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Wokingham Borough Council is currently updating its Local Plan, which covers the planning of new homes, employment, schools, roads, and community facilities up to 2040.

As part of this, the University of Reading, alongside Bellway Homes and Gleeson Land, is promoting a new Garden Village for consideration by the Council to provide some of the new homes and employment space required during this period and beyond.

Children playing football

Loddon Garden Village represents a unique opportunity to create a sustainable new garden community, alongside new riverside green space and employment. 

The University has been at the heart of the community for more than a century. Our University Strategy highlights the core values that underpin our mission: community, excellence, sustainability and engagement. Our long-term goal is to be a force for good in our region and across the world through education and research. 

We believe that the proposals offer an opportunity for the University of Reading to spearhead a sustainable, employment-led development that brings together diverse communities, businesses, and talent from across the region.  

Loddon Garden Village could deliver, if selected as part of the Local Plan Update:

  • an expansion of the Thames Valley Science Park to create a significant new employment area and make a significant contribution to the local economy
  • the creation of the largest country park in Wokingham, creating opportunities for leisure and recreation, new wildlife habitats, improving biodiversity, and storing carbon to help tackle climate change
  • a real range of house types, sizes, and tenures, with affordable housing for shared ownership or affordable rent
  • new local services and facilities, such as schools, shops, road connections, sports pitches, and community facilities that support the existing communities of Shinfield, Arborfield, and Sindlesham as well providing a sustainable new community. 

Sustainability is at the core of the proposals for Loddon Garden Village, aligning with the University’s own ambitions to be one of the greenest universities in the UK. We would aspire to deliver a range of energy efficient new homes, clean fossil fuel free heating systems and onsite renewable energy generation.

Active travel and use of public transport for longer journeys beyond the site will ensure local facilities and employment spaces are close to where people live. Opportunities for sustainable food growing schemes, cutting food miles, will also be provided throughout the site.

Biodiversity Net Gain in excess of 20% through the protection and strengthening of existing local species populations and the reintroduction of species which are close to being lost. Additional green infrastructure across the site will link the development to existing habitats, including Bearwood Lakes in Sindlesham and Swallows Meadow in Lower Earley. There is also the potential to alleviate flooding elsewhere in the Borough through flood mitigation.

It is expected that Wokingham Borough Council will consult further on its Local Plan Update in Summer 2024. More information on the Local Plan Update can be found on Wokingham Borough Council’s website.