide long term benefits to the section of road.


Enabling works are due commence in summer 2018 with further site surveys and investigations to inform detailed design.

One of the first activities will be to undertake additional Archaeology works in area of interest highlighted during the planning works. This is a condition of the planning consent and will be carried out in summer 2018.

To stay up to speed with all our Major Highways projects you can sign up to our Major New Roads Newsletter which offers you a summary of all the latest progress that we have made from planning applications to construction.

For more a detailed update specifically about Arborfield Cross Relief Road you can sign up to our contractor Balfour Beatty’s individual project update newsletters by emailing them at ArborfieldCross@balfourbeatty.com.

October newsletter

Read the Arborfield Cross Relief Road newsletter October 2018 (PDF document)

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