Third Battle of Newbury

P.O. BOX 5520, Newbury, Berks. RG14 7YW.

Tel: 01635 45544 Fax: 01635 45545 24 hr info: 01635 550552

E-mail: URL:



Immediate Release Wednesday 19th November 1996


Local Residents and Bypass Protesters seek compromise settlement with Highways Agency

Protesters occupying land for a proposed access road at 'Spiritual Roots' in the Northern part of Newbury Bypass route are supporting an alternative access route suggested by local residents. Protesters have built tree houses and a tunnel to save the mature woodland on the planned access route. Support for the alternative by protesters has been made in a fax to the Highways Agency's Newbury Bypass project team. The local branch of The Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England - West Berkshire CPRE are also supporting the alternative.

An existing road used by Snelsmore wardens and residents of Cromwells Glen is now owned by the Department of Transport. The access road currently crosses the bypass route at Snelsmore Common. In order that this road may be maintained during construction work, an alternative access must be provided. The woodland at 'Spiritual Roots' abuts Snelsmore Common, Site of Special Scientific Interest and would, under current Highways Agency plans, need to be cleared to provide a new access road. An alternative access road which follows an existing clearing beneath electricity power lines, which are soon to be decommissioned, is being proposed by the residents.

The alternatives proposals were suggested to the Highways Agency at a meeting between residents Mr and Mrs Stevens, the Highways Agency and Mott MacDonald, (Consulting Engineers to the Highways Agency,) on October 3rd this year. The Stevens' main concern relates not just to the loss of woodland, including some oaks possibly 200 years old, but additional worries are over surface water management in winter, which would be difficult with current plans.

One of the Spiritual Roots residents known as 'Tree pixies' said

"The opportunity to save tax payers thousands of pounds in eviction costs and preserve these beautiful trees is at the behest of the Highways Agency"

Jan Stevens, one of the residents at Cromwells Glen added

"Our proposal gives the Highways Agency an opportunity to save money, demonstrate their concern for Snelsmore Common SSSI and design flexibility while avoiding confrontation with protestors - who, along with residents and local environmental groups have given their support for our plan"


Editors Notes

Third Battle of Newbury Office 01635 45544 Jan and Richard Stevens 01635 522872

Highways Agency Newbury Bypass Project Team: 0121 275 8000