Plans for a 150-space car park at Mortimer railway station will be voted on this week, with council officers calling for the ‘inappropriate’ scheme to be refused.

Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council (SPMC) want to build a 150-space car park at land by the station, which is on the Reading to Basingstoke Line, but West Berkshire Council (WBC) planning officers say the size is not justified.

There are already 50 parking spaces at the station and WBC officers say 150 additional spaces would result in a similar capacity to urban transport hubs like Market Street, in Newbury, and Green Park Station.

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Nine representations have been sent to the council, with seven opposing the plans and two in support.

The plan is on land south east of the station owned by the Englefield Estate, who have worked with SMPC and GWR to produce the plan.

SPMC say the car park would provide “a much-needed community facility” at Mortimer Station and believe growth in the use of Mortimer Station having been “supressed” due to the lack of parking.

But Jonathan and Ruth Clatworthy said the car park would be “an alien feature within this rural landscape” and the proposal “offers no credible justification” for such a big car park at the station.

And Chris Bridges said a car park is needed in Mortimer, but the plans submitted would be “a clear, undeniable intrusion into the countryside”, suggesting land north of the station would be more practical.

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An alternative plan for parking is being prepared by M&G developments, which owns another piece of land next to the station.

Previous plans for a car park with 100 spaces at the station – labelled “an intrusive, large scale urbanising element in the countryside” –  were refused in 2008 and rejected on appeal in 2009.

Does Mortimer Station need another 150 car parking spaces?

A survey conducted in 2018 found:

  • 119 residents in Mortimer did not travel by train due to the lack of car parking at Mortimer Station
  • 377 would travel by train more frequently if it was easier to park at the station
  • 444 agreed more car parking should be provided at the station.

But the council has found no evidence that 150 extra car parking spaces are needed, suggesting a smaller number would be positive for the village.

Planning officers said: “Whilst a demand for additional car parking for Mortimer Station has been demonstrated the submission is not considered to justify a need for an additional 150 spaces, resulting in a total capacity similar to that provided at urban transport hubs.

“It would not be appropriate limited development in the countryside and would not address an identified need for additional car parking to serve Mortimer Station.”

They also said the plans would urbanise the rural area.

Mortimer Railway Station is in the small village of Mortimer Common, which is seven miles south-west of Reading.