Hundreds of people have spoken about their struggle to find an affordable home in Tilehurst.

Plans to build 265 homes on a patch of green space that is just off Pincents Lane have proved to be extremely controversial, as more than 2,100 objections have been lodged.

But more than 230 people have written letters of support and many of them claim this project will provide affordable homes that are desperately needed in the area.

Some say they have been forced to move away and find cheaper homes, while others claim they are spending most of their income on rent or stuck living with parents.

READ MORE: Developer says amount of support for 265 Tilehurst homes is 'highly unusual'

Developer U+I Pincents Lane Ltd says 106 of the new homes will be affordable, as they will be shared-ownership or “below-market rent”.

The company has also promised to provide £1 million for infrastructure, create a 22 acre public park and plant enough trees to form a 20-metre wide ‘woodland buffer’ between Tilehurst and the new housing estate.

A single mother with two daughters wrote: “Trying to find an affordable home in that area is like looking for rocking horse droppings.

“I work as an IT network architect and communications consultant and have a good job but still a large portion of my salary gets eaten up paying rent on a property which isn’t close enough to my children’s schools for them to walk.”

She added: “The new homes are really needed here, if my children and I moved here it would improve our quality of living immensely.”

Another mother wrote: “Tilehurst doesn’t have any affordable homes, but we need to stay in the local area for friends and family and the education of our child.”

A young mother-of-two wrote: “There simply isn’t much that is affordable for people our age in Tilehurst.

“Our rent is a waste of money when we could be buying our own place.

A map of the site, just off Pincents Lane in Tilehurst, where developers want to build 265 homes

A map of the site, just off Pincents Lane in Tilehurst, where developers want to build 265 homes

“As we live in Tilehurst and this is where our roots are, it is important to us to stay here.

“We know the shortcuts, the bus routes, our friends and relatives are here. I don’t want to be a taxi driver for our daughter if we were forced to move away.”

A father who works at a local special needs school said he was forced to move in with his elderly parents after breaking up with his partner.

“More affordable homes are desperately needed in Tilehurst. I love my job and I love the children,” he wrote. “I don’t want to be forced to leave the area.

“Not only because of my job, but also because it’s good to be close to my elderly parents who need my support and to my grown-up children and my grandchildren. I want to be close to my friends as well.”

Another supporter wrote: “Out of all my old school friends, I am the only person who has been able to move out of their parents home.

“Many more have been forced to move to more affordable parts of the country.

“These are not underachievers they are people with good qualifications and good jobs who will probably be living with their parents until well into their 30s.

“The lack of affordable housing has also pushed up the cost of rent and exacerbated the challenge for young people ever aspiring to own their own home.

“In the context of these issues it is frustrating to see the scale of opposition each time a large scale housing development is proposed in Tilehurst.

“This ‘not on my doorstep’ attitude is instigated largely by people who bought their homes earlier and cheaper than my generation could ever hope to.”

The average price of a property sold in Tilehurst in 2019 was £355,504, according to Rightmove.

READ MORE: Council explains decision to abandon 15,000 home project

In a statement on their website, developer U+I Pincents Lane Ltd said: “It is increasingly difficult for first-time buyers and young people to afford a home where they grew up.

“The average house price in West Berkshire is nearly eleven times the average salary in the area, according to government figures.

“We will deliver 265 new homes of which 40 per cent will be allocated for affordable housing.

“These will be a combination of below-market rent and also shared-ownership. This would help hardworking locals like those we’ve quoted have a home of their own in the area they know and love.”

People objecting to the plans claim popular green space will be lost and the development will put a huge strain on local schools, roads and other infrastructure.

West Berkshire Council is still considering this application and a council spokeswoman said a decision is due to be made at a public meeting “at the end of March or beginning of April”.

In 2009, plans to build 750 homes, a hotel and shops on the site in Tilehurst were rejected by the council.