Borough Local Plan Update
As notified at our Public Meeting in August RBWM extended the deadline for responding to the Regulation 19 version of the Borough Local Plan (the “Plan”) to 5.00pm on Wednesday 27 September 2017.
IT IS VITAL THAT YOU MAKE YOUR VIEWS KNOWN ONCE AGAIN
We will post some Guidance Notes on our website www.ogfra.org later this week to assist you in responding. In the meantime, the following Frequently Asked Questions may be helpful.
Why was the consultation deadline extended?
The consultation was originally launched on 30 June 2017 with a closing date of 25 August, and RBWM sought to limit the basis on which representations could be made to matters of soundness and legal compliance. This was challenged by RBWM Residents Action Group, an association representing local residents and several local residents groups (including OGFRA), which obtained an opinion from a leading QC which stated that the Borough’s approach to this Regulation 19 consultation was unlawful and that it was
“unduly restrictive, misleading and fails to accord with Regulation 20 in particular. The present consultation process should be abandoned and a fresh consultation process commenced”
The Borough’s response was simply to extend the closing date for the Regulation 19 consultation to 27 September 2017. Late representations will not be accepted.
Can comments be made only on soundness and legal compliance?
No. Although the main focus of this consultation may be to seek views on whether the Plan is legally compliant and meets the tests of soundness as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework, you can comment on any aspect of the Plan.
I made comments on the Regulation 18 Local Plan consultation, do I need to comment again?
Yes. Comments made on the previous Regulation 18 consultation will NOT be sent on to the independent Inspector to be appointed to examine the Plan. However comments made to this Regulation 19 consultation will be seen by the Inspector. Therefore any comments previously submitted that you think have not been addressed – and there is scant evidence that RBWM has listened to any concerns raised – should be submitted again as part of this consultation.
Why should I comment?
Everyone in the Borough will be affected by this Plan and so as many people as possible should contribute. In particular, and despite the strong objections expressed during the previous Regulation 18 consultation, site HA11 (land west of Windsor, north and south of A308 including Wyevale and Squires Garden Centres) has been retained for development.
What are the plans for HA11?
The latest Housing Site Allocation Proforma (see attached extract) sets out the following allocation:
- 450 residential units on Green Belt land – reduced from 650 as it is a ‘smaller site reflecting land availability’
- strategic public open space
- formal pitch provision for football and rugby
- multi-functional community hub
- educational facilities – HA11 has been identified as a site for a SEN (special educational need) school for 300 pupils; it is not clear if other educational facilities are envisaged
An Indicative Masterplan submitted by Wates Developments as part of the Regulation 18 consultation is also attached.
Where can I see the documents?
To read the Plan and supporting documents, please download from the RBWM website – go to https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/blp and click on ‘Borough Local Plan 2013-2033 Submission Version June 2017’. We understand that you can request a paper copy of sections of the Plan or the entire Plan by showing your Advantage card at a local library. The paper copy will be available to collect within 3 to 5 working days.
How to respond?
Unfortunately, both the online portal and the Representation Form are extremely difficult to use and the Borough’s ‘guidelines’ are not helpful. We suggest the easiest way for you to prepare your submission is as a letter, which you then email or post to RBWM. We will provide further details in our Guidance Notes.
RBWM Residents Action Group (www.rbwmresidentsactiongroup.co.uk) has provided more detailed notes on its website – both Frequently Asked Questions and Briefing Notes – dealing with all aspects of the Plan. The Guidance Notes to be provided by OGFRA will include information specific to site HA11.
The Housing Site Allocation Proformas are at the link below:
This ‘Indicative Masterplan’ shows a design concept put forward by Wates Developments in its Representations to the Regulation 18 consultation in January 2017. This shows how HA11 could be developed, including land outside of the control of Wates Developments. Vehicular access would be provided from Old Maidenhead Road to the northern site and from Dedworth Road to the southern site.