HA11 remains designated for development. Last opportunity to influence the Plan. Pledge your support.
RBWM formally submitted the Borough Local Plan on 31 January 2018 to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for independent examination. The Plan is unchanged from the submission version of the Plan consulted on last June/September. Despite strong objections expressed by OGFRA and many local residents and community organisations during the consultation process over the last 15 months, the green fields to the west of Windsor on both sides of the A308 and the two garden centres (site HA11) remain designated for development, with consequential impact on our local environment and erosion of the crucial ‘green gap’ separating Windsor and Maidenhead. Squires Garden centre has already announced it is to close in anticipation of the Plan being approved. Indeed, all the sites in Bray identified for development remain. Of particular concern to residents of Oakley Green and Fifield because of their proximity (and in addition to HA11) are sites HA18 (land between Windsor Road and Bray Lake) and HA23 (land west of Monkey Island Lane). The development of these, and other nearby sites, will put unacceptable pressure on the A308, which already suffers from serious traffic and pollution issues.
An Inspector, Louise Phillips, has already been appointed. Her role is to assess whether the Plan has been prepared in accordance with the Duty to Cooperate, is legally compliant and meets the required tests of soundness. It is currently anticipated that Examination could commence in June, but a Pre-Hearing Meeting could be held in the next 2/3 weeks.
Examination is the last opportunity to try and influence a Plan that will govern the shape of our Borough through to 2033.
What can you do?
RBWM Residents Action Group (‘RRAG’) was formed in June 2017 by Neighbourhood Plan groups, Parish Councils, resident groups and individual residents (including OGFRA and Bray Parish Council) after months of frustration with the lack of consultation and engagement by RBWM with the local community. RRAG is run by residents, for the residents, and intends to challenge the Plan. This will mean a lot of work, and will also incur significant costs for expert legal and other professional help.
You can help us in a variety of ways to challenge the Plan by pledging your support, your expertise, your skills and your ideas. You can make a pledge today via the RRAG website at www.rbwmresidentsactiongroup.co.uk . You can also contact OGFRA direct at email@example.com if you can help deliver leaflets.
The Plan and supporting documentation can be found at https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/blp under ‘Submission’. This includes the Regulation 22 ‘Statement of Consultation’ that details the representations made during the Regulation 19 consultation that ended last September 2017; RBWM has also posted a significant volume of new or amended material that was not available at the time of the Regulation 19 consultation. Hard copies of the main documents will also be available in local libraries. You can also search for individual Regulation 19 representations at http://consult.rbwm.gov.uk/portal/blp/blpr19/blpr19 – go to the ‘All Comments’ tab.
We will provide further updates on our website, as will RRAG at www.rbwmresidentsactiongroup.co.uk. We also expect to hold a public meeting(s) after any Pre-Hearing Meetings (if held).
As required by the Planning Inspectorate, a Programme Officer has been appointed to manage the administrative and procedural matters of the examination process. The Officer acts as a liaison between the Council, the Inspector and participants in the Examination, serving as the first point of contact for anyone who has made representations during the Plan consultation stages and is therefore entitled to participate in the Examination. If you made representations on the Local Plan Publication version, the Programme Officer will contact you on behalf of the Inspector with further information.
Please let us have your feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org. Any comments welcome. We hope that you are still with us in our fight to preserve our precious green fields. We believe that RBWM should:
- have undertaken a proper Green Belt review – NO such review was undertaken
- build on brownfield first, NOT Green Belt – a comprehensive review of brownfield sites was not undertaken
- assess the potential for garden villages – surprisingly NOT considered by RBWM
- locate new housing where the infrastructure is capable of supporting it – NOT simply adopt sites put forward by developers
- have a vision that protects the character of the Borough – sadly LACKING in the current Plan
26 February 2018