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Arborfield Garrison major development

Arborfield Garrison major development

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Arborfield progress map
Arborfield progress map (click on image to view)

Arborfield Garrison Strategic Development Location (SDL)

The military has moved out of the Arborfield Garrison site. This provides an opportunity for us to build a sustainable new village by redeveloping the site. In addition to homes, the new village will have schools and sports pitches, a village centre with a supermarket and other shops, offices, restaurants and cafes and other typical village centre uses. There will also be children’s play parks including a skate park, community gardens and allotments, and new roads, footpaths, and cycle and bridleways. The development will include an extension to the existing Hogwood Industrial Estate providing additional employment opportunities. 

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Community forums

Get involved and help us build real communities, not just buildings. We have created community forums for each major development area. The forums are your way to find out what is happening and to get involved. If you would like to be notified of future Arborfield forums, sign up for our newsletter.

Next community forum - 25 June

The next community forum will be on 25 June 2019, from 7pm to 9pm, at the Arborfield Community Centre.

The format for the forum will be a 'marketplace drop in'. Drop by any time between 7pm and 9pm and visit the 'stalls', where you can speak with officers and guests on a range of topics relating to the Arborfield major development, including the latest with planning, highways, parks and open space, community facilities and more. 

As part of the new Bohunt School project we are constructing a continuous pedestrian route for Finchampstead pupils to get to the new school before the new school year in early September.

The proposed route is along 4 sections

  • Byway 18 (also known as Hogwood Lane)    
  • Hogwood Lane
  • Park Lane and
  • Nine Mile Ride

For more information, see the plans for Nine Mile Ride pedestrian route (PDF document.)

The work on the pedestrian route improvements will require some road closures. Below is the schedule for closures. Diversion routes are available and will be signed. See more information about the diversions on the My Journey website. Advance warning signs will be in the area prior to the closures. All closures will be removed by 4 September. 

Reading Buses will be allowed access through the closures. For information on bus services, visit the Reading Buses website.

  • Park Lane will be closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm (Mondays to Fridays) from 10 July until 21 July, 9.30am until 4.30pm (Mondays to Fridays) from 24 July until 21 August and 8am until 5pm (Saturdays and Sundays) from 15 July until 20 August 2017
  • Nine Mile Ride will be closed between 9.30am and 4.30pm (Mondays to Fridays) from 21 August until 3 September and 8am until 5pm (Saturdays and Sundays) from 26 August until 3 September 2017

Crest Nicholson, the developer of the northern part of the development, has published a phasing plan for works programmed from April to September 2017. See the phasing plan (PDF document.)

Reading Football Club are relocating to Bearwood. We have received an application to redevelop the site for housing (application no 163547). The land is not in the boundary of the Arborfield Garrison major development, but is adjacent to it.

Cemex UK and The Farley Estate recently submitted an application for sand and gravel extraction along with both an aggregates processing plant and a concrete plant. For more information on this application, see our planning application search page and search application no 170433. The proposal is currently being considered and public consultation has been undertaken with local residents. It is anticipated that additional information will be sought from the applicant in due course and re-consulted upon before officers provide a recommendation to Planning Committee towards the end of 2017.

We have received an application to convert one of the existing former military warehouse buildings to a film studio (application no 162881), which was approved in January 2017. 

The northern part of the site will have up to 2,000 houses, including a facility for supported housing for older people, a district centre that will include community facilities and a supermarket, a neighbourhood centre, a secondary and a primary school, and a village square. Full permission was granted for the creation of 2 outdoor natural recreation areas, the conversion of an existing Ministry of Defence gym to a sports/community centre, and highways improvements. Construction on Phase 1 (Parcel O) of this development began in February 2016 and saw the first 18 new homes occupied in October 2016. Phase 2 (Parcel T) is for 127 houses and flats in the northeastern part of the site, approved in September 2016. Groundworks began in February 2017. Phase 3 (Parcels A - G) for 223 new homes, approved in October 2016. Construction started in February 2017.

Bohunt Secondary School Wokingham welcomed over 100 new pupils in September 2016, as the first new secondary school in the borough in over half a century. New cycle and footpaths between Sheerlands Road and Princess Marina Drive are now open and are part of the safe routes to the new school.

The outline planning application for the southern part of the development was approved in October 2015, with the Section 106 legal agreement being signed in early 2017. The planning permission is for up to 1,500 new houses, new industrial floor space, a neighbourhood centre, a primary school, new sports pitches, highways improvements, and open space including a children’s play area. 

Building works concerns

Working hours on building sites are generally Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, and Saturday from 8am to 1pm. On Sundays and Bank Holidays no building works are allowed. If you have a complaint about the building on one of the major development sites, call us on 0118 908 8100 or email constructionproblems@wokingham.gov.uk  

Rubbish and recycling information

Getting around

  • The My Journey website is your one stop destination for sustainable travel information, including cycle routes, walking maps, and public transport timetables
  • Visit our transport section for more details about local travel

Find your nearest doctors surgery

To find your nearest doctors surgery, type your location into the NHS choices website.

New residents meetings and social groups

When there are about 100 new homes being lived in, we host a ‘new neighbours’ meeting to welcome new residents to Wokingham. We use this meeting to introduce ourselves, our partners and the services that we provide. We work with partners in this effort, usually the developers, Churches Together and housing associations. We encourage the residents to build relationships, establish a Facebook group, and then start a Residents Association. Some of the events we’ve held in the past include pub quiz nights and community lunches.

Email communityengagement@wokingham.gov.uk to find out about the community building work we are doing in your area.

The Arborfield Garrison site will see up to 3,500 new homes in total, with about 2,000 on the northern part of the site and 1,500 on the southern.The northern part of the site is being developed by Crest Nicholson. The southern part of the site is being developed by the Marino Family Trust. Outline planning permission has been granted for the whole development.

Construction on the northern part of the site is  well underway, with the first phase (Parcel O) expected to be complete at the end of 2017. The first homes have been completed and were occupied in October 2016.    

For the southern part of the site detailed design of the development parcels are expected in 2017.

Arborfield Cross Relief Road

We are building a relief road as part of the Arborfield major development which is intended to minimise the impact of traffic growth on the villages of Arborfield and Arborfield Cross and the surrounding rural lanes. The road will connect with the A327 in the north at a roundabout west of Bridge Farm and then run parallel to Greensward Lane to a new junction with Swallowfield Road. It will then continue to the south of Arborfield Crout and connect to the A327 Eversley Road.

Nine Mile Ride Extension

We are also extending Nine Mile Ride. The extension will begin where Nine Mile Ride currently ends at Park Lane and will run through the new development to link up with the A327 Eversley Road. 

See the Major New Roads map. See the Major New Roads webpage.  

New secondary school

We are building a new secondary school in Arborfield, which opened in a temporary building in September 2016. The school will be run by Bohunt Educational Trust. Bohunt runs 2 successful established schools in Hampshire and opened a new school in Worthing in September 2015. Building work on the new facility is well underway. The secondary school will have a total of 1,200 students when finished. For the first year, the school will be located in a nearby building that was previously used as a library. The sports facilities will be within the former Ministry of Defense gymnasium, which will then be open to the public once the school is fully built.

2 new primary schools

The new village will have 2 primary schools: 1 located on the northern part of the site and 1 on the southern part. Both primary schools will have 2 classes per year (2 form-entry). The primary schools are not in the first phases of development, but will come as part of a later phase.

The development will include a village centre and 2 neighbourhood centres, one to the north and one to the south.

  • The village centre will likely include a supermarket, a community centre and a doctors surgery. The outline planning permission includes additional space that allows a range of other potential uses in the village centre, such as shops, banks and estate agents, restaurants and cafes, pubs and wine bars, hot food takeaways, offices, non-residential institutions such as clinics and nurseries, and leisure facilities such as cinemas and bowling alleys. The actual uses will be determined later. There will be some flats and houses on the upper floors of the village centre buildings.
  • The 2 neighbourhood centres will be designed to act as community hubs within the new residential neighbourhoods, providing local retail, community, recreation and education facilities for the residents to enable them to access local facilities without the need to travel.
  • The development will include extra care facilities of around 80 self-contained homes for older people with varying levels of care and support available on site. Outline permission has been granted for the extra care facilities but the details are yet to be decided.

The sports facilities included in the outline planning permission consist of sports pitches, a floodlit all-weather pitch and an indoor swimming pool for the secondary school, a sports pitch for the primary school, public open space which includes sports pitches, children’s play areas including multi-use games areas (MUGA), a BMX track and skate park, and footpaths, cycleways and bridleways. The details of these proposals will come forward in reserved matters planning applications.

A new multi-use path for walking, cycling and horse riding along Biggs Lane between Waterman's View development and Commonfield Lane has opened. 

Full planning permission has been granted to re-use an existing gymnasium as a gymnasium for the secondary school for five years. The permission allows the gym to only be used by the secondary school as it is currently lacking sufficient parking to open to the public. Prior to the gym being used by anyone else or for any other purpose than as a gym, planning permission is required.

As part of the new development, there will be several new recreational open spaces for residents to enjoy the natural environment. These open spaces will include parks and gardens, public open spaces, children’s play areas, playing pitches, allotments and SANGs (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace).

SANGs, commonly called nature parks, are designed to attract residents and dog walkers as an alternative to the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area, which supports rare ground nesting birds such as the Dartford warbler, woodlark and nightjar and is highly sensitive to visitors. The nature parks to be provided as part of the Arborfield major development area include:

  • Hazebrook nature park – Located in the north part of the site, this nature park is now open. Facilities include paths/walkways, fencing and landscaping.
  • West Court nature park – Located in the north part of the site. Full planning permission has been granted for a car parking area, paths/walkways, fencing and landscaping. Technical specifications are to be submitted. This nature park will open prior to the occupation of the 700th house in the Crest Nicholson development.
  • The details for nature park provision on the Marino land (the southern part of the development) are subject to a legal agreement with the council. It will be located next to the West Court nature park.

The development proposes an extension to the existing Hogwood Industrial Estate of about 12,000 square metres of new employment space. Through the use of design codes and the consideration of the detailed planning application, we will ensure that the new employment area is designed to a high quality. It will allow for a range of sizes and types of space for incubator and start up businesses, as well as provide the opportunity for businesses to expand and improve their premises. Further employment opportunities will be provided in the new village and neighbourhood centres.

Future development of the borough

With a lot more housing needed in the borough in the years ahead, we are starting work on our blueprint to ensure the new homes are built in the right places and come with the right schools, roads and facilities.

An independent assessment of the area’s housing needs conducted last year (the Strategic Housing Market Assessment) showed that the borough will have to accommodate about 850 new homes a year up to 2036. In order to ensure these homes are properly planned, we are updating our Local Plan, which will set the principles of where and how the homes and other development should be provided.

The Local Plan Update will be produced in conjunction with a wide range of organisations as well as with input from public consultation and engagement. To find out more about the stages and timescales of our Local Plan update, visit the Local Plan Update page.

The parishes of Arborfield and Barkham are also working on a joint neighbourhood plan which will follow the boundaries of both civil parishes and therefore include the northern half of the major development area.

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