Published on

3 August 2023

Residents' vision to shape Twyford's future adopted

The village's neighbourhood plan sets a range of policies to ensure the community remains a vibrant place to live.

A photograph of the viaduct over the River Thames at Twyford

A vision to help ensure Twyford remains a healthy, vibrant community for many years to come is now an official planning document after getting residents' seal of approval.

The Twyford neighbourhood plan, which recently passed a referendum with almost 90 per cent of voters in favour, has been adopted by Wokingham Borough Council as formal planning policy to help guide future planning decisions in the parish.

The plan was prepared by Twyford Parish Council with significant local input and includes policies to influence the type and quality of development that comes forward.

Giving more control to communities

The plan sets policies on community facilities, sustainable travel, making the railway station more accessible, maintaining a thriving village centre with regeneration opportunities, improving air quality, protecting tree cover, cutting carbon emissions and more.

It also includes guidelines on the preferred type, mix and appearance of new homes, supports the provision of a new community hub at the Old Polehampton Boys’ School – to be funded by housing developer payments – and measures to preserve Twyford’s historic character.

The plan covers the period from 2018, when the parish council first resolved to work on it, until 2038. It was shaped by the community, including a six-week statutory public consultation, with all comments considered by an independent examiner who deemed it fit for the final vote.

A copy of the final referendum version, along with other supporting documents, may be viewed on our website.

Years of hard work pay off

Cllr Lindsay Ferris, executive member for planning and local plan, said: "We thank everyone who played their part in preparing and voting to support this plan and its final adoption.”

"Neighbourhood plans give residents a say in managing new development in their area, so it’s heartening that so many took an interest and we hope other communities which are still developing their own plans will follow suit.

"We know the parish councillors and volunteers worked very hard to produce something that would reflect their area's unique situation and character, and we're pleased that this was recognised in a largely supportive vote at the crucial deciding stage."

More neighbourhood plans taking shape

Meanwhile, Finchampstead's draft neighbourhood plan will be going to referendum on Thursday, 7 September. The Ruscombe parish draft neighbourhood plan is also making good progress, following recent consultation.

Public feedback on the latter is now being considered by an independent examiner to assess whether it meets the legal requirements, and recommend changes if needed, before the council decides whether it should also go to referendum.

Neighbourhood plans are already in place for Shinfield, Arborfield & Newland and Barkham parishes. Remenham, Hurst, Wokingham Without, Sonning, Charvil and Swallowfield parishes are also considering neighbourhood plans for their areas.

Twyford's neighbourhood plan was adopted at a full council meeting on 20 July following a local referendum on 6 July.

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