People living in Eversley were “kept in the dark” about plans to create a new village on a neighbouring military site, campaigners have said.
The Marino Family Trust held a public exhibition last week (ThursdayJuly 17) to showcase their proposals to develop the lower half of Arborfield Garrison in Arborfield Cross.
Residents in Wokingham were given just days’ notice of the exhibition and people living in Eversley, who would also be affected by the proposed 1,500 homes, were not informed at all.
A spokesman for the Arborfield Garrison Residents’ Action Group, said: “The whole rushed process is just a cynical move to ensure the trust can tick the box for having conducted a public consultation when they put the planning application in before the end of the month.
“Any reputable organisation serious about getting the opinions of local residents would give adequate notice – weeks not hours – and would not arrange the consultation in a period when significant numbers of people who would be interested are likely to be on holiday.”
The Marino Family Trust wants to build two to five bedroom houses, some of which would be affordable, a primary school, parks and gardens, children’s play areas, allotments, sports pitches and other open spaces.
The so-called Hogwood Garden Village would form the southern part of the garrison’s strategic development to accommodate 3,500 homes on the site as a whole.
Last April, the Arborfield Garrison Land Owners Consortium held a public exhibition for the northern part of the site, where they want to build 2,000 of the homes.
Following a detailed review of the consultation responses and discussions with Wokingham Borough Council about some technical issues, it withdrew its planning application in October and expects to re-apply soon.
The Marino Family Trust has produced a six-page brochure on plans for the southern part of the site. In the proposal, the trust would like an extension to Nine Mile Ride, to provide the main access and improve entrances to the development.
A spokesman for the trust said: “We sent out brochures to 8,000 address, covering the four parishes of Wokingham.
“We were not asked to deliver brochures to Eversley.
“We had a big turn out to the exhibition last week, it was busy all the time. We intend to submit a planning application next month.”
The exhibition was held at Finchampstead Baptist Church on Thursday July 17 and at Henry Street Garden Centre in Arborfield on Saturday July 19.
A spokesman for Wokingham Borough Council said the trust organised its own promotion adding: “It did ask us for addresses for the relevant Wokingham parishes which we provided.”