21/02467/FULL | Erection of 30 dwellings including the re-location of existing access along Maidenhead Road with associated parking, internal circulation, informal public open space, landscaping and related infrastructure. | Squires Garden Centre Maidenhead Road Windsor SL4 5UB
Oakley Green & Fifield Residents Association (OGFRA) has been in existence for over 50 years supporting the principle of protecting our local environment. OGFRA is a member of the National Organisation of Residents Associations.
The subject application replaces application 19/01755/FULL for 37 dwellings that was refused in January 2020. The decision was appealed by the Applicant, but this appeal was dismissed in May 2021. The Inspector concluded that the very special circumstances necessary to justify the development on a site in the Green Belt did not exist.
The process of consulting on the Main Modifications to the Borough Local Plan is now underway, but this application remains premature and unless or until the site (AL22) is removed from the Green Belt the situation with the subject application is unchanged and the very special circumstances necessary to justify development in the Green Belt do not exist.
We acknowledge that the applicant has sought to address local residents’ concerns over the scale of development, but as the applicant admits in the Planning Statement ‘the proposal will deliver a greater mass and volume than the existing buildings being demolished’ and we consider that the density remains too high for the area and the apartment block located on the roundabout remains overly dominant in the setting. We also remained concerned over inadequate parking and vehicular access.
OGFRA’s wider objections to this development were set out in detail in our letter of objection dated 26 July 2019. It is not intended to repeat those objections here, but the majority of those concerns still apply and a copy of our letter is attached for reference.
We also wish to note three further issues:
- Heritage assets. In para 7.18 of the Planning Statement it states that ‘The site is not located within a Conservation Area, nor is it constrained by any identified above ground designated heritage asset’. However the ‘Willows Estate’, north of the A308, and extending along both sides of the ‘Old Maidenhead Road’ has recently been recognised by both The Windsor & Eton Society and the Borough’s Principal Conservation Officer as a non-designated heritage asset. This includes the wall along the Old Maidenhead Road which should be preserved to the fullest extent possible.
- A308 capacity. OGFRA has consistently argued that no further development along the A308 should be allowed until the long overdue A308 corridor study has been completed. In responding to the Borough Local Plan Main Modifications Consultation we have argued that Main Modifications are required to address A308 capacity issues and that any planned development of allocated sites along the A308 should be paused until the A308 study has been completed and its recommendations (and associated funding requirements) have been implemented/identified.
- Climate change/flooding. There is increasing global concern with climate change causing more extreme weather and an increased risk of flooding – and this site suffers from surface water flooding. The Borough is proposing that ‘Adaptation measures need to be built into all new developments to ensure the sustainable development of housing, businesses and the economy of the Royal Borough.’ We consider that the extent of development permitted on sites such as AL22 should be reconsidered in light of the increased flooding risk.
In summary OGFRA’s position remains that it objects to the revised application for 30 dwellings and recommends that RBWM refuse the application.
23 September 2021