Hemdean Valley

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The Hemdean Valley, or Bugs Bottom as it is known locally, was the last remaining piece of open farmland in Emmer Green. It was in a unique position, offering a taste of the open countryside within walking distance of Reading town centre. In 1968 a well-attended public enquiry had resulted in rejection of an earlier proposal to develop the land. Intentions resurfaced in 1984 when Walton-on-Thames builders Higgs and Hill applied to build 500 houses in the valley. The local people of Emmer Green and Caversham, under the umbrella of their respective residents' associations, supported Reading Borough Council's opposition to the project.

After years of dedicated pro-active campaigning and taking things to the highest level, as a result of a change in the law, the Council were eventually forced to withdraw from the Court of Appeal. The builders seized their chance to press ahead and building began in the mid 1990s. However local opinion was not completely ignored and the number of buildings reduced to 340. EGRA kept a watching brief as the development took place. Attempted consideration was also given to preserving hedgerows and accommodating wildlife.

Hemdean Valley in the year 2007 - showing what a pleasant place it is to live. No doubt the people living there wish it to remain so. Half the properties fall in Emmer Green, while those the other side of the valley in Caversham.