What happens to our recycling?

RE3 Site Visit

In January this year members of the CVAG committee visited the RE3 recycling centre at Smallmead to see for ourselves what happens to the waste we all put into our recycling bins. RE3 is a partnership between a commercial recycling company, FCC, and 3 Borough councils, Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell. All our recycling is taken there and in 2016 they processed nearly 200,000 tonnes. Their aim is to recycle as much as possible, protecting the environment and saving money, as waste sent to landfill attracts a tax, currently £84/tonne. Currently they are achieving recovering 84% of the recycling. After a very informative presentation we were taken to see the process. Dressed in high vis jackets, hard hats, gloves, steel toe type boots, emergency position indicators and earphones to be able to hear our guide, we set off.

The sorting of the recycling material is done by a huge machine, 3 storeys high and approximate 100 yards wide. All the recycling is tipped in at one end. Most of the sorting is mechanised although some has to be done manually. Before it goes into the sorting machine, manual pickers are removing things, such as large metal objects, which would damage the machinery. It then goes into a large rotating drum which separates objects onto different sizes. A magnetic separator separates steel cans from aluminium cans. A high speed optical sensor separates the four different kinds of recyclable plastic. The speed at which it does this is incredible to behold. At the end the separated waste is compressed into bales before being sold for re use. Much of that which can’t be recycled is sent to an incinerator near the M25 where it is burned to produce electricity which is then fed back into the National grid, producing enough power for town the size of Slough.

Did you know that;

  • aluminium drinks cans sells at £1,000 a bale at the moment.
  • steel food cans are less valuable, but still useful.
  • even street sweepings are now recycled.
  • rolled or flattened cardboard is easier to for them to handle, rather than cut to the size of our boxes.
  • newspaper is best recycled within 4 weeks. After that it becomes more difficult to remove the print.
  • Wet paper causes them a problem as it sticks to the machinery. Recycling rates from Wokingham residents drops considerably in the winter when contents of the black recycling bins get wet. The other two Boroughs use covered wheelie bins, which is much preferred for recycling.

Thanks to the general Manager Adrian Clarke for a very informative visit.

January 2018

Wokingham Borough Council - Major Developments

North Wokingham Community Forum.

Wokingham Borough Council - Major Developments

Emmbrook senior school, main hall (please note it is at the senior school)
15th November, 7pm – 9pm.

Marketplace Drop In, from 7pm to 8:30pm

Opportunity to stop by and speak with officers and guests on a range of topics relating to the north wokingham major development, including planning, highways, the allotments and other green infrastructure, a demonstration of our new major developments maps, an opportunity to take our budget and transport & highways surveys, and a developer update.

8:30pm – 9pm: Discussion session with Lead Executive Member Cllr David Lee, Executive Member for Strategic Highways and Planning

For more information, see the Wokingham Borough Council website.

November 2017

Neighbourhood Plan meeting 11th October 2017

John Baster, Janet and Carole Doran attended the meeting last night on the update of the Neighbourhood Plan. We met Jon Dowty from O'Neill Homer Ltd, the company CPC have contracted to help with writing the Plan. He was most informative, informing us of the process of writing a Neighbourhood Plan, the background of planning issues in the Parish and in Bracknell Forest and identifying likely key objectives that the working group will look at.

They have worked on around 280 Neighbourhood Plans and have a thorough understanding of the process that will be required. Jon was particularly impressed with our Village Design Statement which, although out of date, will be used as part of the relevant documents about our village.

It was noted that CPC will be the qualifying body, ultimately responsible for actioning the final document, once the working party prepare a draft Plan and it has been through the correct procedure. This will include a period of examination by an inspector and a time when residents can vote on whether or not they accept the Plan.

It was an interesting meeting and Carole suggested that CVAG continues to have a member on the working group for this important document since CVAG suspect the work done and decisions made will in fact impact on the whole village, not just the CPC part of it. It would be helpful if Parish Councillors from Wokingham Without kept in touch with this process and have an input, even if they do not intend doing a Neighbourhood Plan for themselves.

Richard Price hopes that a pre-submission document will be ready by June 2018. We know how much work went into producing the Village Design Statement, but this time there are plenty of other Neighbourhood Plans we can look at and we will have help from Jon.

October 2017

Wokingham Borough Council - Major Developments

South Wokingham Community Forum - Marketplace Drop In

Wokingham Borough Council - Major Developments

4th October at Wokingham Library, RG40 2BB (Denmark Street carpark entrance), 7pm – 9pm

Opportunity to stop by and speak with officers and guests on a range of topics relating to the South Wokingham Major Development, including a planning update, an update on the next phase of the South Wokingham Distributor Road which includes a bridge over the railway, a demonstration of our new major developments maps, and an update from Christ Church Wokingham on their ideas for the new community centre.

Lead Executive Member Cllr David Lee, Executive Member for Strategic Highways and Planning, will be available for questions.

For more information, see the Wokingham Borough Council website.

September 2017


A big thank you to all of you who attended our AGM.

Also thanks to the following who atttended the meeting and agreed to field questions about their respective developments after the AGM

  • Stephen Chown who works for BFBC and is their Head of Parks & Countryside
  • Laura Ashton Planning Manager of Bewley Homes
  • Neil Montgomery Design & Construction Manager at the Broadmoor development
  • John Allan Managing Director of L&G Homes (Communities)

The minutes can be downloaded here AGM 2017 Minutes

September 2017

Changes to reporting of Planning Application to the public

Both Bracknell Forest Borough Council (BFBC) and Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) have made changes to their system of reporting Planning Application to the public (That they must do BY LAW).

The following was received from Theresa Brown, Development Management, Wokingham Borough Council :-

From 29/08/2017 a weekly list of applications and decisions will no longer be produced and emailed to you. This information is now on our website which is updated daily. To search for the Weekly list of applications and decisions please go to http://planning.wokingham.gov.uk/FastWebPL/weeklylistapp.asp . Go back to start page, click on weekly list decisions and again view all decisions that have been made for the week.
If anyone has problems with viewing any information or has any queries regarding the new website planning search page please let me know and I will pass to the relevant department for the answers.

Crowthorne Parish Council informed us that although BFBC will not now mail a list of new planning applications, those in Crowthorne are available on the Parish Council web page http://www.crowthornepc.org.uk/planningapplications-2017.html and can be accessed from there.

September 2017

April 2017 Newsletter


Herewith an invitation to our AGM to be held on Tuesday May 2nd at Woodmancote Google Maps Location.

Our main speaker will be Stephen Chown, the head of parks and countryside at Bracknell Forest who will talk about trees. If you have concerns about the loss of trees in our village, he is the man to speak to as he manages tree stocks and provides advice about trees.

We also have representatives from Broadmoor, the Charities Land site (Oakham Park) and the TRL site who will answer any questions you may have about the future of these development sites.

The meeting will start at 7.30 PM and doors will be open from 7 PM. We would love to see you there.

Planning Application 17/00250/FUL

Please note the following application which is for the refurbishment of the existing building at Manhattan House, 140 High Street, for 6 flats and the erection of an extension to accommodate 7 additional flats.

The Parish Council have recommended refusal on the grounds of over development of the site, insufficient parking and the extra traffic turning out of a dangerous exit.

You may wish to comment. Information can be found on the Bracknell Forest planning page on their web site.
April 2017

Spring newsletter March 2017


CVAG's AGM will be held on Tuesday May 2nd at 7.30 PM

Please come along to meet us and to find out what has been happening over the last year.

Our speaker this year is Stephen Chown, from Bracknell Forest, who will talk to us about an issue that we know a lot of people are concerned about. He is head of Parks and Countryside and he will explain the massive loss of trees on the TRL site, and inform us about what the future will bring for that site.

If you have any concerns about trees elsewhere in our village he will also answer questions on these.

In addition we will have representatives from the Broadmoor redevelopment team, the TRL redevelopment team and Victoria Groves from Bewley Homes who will bring us all up to date on developments and answer your questions.

The AGM will be held at Woodmancote Google Maps Location as usual and it starts at 7.30 pm

This is your chance to speak to the developers who are building in our village so don't miss it!

We hope to see you all on May 2nd.

Good contact information

1. Charities Land/ Oakham site

Information can be found on their web site: http://crowthorne.bewley.co.uk
We are assured that they will bring this site up to date with minutes of previous meetings and dates of future ones that you can all attend.

2. TRL site

Our contact for information is Liam Ronan, his email is lronan@quatro-pr.co.uk
Their web site is www.crowthornepc.org.uk
This will actually take you to the Parish Council site but all their information is on there.

3. Broadmoor

Look up the web site for information www.wlmht.nhs.uk

March 2017

Arborfield Community Forum - Wokingham Borough Council - Major Developments

Wokingham Borough Council - Major Developments

Mark your calendars for the next Arborfield Community Forum!

20th March 2017, from 6pm - 8pm
Henry Street Garden Centre
Swallowfield Rd, Arborfield, RG2 9JY

More information about what we'll be discussing to come soon.

February 2017

North Wokingham Community Forum - Wokingham Borough Council - Major Developments

Wokingham Borough Council - Major Developments

Mark your calendars for the next North Wokingham Community Forum!

30th March 2017, from 6pm - 8pm
Emmbrook Junior School
Emmbrook Road, Wokingham, RG41 1JR

More information about what we'll be discussing to come soon.

February 2017

Have your say on the proposed expansion to Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Expansion

As part of its public consultation, the government will be holding an information event in Bracknell on Thursday 16th February at carnation hall between 11am and 8pm, at which local residents will have the opportunity speak to officials and ask questions about the department for transport's (dft) plans for heathrow expansion.

The Government recommends that you should read the draft airports national policy statement before submitting your response to the consultation, which is open for 16 weeks until 25th May.

If you have any questions about the consultation, or your local event, please call the DfT on 0800 689 4968.

Heathrow Expansion Leaflet

February 2017

TRL site Public Exhibition January 2017

TRL Development Site 2017

Below is a PDF of the boards that will be on display at the public exhibition on Tuesday 24th & Thursday 26th January 2017 at Crowthorne Baptist Church, 144 High Street, Crowthorne RG45 7AT See here for more details.

Public Exhibition Display Boards

January 2017

18th January 2017 TRL stakeholders meeting

Two committee members attended this meeting which was to update us on the forthcoming display material. Main points in summary:

  • We were given the email address of John Allan , Legal and General's managing director. John.allan@landghomes.com
  • He hopes that their web site will soon be up to date and he requested that a name is found soon for the new development.
  • We heard from Peter Daswell that the asbestos removal is nearly complete and the trees that are to be removed are mainly cleared. Trees will be replaced as the fir trees were always intended as a crop.
  • There are on going discussions with the Council about the Master Plan for housing, roads and streets.
  • We learnt that the proposed school will not have a house for a caretaker as it is not a requirement by Bracknell Forest.
  • The first off site road improvements will be at the roundabout on the junction of Old Wokingham Road and Nine Mile Ride.
  • We were told that water soak away is currently improved as a lot of hard standing has been removed so water is able to soak into the ground. This was in discussion about how much water would have been soaked up by the hundreds of trees that have now been removed.

There was some discussion about these points and you may wish to state your views at the TRL exhibitions. These are being held on the 24th and 26th February, at the Baptist church in the High Street from 16.30 to 19.30. See here for more details.

January 2017

Crowthorne Community Social Value Charter

Crowthorne Community Charter

Join the conversation about how to build a sustainable future for the Crowthorne community and help to turn that into action by designing the first Community Social Value Charter in the UK!

The Community Charter will be a public document, expressing a vision for the future of the community and identifying practical undertakings that if taken will make a positive difference to Crowthorne.

This is a survey designed to be completed quickly but with the opportunity to provide more detailed answers. So if you are an individual or an organisation for whom the Project is likely to have an impact, please give us your views.

To go to Survey Click here.

January 2017

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) - Brownfield Register Press Release & Research

Following the Housing & Planning Act which received Royal Assent in May 2016 - it requires local authorities to adopt a Brownfield Register to enable housebuilders to identify suitable sites for development - this will enable us to save our countryside and AONB's from the building free-for-all and protect the countryside from speculative development.

CPRE Berkshire Branch welcomes the introduction of Brownfield Registers and will be asking each Local Authority across Berkshire to be proactive in identifying 'brownfield sites' to avoid high environmental and heritage sites to be destroyed by prioritizing brownfield development.

Press Release and Research documents can be download below.

Pilot BFR research   Press Release - Brownfield registers

January 2017

Public Exhibition Invitation TRL site January 2017

TRL Development Site 2017

The committee of Crowthorne Village Action Group CVAG feel that you will be interested in visiting this upcoming PUBLIC exhibition. It will be taking place on Tuesday 24th & Thursday 26th January 2017 at Crowthorne Baptist Church, 144 High Street, Crowthorne RG45 7AT from 16.30 to 19.30

These are the developer's (Legal and General) plans for the TRL site and it will be hosted by the consultants Quatro-PR. As you might already be aware they have general planning permission for the whole site and had specific detailed planning approval late last year to work just on the 'open space' (SANG) that will fill the 400m open green space along the Bracknell Road and the Special Protection Area for the heathland wildlife (SPA).

We are assured by Quatro that L&G would be pleased to note all your comments. Full details in leaflet below.

Public Exhibition Invitation TRL site

January 2017

Wokingham Borough Council Planning application in for Phase 6

The detailed planning application (also called the Reserve Matters application) has been submitted for Montague Park Phase 6. This phase consists of the neighbourhood centre which incorporates retail and community space, public parking, a public square, a children's play area and 114 new homes, along with associated new roads, footways, parking and landscaping.

The application number is 163264. Search for it on the planning applications page of the Wokingham Borough Council website.

December 2016

Public Art at Montague Park

Have you seen the new sculptures at Montague Park? David Wilson Homes, as part of their planning consent, commissioned and paid for the original pieces from Thrussells Artist Metalsmiths following engagement with the local community. Two pieces were installed last week--one at the entrance to Montague Park on London Road and the other in the nature park. A third piece will be installed in the neighbourhood centre, when that area is built.

December 2016

Bracknell Forest Council - Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment

Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) have now started the process of identifying suitable land for building in the next 15 years, something they call the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). Whilst it all sounds rather unexciting and a long way in the future, it is very important. Once an area is identified for additional housing in the Land Allocation Plan and subsequently an application is submitted for planning permission, it is extremely difficult to oppose building there, and the battle is largely lost.

Land owners were asked to suggest sites which they would like to offer for redevelopment. Not surprisingly, some of them are around Crowthorne. Download PDF of the results here http://consult.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/file/4284212 including comments from BFC planners on the sites. At this stage it does not determine whether a site should be allocated for development.
Please look at it and comment to BFC on any sites that concern you or about the combined effect of all the proposals. Now is the time to do so, not after the land allocations have been decided!
Please download the response form from http://consult.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/file/4252579. Deadline for responses is 5pm Monday 19th December 2016.

CVAG has commented on the following sites:
SAND5 which is the Derby field belonging to Wellington College, just over the railway line. The college are proposing that 214 houses could be built on this site.

CROW1 1-9 High Street, where Edwards used to be. Please note that the same developer now also owns the site of the HSBC bank as well. Nine (9) dwellings will be recommended for the Edwards site but it may be more when the Bank site is included.

BRA4 Beaufort Park (next to the Crematorium). This site will bring Bracknell even closer to our village boundary so a good amount of tree cover is essential. 258 dwellings are proposed for this site.

BRA3 Land that the Hideout is on. A total of 204 dwellings and a 60-bed care home are suggested for this site. You may recall an application to build there was recently refused. Old Wokingham Road will be even more congested if this is agreed and the green gap between Crowthorne and Bracknell is further eroded.

BRA1 This is the land between Peacock Lane and the drive into Easthampstead Park. It is currently farm land with sheep on it. A total of 605 dwellings are suggested for this site. It is only a continuation of Jennetts Park and is urban sprawl along a road that is already badly congested at peak times.

BRA2 Easthampstead Park Conference Centre. A total of 114 dwellings are suggested for this site. The Mansion is listed and the building that houses Berkshire Ballroom is also included as well as the car parks.

You may wish to comment on other sites in Sandhurst and Bracknell but those were the ones we sent our comments on. Not all sites will necessarily be accepted when Bracknell write their Local Plan. Wokingham Council have also put forward sites for development around their part of Crowthorne. What worries us is that we have not even seen the impact of the developments on the TRL, the Charities Land and Broadmoor on local infra structure.

Now is the time to comment and let Bracknell know what you think about individual sites in the SHELAA. See the entire statement and supporting documents at: http://consult.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/portal/planning/clp/shelaa_2016/

To see the sites: http://consult.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/file/4284212
To comment download the form from: http://consult.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/file/4252579 Deadline for responses is 5pm monday 19th December 2016.

December 2016

An Appeal

CVAG committee are all volunteers, giving up our time because we value Crowthorne Village and would like to see that additional development is incorporated without destroying those qualities which so attract us, and attracts the developers, to Crowthorne. Sifting through and responding to these consultations, as well as other planning applications, is time consuming, but easier if the workload is shared out. We have two vacancies on our committee. If you care about Crowthorne and are prepared to give up some of your time, we would like to welcome you onto the committee. We meet about every 6 weeks. Please contact the Chairman John McNab on johnmc@cvag.org.uk to enquire about joining the committee and taking a more active role.

December 2016