BLP-DIGEST

Digest of the Society’s representations to the Borough Local Plan Submission Version -
incorporating proposed changes (October 2019).
Each section sets out a brief summary of the views we are expressing to the Borough.
It is not exhaustive. For the full version see BLP-FULL TEXT above.

If you want to make a submission to the BLP you should make it on the Borough’s

standard submission form which is available to download HERE. Note that you will need a separate form for each representation. Completed forms can be returned as follows:
Via email to:      blp@rbwm.gov.uk
Via post to:        FREEPOST RBWM PLANNING POLICY

1. POUNDFIELD / LOCAL GREEN SPACE (Policy IF3.1)
The Society has re-affirmed its support for the identification of the area known as Poundfield as a Local Green Space, where the planning regime will be similar to that for Green Belts.

You are invited to write to the Royal Borough agreeing with this. Question 4.2 on

page 2 of the Representation Form should be circled ‘Yes’ (Sound).

We are not satisfied with the policy wording and consider it can be improved. The

Policies Map in the BLP is at a very small scale and it is not clear the boundaries of Poundfield are shown correctly. You may want to add an additional comment requiring
confirmation that the map notation will include the whole of Poundfield. If so, you
should also circle Question 4.2 as ‘No’ (Unsound)

2. HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN COOKHAM DEAN (Policy QP5.3)
Cookham Dean, and other small villages, are situated entirely within the Green Belt
and national Green Belt policies relating to development such as new houses, apply. These
have prevented ‘infilling’ (development of small plots between existing houses). The
Borough claims that court cases have questioned such a restrictive policy and is intending to
bring in a new regime. We take the view that the present wording in the BLP is vague, will
lead to uncertainty and will result in arbitrary decisions being made by council officers
.

Accordingly, we are suggesting new wording aimed at requiring the Borough to
prepare a special policy document which makes it clearer where development will or will not
be permitted.
If you agree with our view, please answer Question 4.2 by circling it ‘No’ (Unsound).
We suggest you say words to the effect that the present wording would lead to arbitrary
decision-making and there should be a proper policy in place, which is clear to everyone.

3. HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN COOKHAM (Policy HO1)
The Borough is required by central government to find enough land to satisfy its
housing needs until 2033. Previously, it could barely find enough, but in this version of the
BLP it is projecting a surplus of more than 15%. Forecasting this far ahead is not an exact
science. Sites may not get developed, but new ones may also appear.
In order to fulfil the need to find enough land, the Borough is proposing 3 sites in
Cookham should be built on: (1) the Gas Holder site in Whyteladyes Lane (for 50 dwellings);
Land at Lower Mount Farm, adjoining Cannondown Road (200), and some land to the east of
the Strande Park mobile home site (20). The Whyteladyes Lane site was identified for
development more than 15 years ago; there are some notable constraints, but it is well-located
to the village and we do not propose to challenge its allocation.

We oppose the other two sites. The Borough’s figures show it now has more than

enough land and it should not be taking land out of the Green Belt, when it is not needed.

The amount of housing proposed for Lower Mount Farm would expand the village by

10%. We already have a poor road safety situation in The Pound and the additional traffic the
Lower Mount Farm would generate will make things much worse, especially if land at Furze
Platt (Site AL25) were also developed. Queuing and resultant pollution at Cookham bridge
would only worsen. Some of the land east of Strande Park is in the flood plain and should
not be developed. Local people have complained that community infrastructure in the village
is overloaded. In our view the development of these sites is unsustainable and, therefore, the
BLP is unsound.
You are invited to object to these two sites. First, you should object to Policy HO1 as
a whole and with it ask for the withdrawal of Sites AL37 and AL38 from the list of proposed
housing sites. The grounds are that the policy is Unsound (Question 4.2) as the potential
surplus of housing land means there are now no longer any ‘exceptional circumstances’,
which warrant these sites being taken from the Green Belt. You should also comment on the
demands these sites will place on local infrastructure.

4. TALL BUILDINGS IN THE BOROUGH (Policy QP3a)
The Borough has come to the conclusion that one way out of its housing problem is to
build upwards. In order to develop a suitable policy, it hired consultants who devised a tall
buildings strategy for new development based upon applying a percentage increase to the
heights of existing buildings nearby.
In Cookham this has led to the bizarre suggestion that a 4-storey building would be
suitable in the Station Hill area. We are objecting to this.
It seems that in Maidenhead this policy is being promoted without regard to the
environmental and social consequences of constructing tall residential blocks - something the
previous Head of Planning described as being ‘the slums of tomorrow’. In fact, studies show
that quite high densities can be obtained from relatively low-rise housing, if it is designed
properly. If the regeneration of our nearest town is to be promoted, we believe it should aim
for improvement and not take the retrograde approach implicit in the Borough’s present QP3a
policy. Accordingly, we are objecting.
If you agree with us, please object to this policy and put a circle round Unsound in
Question 4.2. You should say that the policy is totally unsuited to Cookham. If you wish, you
could also say that the Borough has not made a proper case for the need for tower blocks of
flats in Maidenhead’s town centre and the policy is unjustified.

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