Latest news: December 2007
First tree planted at community orchard
As reported in the Henley Standard, a Blenheim Orange apple tree was planted on Dunsden village green to mark the official beginning of the community orchard. Enthusiastic supporters enjoyed mulled cider and minced pies in the village hall afterwards. Get all the latest orchard news and sign up for the email newsletter at http://orchard.blogspirit.com
Bonfire night a huge success
A larger than ever crowd enjoyed this year's bonfire night in the village hall. A detected team of hall volunteers put the even together, with the help of local fireworks company Sonning Fireworks.
One-way IDR 'on hold'
Reading Borough Council's scheme for a one-way IDR was forecast to bring a big increase in traffic to the parish. The scheme is currently on hold whilst a local commission looks at the traffic problems of the area. Please submit your views to the Reading Borough website. The parish council continues to be concerned about high volumes of traffic and regular accidents, particularly on the B481 in Sonning Eye.
A deeper ditch and higher bank have now been dug along the A4155 between Playhatch and Caversham Park Village as part of plans by the parish council to deter traveller encampments. Thanks to local volunteers The Green Gym tree planting will follow in the New Year.
Permissive path opened in allotments
In conjunction with the Chiltern Society, a new footpath has been opened through the Parish Council allotments at Sonning Eye. The new route will be much safer for walkers.
Reading Borough Council confirm takeover plans
Reading Borough Council has confirmed its plans for a three stage take-over of
land around it (including Playhatch) as part of a long-term bid for city status. Frank Browne (Leader of Wokingham District)
vowed they would take Earley and Woodley 'over my dead body'. See Evening Post story for more (16/4/03). There has been no public comment from South Oxfordshire so far.
Initially Reading are asking the Governement for part of Eye & Dunsden in order to build a third Thames bridge. Evening Post story Download the Reading Borough Council plan here (Word format). Local councillors and members of the parish council are determined to resist any 'land grab'.
Click here for a map of the Reading Borough scheme (212kb). The area numbered (1) may be included in a bid for boundary changes in the next year or two. Around 2007 Reading expects to ask the Boundary Commission for the much larger area numbered (2) in the plan.
Possible progress on river crossing
TCCG are becoming involved in the current Oxfordshire Transport Review which is being carried out by consultants Halcrow. The planning committee of the newly created South East England Regional Assembly voted to amend the recommendation for a new road crossing between Reading and Sonning recently. The report now says the new bridge should be built in collaboration with Reading, Oxfordshire and Wokingham. See the TVMMS report for more. Read the TCCG Submission to SEERA here.
Planning review on gravel pits sites
The District Council has received applications to amend its local plan for the area. Lafarge Aggregates have stated the gravel pits they own are 'capable of development and transportation uses' (842/12210). Find out more about the Local plan here
The owners of Lowfield Farm (near to the Henley Road close to Reading). They state that the land could be used to provide for the 'housing, recreation and transportation' needs of Reading Borough (855/12554). The Parish Council will be making its comments on these proposed amendments. Members of the public are encouraged to take an interest in these changes which could have important consequences for the area.
OCC Minerals Policy under review
Oxfordshire County Council is about to embark on a review of its minerals policy (reporting next Spring). Their new plan will allocate areas for future gravel extraction. It will be important that local views are represented in this plan. Contact Peter Day at OCC for more
In the recent severe floods water levels were some 8" above those of two
years ago when the Thames burst its bank this January: but still some
2 foot lower than those in the catastrophic 1947 flood. Several houses
in Sonning Eye were badly damaged when flood water got into their homes
and the B478 remained closed for some time. A useful parish council
meeting was held in January when members of the public were able to put
their questions to representatives of the Environment Agency.
Minutes of the meeting about flooding are available here
See flooding pictures here
The graceful Loddon Lily in bloom beside the Thames.
Dunsden Green, Littlestead Green, Playhatch & Sonning Eye