19/01755/FULL | Erection of 37 dwellings including the re-location of existing access along Maidenhead Road with associated parking, internal circulation, public open space, landscaping and related infrastructure | Squires Garden Centre Maidenhead Road Windsor SL4 5UB
The planning application can be viewed here:
OGFRA is objecting to application 19/01755/FULL for 37 dwellings (the ‘revised application’). The revised application replaces application 18/03754/FULL for 39 dwellings submitted in December 2018, and subsequently withdrawn by the Applicant. The objection is in principle to the scheme, and follows objections and on-going involvement with the RBWM Local Plan which seeks to allocate land for  houses on Green Belt land west of Windsor, north and south of the A308 (site HA11).
This scheme may only be a small part of that large housing development, but if successful it sets the tone for the rest of the site. It will set a dangerous precedent and sends the wrong signals about development in this area. It is OGFRA’s view that no application should be considered until the local community has had the proper chance to persuade the Council and the Independent Examiner overseeing the Local Plan Examination that no housing should be built here.
The revised application is therefore premature, and relies on an emerging policy which has no material weight in assessing an application here at present.
The OGFRA objection to the revised application covers the following policy and other considerations. For the sake of completeness we repeat all issues raised in respect of the previous application:
- Conflict with NPPF Green Belt Policies:these are national government policies which determine what can and cannot be built in the Green Belt. The proposal is contrary to national policy.
- Prematurity and pre-emptive of BLP Examination: The Local Plan allocates HA11 for housing and other uses. It is too early to rely on this policy. OGFRA and others remain steadfastly opposed to any development here, and has objected. These objections have not yet been resolved, and the case is being made that the allocation should be removed.
- Design: Notwithstanding the above objectionsand the reduction from 39 to 37 dwellings and minor changes to layout/building design, the scheme remains poorly designed. It is too dense with a harmful visual impact, and there is inadequate parking, open space, and no consideration of surrounding character. In relation to parking there is still only one visitor parking place and only very limited visitor/overflow on-street parking (also serving Willows Riverside Park) for more than 100 metres from the site, due to parking restrictions. Even if improvements are made, this would not overcome OGFRA’s fundamental objections to the development on Green Belt land.
- Flooding: OGFRA is aware that the land is liable to flood; thesite is above a spring which has caused tarmac to crack and localised flooding,and the local sewers regularly overflow. The site is not suitable for the development proposed.
- Air Quality, Transport and A308: there is no meaningful assessment of traffic, in particular relating to existing congestion on A308 in weekday peak hours. Air quality along A308 is already above European air quality pollution limits. A fundamental prerequisite to any development along the A308 corridor must be satisfactory completion of planned A308 study being commissioned by RBWM with neighbouring authorities.
- Site access. There is nowa single access point on the old Maidenhead Road, but this remains almost opposite the Willows Riverside Park entrance and increases safety concerns over vehicles exiting/accessing the two sites.
- Loss of community / commercial use: As a valuable community asset, and employment use, RBWM should be seeking evidence on the viability of the use continuing.It has been suggested that the garden centre was on too small a site to sustain its long-term success. That does not mean that other, similar uses, with different business models could not successfully operate here.
- Previously developed land. Although the current existence of various buildings and commercial activity on the site could support an argument that part of the site is Previously Developed Land (PDL) within the Green Belt, this argument is slim and fails to be persuasive, given that the use of the land as a garden centre is consistent with Green Belt policies. The scale of the proposed development is entirely inconsistent with the garden centre use or with a location in the Green Belt.
The closing date for submitting comments is Friday 2 August 2019.
It is really important that local residents make their views known. You can base your objection on OGFRA’s or write your own.
You can send your comments by email, online or by post as follows:
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On line: please go to https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/info/200121/planning/1332/find a planningapplication
By post: Customer Service Centre, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1RF.
BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE REFERENCE NUMBER 19/01755/FULL
You may also wish to let your Parish and Borough councillors know your views.
25 July 2019