RESIDENTS protesting against a proposed housing plan on a greenfield site near Crowthorne are furious after Wokingham District Council declined to answer their concerns during a public meeting.

A Government inspector's Local Plan has listed the woodlands at the junction of Old Wokingham Road and Nine Mile Ride as suitable for a 70-home development.

The proposal has sparked anger among residents who have campaigned to have the Wokingham United Charities' Land removed from the plan.

District councillor Perry Lewis presented a 1,370-name petition at last Thursday's full council

meeting on behalf of worried residents.

But when people tried to put their fears to the council, they were silenced.

Campaigner Martin Hardacre, of Lupin Ride, who attended the meeting, said afterwards: "The majority of questions we asked, we were told they were unable to answer and would have to write to us."

He said that Cllr Jack Earnshaw, a former trustee of the charity, had been unable to answer if he had attended a meeting where the charity committee had decided to appeal to the inspector.

Mr Hardacre said: "The council should have explained to the inspector a long time ago that this land should not have been included.

"The council should be on our side but they treated our questions as hostile ones — it was bizarre.

"All in all, it was a very poor performance by the council and the people who attended are even angrier and more determined than ever to stop this going ahead."

Cllr Earnshaw said: "I was legally advised not to answer any questions related to that land due to my previous involvement as a trustee of the charity.

"As it was many years ago, I have had to write to the charity asking for full details and if I attended the meeting."

Residents are now stepping up their campaign with another meeting on Saturday (March 9).

Nearly 2,500 people have been invited to attend in a bid to boost support.

The meeting will be held at 10am in St Sebastian's Memorial Hall, Nine Mile Ride.