HERE’s our round-up of the most important planning applications decided this week. 

New houses next to Blundells Copse refused

Planners refused to give permission for two new two-storey homes on Ogmore Close, Tilehurst. The homes would have been built within four metres of Blundells Copse, a local nature reserve and wildlife site. 

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Giles Sutton, ecologist for Reading Borough Council, said: “This is likely to have a number of adverse impacts upon the woodland, local wildlife site and local nature reserve.”

These impacts would include: light and noise pollution, disturbing wildlife, increasing fly-tipping, and introducing non-native species from the gardens.

Mr Sutton said: “These effects would be reduced if the new house were to be located away from the woodland with a buffer of 15 metres between the development and the woodland.”

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Victoria Pearson, who lives nearby, wrote to the council. She said: “This property will have a direct view straight into my back door where our family eat our meals.” 

Digital billboard refused

Planners refused to give permission to upgrade a large paper billboard into a digital LED display. The billboard is on 70 Whitley Street.

Lots of people living nearby wrote into the council. Kathryn McCann said: “In my opinion these screens are a waste of electricity, when we’re supposed to be working towards making Reading carbon neutral.”

Claudia Spence said: “Aside from the unnecessary environmental impact, I am very concerned about traffic safety. Please don’t add another distraction here.”

Yet a different digital billboard accepted

But permission was given for upgrading a different paper billboard into a digital LED one. The billboard is on the Oxford Road, by Reading West Train Station. 

An unnamed CCTV officer raised concerns about how the light would affect the cameras. They said: “This sign is in the direct line of sight of a key camera. 

“If it is anything like the illuminated signs on the Broad Street Mall, Kings Walk, or the one of the train station forecourt, then it may affect our images.”