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Latest CADRA Newsletter
Ref: 397

Date: Mon 16 Jul 2018 12:17

Flood defences in Caversham
The Environment Agency (EA) is consulting the public on major proposals to protect the Lower Caversham area from being flooded by the Thames. Their proposals comprise a series of low embankments and walls, especially in the Christchurch Meadows area. They have suggested three options, two of them varying the extent of works north of the river and the third adding works on the south bank. The proposals are significant, but fairly schematic at this early stage.
 
CADRA has reserved its position until fuller detail of the options is available. However, while welcoming the principle of added protection, it has urged the EA to view this as a landscape project as much as an engineering one, engaging good-quality landscape architects from the outset to minimise damage to existing trees and hedges and to ensure that the design of embankments and walls appears a natural as possible, to protect and blend into the high amenity value of Caversham's riverside parks.
 
The consultation can be viewed at Thames Flooding Consultation, and we urge all members to take a look and make their comments by 26 July.
 
Hotel proposal adjoining Crowne Plaza
A planning application has been submitted for a second, five-storey hotel alongside the Crowne Plaza, just across Caversham Bridge. It would be built on part of the existing hotel car park. 
CADRA has objected on the grounds that parking  will be displaced into surrounding areas; that its height is excessive and intrusive on its Thames-side setting, damaging existing trees; and that it would unacceptably increase traffic and pollution. The application can be viewed at Crowne Plaza New Budget Hotel.
 
St Peter's Conservation Area
CADRA has been instrumental in undertaking the new appraisal of the Conservation Area at the heart of Caversham, which among other things proposes its extension to include the Church St/ Bridge St junction, Bridge St and Caversham Bridge. 
It was presented to the Borough Council's Strategic Environment, Planning and Transportation Committee on July 2nd, where it was very well-received. The Committee resolved to accept all its recommendations and to move to a formal public consultation. This is now in progress, with a launch at Caversham Church Fete on July 14th, and will last until 14th September. Full details, a link to the main report and a link for responding to the consultation can be found on the Council's website at St Peters Conservation Area.

Strong support from the Caversham public will reinforce the effectiveness of this important step in protecting Caversham's historic environment, so we urge members to take part.
 
Buses in Caversham
News is just breaking of further changes to bus services north of the river.  These changes are due to start at the beginning of September. Your committee discussed the continuing unresponsiveness of Reading Buses and is digesting the new information as it emerges. This was the subject of a separate email and a post on Facebook. We will post updates on the CADRA website as soon as we have anything.
 
A reminder for your diary: CADRA's Autumn Meeting will include a talk on 'The Changing Thames' from Terry Marsh, Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford. Tuesday 6th November, 7.45 pm at Thameside School.

For more information on CADRA visit www.cadra.org.uk
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