Planning to fail

photoFor over eight years the former Hewlett Packard site has been idle, apart from acting as a football car park.

It’s history has been one of legal wrangles and abortive schemes but Kier is now it seems, making something happen.

You might hope that this, like the King’s Meadow swimming baths, would act as a blatant sign of where planning goes wrong. Close to a  decade will have passed before as much as a start is made on what is a vast and valuable spot close to the redeveloped Junction 11 of the M4.

At King’s Meadow the wait has been over 40 years.

Yet nothing seems to make planning speed up. While the town has exploded in places, dereliction has remained in several prime locations. The problem is that no-one directly feels the cost the planning system. It can’t be impossible to improve it.

But it seems the speed of that is no better than the speed of the planning process itself.

About Alan Bunce

Freelance journalist Former Community Editor with the Reading Post. Former Business Editor with the Reading Chronicle.
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