Impact on the local area
KEG believes that proposals for any significant residential development in Emmer Green or the surrounding areas of South Oxfordshire are almost certain to be unsustainable and will further overload local infrastructure.
Traffic congestion in the local road network and through the bottlenecks of Caversham shopping centre & the Thames bridges would be exacerbated.
Long queues of traffic are already commonplace on the main roads leading into Caversham at peak times. This affects not only the major routes such as Peppard Road and Woodcote Road. It also causes traffic to spill over into the adjoining local roads. This creates safety issues for cyclists and children on their way to school, spreads pollution and delays buses. For several hours a day, residents experience standing or crawling traffic over both Reading & Caversham Bridges. Air quality readings at particular junctions show queuing traffic is causing safety limits to be exceeded.
A recent article by Caversham GLOBE (a local environment group in Reading) who have been monitoring levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in Caversham illustrates just how bad pollution is on our roads locally and how dangerous they are for residents, pedestrians and cyclists.
Click Here to view or download the article
Adding housing development north of the Thames guarantees to add to peak-time traffic jams. There are few if any options to increase road capacity through Caversham. Whilst a "third" Thames bridge has long been spoken of, it is questionable if it would help solve traffic congestion in Caversham unless a By-Pass around Emmer Green and Caversham into South Oxfordshire is also provided.
Environmental quality, leisure facilities and green space would be diminished
Sites such as Reading Golf Club and the BBC monitoring station grounds in Emmer Green provide valuable natural habitats for a wide variety of tree, plant and animal species. These green lungs help improve air quality in the town and add to the quality of life for local residents. The golf club itself is an important leisure facility, being widely regarded as one of the most attractive courses in the area, yet easily accessible to younger players. How many clubs have a bus stop outside their door?
Housing schemes adjacent to Emmer Green, would effectively extend Reading into the South Oxfordshire countryside and would impinge on the Chilterns AONB. Reading would need to fund the infrastructure needs generated by such development without access to the revenue generated by them.
Local schools and healthcare facilities are already full and so would become overloaded as a consequence
Reading state schools are already full and mostly are confined to sites that cannot be extended. Many children have to undertake long journeys to schools across Reading. Local GP surgeries are already severely overloaded - more surgeries are needed even before considering new development.
If you are a member of the local community who values the quality of life that Caversham and Emmer Green can offer, please add your voice to supporting KEG. Proposed housing developments can be stopped, or at least improved when the local community speaks up.