Pincents Hill, located in Tilehurst, West Berkshire, on the edge of Reading is Beyond Green Developments’ first project. In an area characterised by car-reliance, out-of-town retail, proximity to the M4, existing urban sprawl and anti-development feeling (despite a desperate need for new affordable homes), it’s a challenging place to start.
In 2008 we purchased a 37-acre former golf course and acquired an option over an adjacent 15 acres. Disused for several years, the site had become overgrown and troubled by anti-social behaviour.
We began by holding a five-day Design Enquiry in September 2008 to explore options for creating a sustainable new community called Pincents Hill. It was attended by local residents and businesses, council members, officers and statutory organisations and formed the basis of an outline planning application for 750 homes and mixed uses submitted in 2009. This application was turned town in a highly-charged pre-general election climate, and is currently the subject of a planning appeal.
How we do it
- Land assembly
- Stewardship and governance
Pincents Hill is planned as a traditional neighbourhood, with a range of daily uses including employment spaces, small shops, primary school, library and a health centre within 5 minutes’ walk of homes. It provides new green spaces both on and off site including 8 hectares of managed countryside, orchard and allotments, a new public park and green corridor linking habitats in the development to areas of ancient woodland. Our proposals contain serious investment in new public transport services and a car club as well as being designed to make walking and cycling the easiest and best way of getting around the local area. With a focus on on-site renewable energy production, Pincents Hill would have an extremely low carbon footprint compared to standard developments. And the intention is that this will be a place which encourages and enables people to live more sustainably. With this in mind our proposals include a long-term management organisation responsible for managing and owning parts of the development and providing information to residents about how to live more sustainably.