Author Archives: ascsundg

RBWM extend deadline for Reg 19 Local Plan consultation to Wednesday 27 September

The Royal Borough have announced that they are extending the Reg 19 BLP consultation to Wednesday 27 September, following “queries from residents and local resident groups who were concerned that earlier press releases and library communications did not accurately explain the procedure for making representations”.  The press release also stated that they will be “clarifying” that “any person may make representations about any aspect of the BLP”.

This is now a totally different message to that set out in those previous communications and we believe is the direct result of the challenge sent to the Borough by RBWM Residents Action Group, an association of local residents and organisations including AS and S NPDG.  On 21st July a legal opinion from John Hobson QC was sent by “RBWM RAG” to the Borough, which stated that their approach to the Reg 19 consultation was unlawful, that the process was unduly restrictive and misleading, and that the consultation should be abandoned and a fresh consultation process commenced. This is what the Borough has finally decided to do; but it’s regrettable that it took a legal opinion to persuade them to change their minds and consult properly with local residents.

In the next 2 weeks we will publish on our website Briefing Notes to help anyone who wishes to submit representations to this Reg 19 consultation.

Latest on the Borough Local Plan – July

NEWS UPDATE: The Borough have announced extension of closing date to 27 September. Please see latest post dated August 3rd for more information.

The Submission version of the Local Plan is now out for consultation with a closing date for Representations of 5pm Friday 25 August. To read the Plan, please download from the RBWM website here. We are preparing some guidance notes for those who may wish to use them to assist in their submissions; these will be available w/c 24 July and, if you are registered as a supporter, we will notify you by email.

Public Exhibition – Sunningdale Park, Larch Avenue, Sunningdale

Audley and Berkeley are currently working with the Cabinet Office to prepare a planning application for the redevelopment of the former Government training facility and hotel at Sunningdale Park.  They are holding a Public Exhibition to present their plans on Wednesday 28th June 2017 between 4pm and 8pm.

Representatives from both Audley and Berkeley and the project team will be available at the event to answer any questions. Please find enclosed a flyer giving further details.

 

Update on Borough Local Plan decision

At Monday evening’s Extraordinary Council meeting, and in front of around 300 local residents (who weren’t allowed to speak or ask questions), RBWM Councillors considered the motion of whether to proceed with the latest Borough Local Plan. After more than 2 hours, a vote was taken and 33 Councillors voted to proceed with the Plan and 10 voted against. So the motion was carried.
This was despite over 1,600 local residents having signed a petition asking Cllrs to delay proceeding with this Plan so that proper consultation and engagement can take place. It was also despite a proposal from the Dept for Communities and Local Government to pay for professional mediation between Neighbourhood Plan Groups and the Borough to help us resolve our differences. And it was despite many Parish Councils and Neighbourhood Plan Groups having submitted their concerns over this Plan at some length during the previous consultation. But our Cllrs (or most of them) aren’t listening.
Among the Cllrs who voted for the Plan were all the Cllrs representing Ascot and the Sunnings with the sole exception of Julian Sharpe, who voted against.
So what happens next?
This Plan will now be published by RBWM as the “Regulation 19 Publication version” and a consultation period will commence on 30 June for 8 weeks to 25 August 2017. But representations to this consultation can only be about the legal and procedural soundness of the Plan, and not about the content – i.e. there is no real opportunity to influence any changes.
We are now considering our options for further action and will update you once any decisions have been made.

URGENT – Petition calling on our Ward Councillors to vote AGAINST the Borough Local Plan

On Friday, we had first sight of the latest version of our Royal Borough’s Local Plan. Sadly, very few of the changes we asked for during the last consultation have been made. We believe this is a bad Plan that will harm the character of our area. 

Most other Neighbourhood Plan and other Local Residents Groups in the Borough feel the same way about this Plan, as do many Parish Councils. And we all feel that the Borough have totally failed to properly engage and consult with local communities in its preparation – against all principles of Localism, as set out in government planning policy.

An Extraordinary Council Meeting has been called for next Monday 19th June, at which Cllrs will be asked to vote for this Plan to go to its final formal consultation before examination (Note: this consultation is on process and legality only; we can’t get the content changed).

A PETITION has been started calling on all our local Ward Councillors to vote AGAINST this and to re-engage in proper consultation with local communities. Please sign this petition and stop this current Plan going ahead.

A website has also been set up where you can register for updates:
 
We are also encouraging as many people as possible to attend the meeting next Monday to demonstrate to the Councillors – who are our elected representatives – the strength of feeling against this Plan: Monday 19th June @ 7:30pm at the Town Hall, Maidenhead.

If this Plan were adopted, we would see a disproportionate amount of new development take place in our area with totally insufficient assurances that the infrastructure needed to make it viable will be forthcoming – roads, schools, water & sewerage etc. Also, the proposals for Ascot centre fail to reflect the aims and aspirations set out in our Neighbourhood Plan and will totally change the character of Ascot.

Heatherwood redevelopment public consultation Thursday 18 May 3pm to 7pm

Frimley Health Trust are inviting members of the public to an event to view the latest rebuilding plans for the hospital and the redevelopment of the site. This is a drop-in event (no need to book – just turn up) and is taking place on Thursday 18 May 2017 between 3pm and 7pm in the Apollo Ward at Heatherwood Hospital. For more details, please click here to read their Media Release.

Anger as Council rejects Ascot residents petition with 1,287 signatories

NPDG are deeply concerned about the impact on the Ascot area after the petition was refused by the council. Local residents should continue their opposition to the development as it is proposed and petition their local councillors.

The e-petition which 1,287 local residents signed was put to the Royal Borough councillors at the Guildhall council chambers on March 30th. Vicky Grimes, who presented the petition, said: “This indiscriminate approach to new housing shows a lack of due consideration for the daily realities of living and doing business in Ascot. We’re not blind to the fact our nation needs houses. We now face greenbelt forever being sacrificed with an indiscriminate reliance on housing at unheard of levels. The plan serves to amplify concerns about worker access, parking, employment, amenities and a lack of infrastructure. We ask for transparent, strategic joined up planning for the Ascot area.”

The petition mentioned concerns about gridlock in the High Street if 350 new houses are built and demands that the authority leave the land in the green belt and not include it for housing in the local plan.

This number of houses is more than double recommended by the Princes Foundation which was set up to directly liaise with all parties involved in the project. With no infrastructure improvement to support the number of properties now being suggested, there is serious concern that Ascot will become totally gridlocked. There is scant regard being paid to the other development being suggested for the immediate area such as Heatherwood.

The Society for the Protection of Ascot and the Environs ( SPAE ) also commented on the development; “SPAE is opposed to this scale of development, which we believe is unsustainable and the loss of green belt and the protection it provides in preserving the setting and special character of Ascot.”

The councillors had half an hour to debate the petition during which the Councillor for Ascot and Cheapside, David Hilton (Con) and Councillor for Sunningdale Christine Bateson (Con) both rejected the petition.

The NPDG and SPAE and other parties will continue to oppose the development and will continue to question the landowners and developers who are: house-builders Bloor Homes, Ascot Authority, The Crown Estate, Ascot Car Parks Ltd.

Everyone who is concerned about the impact of the development should maintain the pressure on their local councillors.

Residents’ petition date: Thursday 30th March 2017

The residents’ petition to stop the building of 350 new homes on the (mainly) Green Belt in the centre of Ascot will be debated by a full Council meeting at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead on Thursday 30th March at 7:30pm at the Council Chamber in the Guildhall in Windsor. If you can, please go along to demonstrate your support for this petition.

The petition reads as follows:

“We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to say “no” to 350 new houses on (mainly) green belt in the centre of Ascot. Landowners in Ascot want to build 350 new houses on either side of Ascot High Street – land that is either Green Belt or open space. This will also mean losing many of the mature trees which frame the Ascot views. How will the already gridlocked High Street and surrounding roads cope with the increase in traffic?

Where will workers and shoppers be able to park, when all the car parks are built over? What will happen on Race Days? We see no answers to any of these questions. We believe this development will have a massive and unacceptable impact on our local communities – both in Ascot and the surrounding area. We call on the Royal Borough to NOT remove this land out of the Green Belt and to NOT include this site for housing in the Borough Local Plan”.

The ASandS NPDG is fully supportive of this petition.

Parking survey results now in

The NPDG recently asked you the local residents, to respond to a local parking survey with the aim of using the results to influence the Royal Borough with respect to parking standards for new housing developments. The response to the survey was excellent with over 500 local residents giving their views. The results can be viewed here.

These results will now be submitted to the Royal Borough with particular emphasis on some of the key points, namely:

  • Recognition of how people use their garages and how many do or do not park their cars in a garage
  •  The number of visitor vehicles which adds to the overall traffic congestion
  • The increased number of delivery vehicles in the area, probably due to the changing nature of shopping
  • Residents’ views on how far people are prepared to walk to a station or shops
  • Residents’ views on how many parking spaces should be included in new residential developments, based on the number of bedrooms

The NPDG thanks all the residents who participated in the survey.