This Update provides information on revised plans for the Squires Garden Centre site, the current status of the Borough Local Plan and a consultation on sand and gravel extraction at the Bray Quarry Extension site.
Squires Garden Centre
The Planning Application submitted by Bewley Homes and Square Bay (No 5) LLP for the development of the Squires Garden Centre site in December 2018 was withdrawn by the Applicant in March 2019. There was strong local opposition to the plans for 39 dwellings, including two blocks of 2.5/3 storey flats. The plans have now been resubmitted with minor changes under Application No. 19/01755/FULL (search at https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk under ‘Planning’).
The revised plans include a reduction from 39 to 37 dwellings with minor changes to layout/building design, and there is now a single access point on the old Maidenhead Road, but this remains almost opposite the Willows Riverside Park entrance. The Applicant considers that the revised application ‘addresses the issues raised through the original consultation’ – but it fails to achieve this. As with the previous application OGFRA will issue some Guidance Notes for those wishing to object to this development. As this is a new application it is essential that you submit your views again. The Guidance Notes will be available in the next couple of days and the deadline for responses is 2 August 2019.
Borough Local Plan
It is now over a year since the Stage 1 Hearings into the submitted Borough Local Plan, which remains ‘paused’. RBWM provided updates to the Inspector in May on the various pieces of work they agreed to do before the BLP Hearings could resume. Recently the Inspector responded noting that she has yet to see any outcomes from much of the work RBWM has been doing. She wants to understand the likely implications for the submitted BLP, and whether significant changes to the BLP will be required.
The Inspector also asks – for the second time – whether continuing with the examination of the submitted BLP is the most prudent course of action. If RBWM remains of the view that examination should continue, the Inspector asks RBWM to set a realistic timetable for all the necessary steps to get to the next stage of Hearings. She also asks RBWM to consider whether a procedural hearing might be a useful means of clarifying the process for all parties.
We understand that RBWM intends to respond at the end of July, and every indication is that the Borough will seek to proceed with the submitted plan (as revised). This will require the support of the Inspector and further consultation. We will be monitoring the position closely.
Bray Quarry Extension site consultation
Bracknell Forest Council, Reading Borough Council, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham Borough Council (collectively referred to as the Central and Eastern Berkshire Authorities) are working in partnership to produce a Joint Minerals and Waste Plan which will guide minerals and waste decision making in our area.
The consultation process commenced in 2017 and the draft policies and proposed allocations are being reviewed and will inform the preparation of the Proposed Submission Plan. It was decided to hold a further ‘call for sites’ in 2018 and Bray Quarry Extension has been put forward. A consultation on whether the Bray Quarry Extension site should be allocated for sand and gravel extraction is now being held and full details (including a consultation response form) can be found at www.hants.gov.uk/berksconsult . Responses are required by 5.00pm on Monday 19 August 2019.
There will also be a public exhibition held relating to the proposed Bray Quarry site allocation which will provide an opportunity to ask questions about the proposal. This will be held on Thursday 1 August 2019 from 3.00pm to 7.00pm at Bray Village Hall.
This site is particularly sensitive as it is located close to Bray Village on Green Belt land. It is intended that extracted material will be transported via conveyors off site for processing at the Monkey Island Lane processing plant. No infilling is proposed for the site following a three year extraction period, and the site will be landscaped including water features (small lakes) with nature conservation habitats.
The Monkey Island Lane plant has a permanent planning permission for the importation, processing and sale of sand and gravel, as local residents will be well aware from the lorry movements to and from the site along the A308. Summerleaze is currently bringing gravel in from a site in north Maidenhead, but this is expected to stop shortly, and they hope to start extraction at Water Oakley Farm (land behind the old Queens Head Public House) subject to planning permission. Extraction at this site is expected to take around 7 years, with a further 3 years required for the deposition of inert material from local construction projects. It is hoped that extracted material will be transported across the A308 by conveyor (although this is still under discussion); infill will inevitably be by lorry. It is intended that operations would commence at the Bray Quarry Extension site in 2029, following on sequentially from operations at Water Oakley Farm.
19 July 2019