Fears have been raised that future housing developments could endanger allotments and green space in Tilehurst.

The Tilehurst allotments are located north of Victoria Recreation Ground and can be accessed of Armour Hill and Polsted Road.

Areas that border the allotments have been identified for housing development in the Reading Local Plan.

A total of 80 new homes could be built across two sites, with 41-62 homes envisaged at Kentwood Hill (plan policy WR3s) and 12-18 homes could be built at Armour Hill (WR3t).

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Neighbours have raised fears that these two developments could negatively impact the allotments and green space in the surrounding area.

It has been pointed out that badgers and foxes use nearby woodland known as ‘The Withies’ as a wildlife corridor.

The concerns have been sparked as the land, which is owned by Tilehurst People’s Local Charity (TPLC) is up for sale.

Councillor Raj Singh (Conservative, Kentwood) has voiced these concerns at recent council meetings.

Cllr Singh said “Could the council explain how allowing this land to be built on still fits with the declared emergency and the published biodiversity action policy.”

Cllr Tony Page (Labour, Abbey) replied that The Withies and in-use allotments are designated as protected local green space and therefore shielded from development.

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Cllr Singh also asked for the council to undertake a survey to assess the environmental impact of building houses on an area of biodiversity interest.

However, cllr Page argued against conducting an ecological impact assessment prior to any plan being submitted for the areas identified.

He said: “The council currently does not intend to assume the responsibility of a developer and undertake additional work at this stage.

“It would not be an appropriate use of council resources at this stage.”

Cllr Page answered cllr Singh’s question at a policy committee meeting on Monday, April 4.

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Cllr Singh also called for Reading Labour to oppose any future plans to build on the allotments during a full council meeting on Tuesday, March 22.

In reply, council leader cllr Jason Brock (Labour, Southcote) said that no planning permission has been submitted foreither site yet, and the council could not make a pre-emptive decision on any future application.

Both cllrs Page and Brock pointed out cllr Singh voted for the Local Plan when it was passed on November 4, 2019.

A group of residents have set up the Keep Kentwood Hill Green campaign to protect the area against development.

A petition on Avaaz.org calling on TPLC to not sell the land has so far received 584 signatures.

For its part, TPLC has previously argued that sale of the land for development would be used to fund its activities, which involves assisting disadvantaged people in Tilehurst with accessing goods, services and amenities.