Page last updated at 21:46 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Plans for Kennet Meadows flood plain homes axed

Flood plains
The Kennet Valley Park development would have been built on a floodplain

Developers have scrapped plans to build 7,500 homes on a Berkshire flood plain that campaigners say is important to wildlife.

The threat of development has hung over Kennet Meadows, south west of Reading, since 2002.

Prudential's property arm, Prupim, has now scrapped its plans, saying they are no longer economically viable.

It comes nearly two years after the proposals were removed from the government's South East plan.

Those against the plans also believed any housing development would have been at risk of flooding.

House of Commons petition

Southcote councillor, Pete Ruhemann, who campaigned with residents to protect Kennet Meadows, said: "Until we ran that campaign, no minister had ever overruled an inquiry and taken an area out of a regional plan, and I think when we won the developers finally realised they just could not get their scheme through."

In July 2008, the government released proposed changes to the South East Plan, a 20-year vision for house-building and infrastructure.

It said the Kennet Meadows development was not viable after taking advice from Defra and the Environment Agency, which opposed the plan on flood-risk grounds.

About 1,500 people had also signed a petition, which was taken to the House of Commons.

If it had gone ahead, the homes would have been built over a period of 25 years.

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