Minutes of Shinfield Development Campaign Group

Date of Meeting:     06/10/2018 @ 10:00

Attendees:               Andrew Grimes, Jim Frewin, James Reid, Mark Chatfield, Dawn Peer, Peter Hughes, John Brown, Lee Brown, James Flynn, Daphne Seamark, Gillie Gray

Location:                 Shinfield Parish Hall, John Heggedon Room


  • Andrew Grimes opened up the meeting, explained what the campaign group had been formed to do, and explained that he would be acting as Chair for a period of 3 months.
  • Andrew asked for volunteers to fulfil the positions of Finance Officer and Clerk. Lee Brown volunteered for Finance Officer and James Reid volunteered for Clerk. Both positions were agreed by the group and confirmed.

Purpose of Group

There was a group discussion about the purpose of the group. It was felt that:

  • This should be an action group which brings together other interested groups from around Shinfield and in which everyone participates – it should not be left down to a few individuals. A similar model has been the campaign in Twyford
  • There had been a lack of openness on behalf of the Wokingham Borough Council as to the development that had been planned and in dealing with resident’s concerns which needed to be addressed
  • We needed to make Wokingham Borough Council listen, take stock, and learn from the experience since the SDL concept was introduced
  • The Borough Councillors elected to serve Shinfield needed to start listening to the concerns of their residents and representing these views in the council chamber and taking them on board during the planning process
  • There had been too much development and it was being crammed into a small time period leading to greater visibility and a large number of issues as a consequence
  • A fair and engaged planning approach was needed across the area covered by Wokingham Borough Council and that Shinfield should not continuously have new houses foisted on them
  • We would not be able to stop development, but we need to ensure that it is done properly and that the needs of the community are taken into consideration
  • We needed to engage the major landowners early so they were aware of the feelings within the local community
  • We should make residents aware of the plans for their village and to mobilise them to oppose the proposed development
  • We should propose an alternative vision for development in Shinfield which is in line with the Neighbourhood Plan
  • We should ensure that any development doesn’t destroy character of village or the unique characteristics which make it an enjoyable place to live
  • The infrastructure needed to be put in place to support the village and to enable it to grow without putting its population under undue stress
  • We should be looking toward the national situation, joining up with other like minded groups, and focussing on the national policy which is being forced on Wokingham Borough Council
  • We should draw a line under what has gone on and that the plan for 2026 – 2036 needs to be better as the concept of the SDL hasn’t worked.


Bringing all the various perspectives of the group together the following objectives were agreed for the group:

  1. Ensure that all residents are informed, kept updated, and continuously engaged regarding the proposed development. Our ethos in engaging with everyone is that we’ll communicate in plain English, be transparent, and honest in our views.
  2. Our local planning system should be open, transparent, and fair so that everyone knows what is being proposed, is consulted, has the ability to make their views known, and has the confidence that these views will be taken onboard.
  3. No more approvals of major developments until we understand the impact of the existing developments being built by conducting an audit to examine the social, economic, and environmental impact.
  4. Our campaign will work with others, will be a non political group, and will lobby all political leaders that we can reasonably reach.
  5. We will campaign for improvements to the local community infrastructure like GPs, schools, etc. so that our residents have the facilities they need in order to live their lives.

Working Title of the Group

Working title of the group will be ‘SOS – Save our Villages’.

Update on Planning Issues at Stanbury House

The group was updated about Stanbury House where there has been a proposal for 56 houses on the Stanbury House site which was won on appeal by the developers. Shinfield Parish Council will:

  • Write to the Chief Executive of Wokingham Borough Council about non-determination
  • Make a formal complaint about the non-determination
  • Make a Freedom of Information request about the cost of the legal review
  • Consider judicial review and hire lawyers if it was felt to be appropriate.

Work Streams

The work streams reporting to the Group will be:

  1. Communications
    • This worktream will need communications support and it was proposed that Shinfield Parish Council will fund this communications support.
    • However, this wouldn’t stop content being created locally in advance of the communications support being hired.
  2. Fundraising
    • Lee will open and manage a bank account enabling us to fund the activities of the group.
  3. Recruitment
  4. Identifying Fellow Travellers & Influencers
    • Look at what other local groups have done such as Barkham and Twyford in their campaign to stop development in their areas
    • Look at what other Parishes have done in resisting development in their local areas and also at national groups.
  5. Reactive Responses
    • Until the group is fully up and running any interim responses that need to be issued will be managed by the Chair and Clerk.
  6. Political Strategy
    • As an apolitical body the group won’t endorse any specific candidate in the local elections but we will ensure that those candidates standing are aware of what the group is looking to achieve.


The next meeting will be held on 10th November.


  • Jim thanked the Parish Council for hosting the action group on the Spencers Wood carnival
  • A poster competition was run by the action group and the posters are being sent to Shute End
  • The petition created by Oatlands Road residents was submitted to the Wokingham Borough Council on 20th September by Gary Cowan as no Shinfield Borough Councillor would respond.

Key Actions

Action ref:DescriptionOwnerDate
20191006-01Confirm communications support to be paid for by Shinfield Parish Council.PH10/11
20191006-02Identify communications support that would be suitable for developing the key messages from the group.PH10/11
20191006-03Open a bank account for the group.LB10/11
20191006-04Conduct research on what other local and national groups have been doing to see if we can reuse / learn from it.JF&MC10/11
20191006-05Think about fundraising ideas for the groupALL10/11