Wokingham Borough Council’s core strategy identified four Strategic Development Locations (SDL) to accommodate 13,000 homes to be built across the borough in 2016.
The Shaping Our New Communities Strategy sets out the council’s approach to involving communities, supporting community development and integration with neighbouring communities, providing the right community facilities. The aim is that this sets a way of working with communities across the borough, beyond the four Strategic Development Locations.
A clear message from residents through consultation on the core strategy was that development should be concentrated in a few locations to protect the character of existing residential areas, and that new communities should be high quality and infrastructure rich.
The Shaping New Communities report includes good practice examples from elsewhere and evidence about local and national learning. The report states: “this document sets out a framework for establishing strong, vibrant and integrated communities in each of the four new development areas. It has been developed with significant input from relevant service areas across the council, and draws on learning from local and national experiences as well as local consultation to provide a series of recommendations and proposals for further work.” (2)
It has four objectives:
1. Involve the community in discussions about SDL development
2. Support creation of thriving community facilities that can sustain themselves in the long term
3. Help make new communities strong, vibrant and well-integrated with existing communities
4. Identify appropriate approach for sustainable community asset management
The conclusions and recommendations address practical implementation issues as well as cost and viability issues.