Richard Willis's Blog

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Budgen’s Precinct Resurfacing Success

Me and Jane Stanford-Beale in the Car Park

As a local resident and ward Councillor in Peppard ward I have lost count of the number of local people who have raised with me the state of the car park at the Emmer Green Shopping Centre in the heart of the ward. Better known as Budgen’s Precinct, this is privately owned land and therefore not as easy to resolve as if it were the responsibility of the Council.Like many residents, my colleague Jane Stanford-Beale and I have been frustrated by the state of the paved area and the car park in front of the shops.

In August last year I wrote to the managing agents, Wolfe Property Services, to complain about the poor state of both the car park and the paved area in front of the shops and to ask that they be repaired and improved as a matter of urgency. My initiative was then followed by another ward Councillor.

I am therefore delighted to see that Wolfe has responded with a planning application submitted in February to repair the car park and replace much of the paved area in front of the shops with a new more even tarmac surface. They have even submitted my letter to them in support of their planning application.

I anticipate the application will be decided by 27 April with the works starting soon after. The potholes in the car park are huge and are due to be dealt with shortly afterwards. This is great news and I know that the many Peppard ward residents who use the car park and the shops will be delighted. It is a good example of what can be achieved by ward Councillors.

UPDATE: I have had huge interest in this article as so many people in Peppard ward have been frustrated at the poor state of the car park and area in front of the shops. However, unfortunately for many people the links I posted to the Reading Borough Council website did not work, so I have downloaded the Design and Access Statement submitted by Wolfe Property Services, which has my letter attached to it, and you should be able to read the document here.

UPDATE 2: I am delighted that planning permission has now been granted by the Council. Read more here.


April 19, 2012 - Posted by | Local


  1. Interesting to note that you wrote in August ’11, Independent Ralph wrote in November ’11 and Independent Chowdhary didn’t even bother to write at all – despite trying to claim all the credit!

    Comment by Jim | April 19, 2012 | Reply

  2. Richard , i think you will find that Mark Ralph and myself began dealing with Wolfe Properties about this matter and many others before you were even elected ! I owned Cavendish Meats in the parade for many years and am fully aware of all the work Mark has done for the parade and Emmer Green in general.Hope you are well .

    Comment by Roland Hazell | April 26, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Roland – it is good to hear from you!

      I don’t dispute what you say at all but this particular application was submitted by Wolfe with my letter of August 2011 attached in support and Cllr Ralph’s of November 2011. There is no correspondence from Cllr Chowdhary submitted in support by Wolfe despite his many claims of activity.

      I well remember your shop and miss the big bags of pork scratchings I used to buy!

      Best wishes


      Comment by Richard Willis | April 26, 2012 | Reply

  3. Not sure of Jamies claims but i do know that Mark has been lead in this matter and many others for many years. Nice to hear from you too Richard.

    Comment by Roland Hazell | April 27, 2012 | Reply

  4. Mark Ralph did not lead on helping me. When I asked for his help I got no reply. When I chased him I found him to be quite dismissive. I was planning not to vote Conservative this time but having learned that he has now resigned from the party I will give my vote to Mrs Stanford-Beale.

    Comment by Helen | April 28, 2012 | Reply

    • Helen – you are not the first to make such a comment to me during this campaign. Please contact me if I can be of any help to you.

      Comment by Richard Willis | April 28, 2012 | Reply

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