Update August 2014 - A new planning application has been submitted to West Berkshire Council

Henry Davidson have submitted a new outline planning application for 129 houses on Firlands Farm. This time the development has a new name “Hollybush Oaks”. You can see more information on the West Berkshire Council web site at planning portal

Before this application was submitted, the developers applied for, and obtained, an exemption from having to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment. As part of this, they declared that this application did not form part of a larger scheme, yet before they submitted the previous application, they wrote to Thames Water asking about water and sewerage services for over 400 houses.

If you look carefully at the plan below, which is part of the submission documents, you can see two roads, marked in pink, which end on the site boundary. These would make further development easy.

RAFS logo

If you want to object to this application, you can contact West Berkshire Council  by

1. Writing to them at

Head of Planning and Countryside

West Berks Council

Market Street


RG14 5LD

2. Emailing them at

Whether sending your objection in by letter or email, you need to give your name and address, as well as the application reference 14/01730/OUTMAJ

The sooner objections are sent to the council the better, as the red planning notices have been put up on Firlands.

If you follow the link to the objection letter page at the bottom of this page you can see a sample letter you may wish to use as part of your objection.

We will be outside Wellers and the Post Office on the morning of Saturday 9th August if you would like help with producing an objection letter.

Why should you be concerned?

Loss of trees/diversity/habitat and general countryside - a lot of the existing trees will need to be removed for this development with the loss of wildlife habitat. Some of these trees are protected by West Berkshire Council

Traffic - the traffic on Hollybush Lane is already diabolical in the mornings, made worse by the issues with people driving to the Rising Sun shop. Any addition to this will cause further chaos, likely to spread onto the Reading Road at times. The Willink school children will be at increased risk, not only at the beginning end of the school day, but also when crossing to their playing fields.

Schools - the local schools are, for the most part, full. The catchment school for this proposed development is Sulhamstead, already well oversubscribed, and the likely result will be that even siblings may be denied the possibility of going to the same school. It will also mean that fewer children from Mortimer will be able to go to the Willink, as all the secondary age children in the proposed development will live close to the school

Sewers - as part of the submission documentation there is a paragraph which contains the following "Thames Water have indicated that some network capacity reinforcement will be required to accommodate the development as a consequence of exiting surcharging problems downstream. It will therefore be necessary to explore how the additional foul flows from the development can be accommodated without increasing these problems."In plainer language, this means that the existing sewers have been overloaded, and someone will need to sort this problem out.

Flooding - the developers are still sticking to their original idea that all the rainwater that falls onto the area on their plan can be disposed of by letting it soak into the ground. When we had heavy rain earlier this year, the school playing fields were under water for some time, so their current way of dealing with heavy rain will probably not work. This may put areas close to the development at risk of flooding.

This is the thin edge of a very nasty wedge, more housing and the shops could easily follow - make sure the Council are aware of your views

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