The prospect of development in this area has long been considered, dating back to the 1970s and the initial Structure Plan for what was then Central Berkshire.

In the late 1990s, three alternative proposals for development south of the M4 at Shinfield, Spencers Wood, Three Mile Cross and Grazeley, were together considered in a Public Local Inquiry. Although these initial proposals were rejected by the planning inspector, the Wokingham Borough Local Plan (adopted in 2004) consequently identified land at Shinfield, Spencers Wood and Three Mile Cross to have appropriate services, facilities and public transportation opportunities for substantial development.

The Local Plan allocated a number of sites in this area, including Grazeley Road, East of Basingstoke Road, Hyde End Road and Old Gravel Pits Shinfield all now within the current South of M4 Strategic Development Location (SDL).

Wokingham Borough Council’s current Core Strategy, adopted in January 2010, has since identified this South of M4 SDL, comprising extensions to the existing village settlements at Spencers Wood, Three Mile Cross and Shinfield.

The SDL is seen as an opportunity for a comprehensive and coherent development. Through being planned together, the Core Strategy recognises that there are opportunities for enhanced education, transport and recreational facilities that can be shared between the villages.