We recently submitted our response to the recent public consultation about the proposed development of Ascot High Street and the centre of Ascot. To read this click on this link: Ascot High Street Proposals Objection Letter Final
The Ascot Consortium, representing land owners around the centre of Ascot have announced a new consultation on their proposals for substantial new development north and south of Ascot High Street. Two events are being held:
Drop-in Day: Tuesday 22 May between 2pm and 8pm at Ascot Racecourse
Panel discussion and Q&A: Tuesday 29 May starting at 7pm at Ascot Racecourse
The Consortium’s proposals can be seen on their website http://www.ascotcentreconsultation.co.uk
This consultation follows the one that took place in December 2016 at which proposals were unveiled for “up to 350 new homes” – a figure which the Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale Neighbourhood Plan Delivery Group considered to be totally unacceptable and against our Neighbourhood Plan.
These proposals represent an improvement in that the proposal is now for 300 dwellings; they include improvements to the two roundabouts at Station Hill and Winkfield Road and proposals for improving traffic flow through the High Street. The amount of parking has been increased, and a new community hub and new retail spaces are included.
We still however have several serious concerns with these proposals:
The Prince’s Foundation Vision, which formed the evidence support for the rejuvenation of Ascot centre in our Neighbourhood Plan, envisaged approximately 88 homes north of the High Street and 82 to the south. These proposals show 109 homes to the north, in a scheme that includes green space and is reasonably in keeping with the area. But the proposals for the south are for 191 homes which is well over DOUBLE that envisaged and we believe is massively too dense, especially at the Station Hill end of the site. You should also be aware that there is an outline planning application already submitted for the redevelopment of the Shorts Yard for a proposed 131 houses.
The Neighbourhood Plan also called for a mix of housing, especially homes that would be affordable for young families. We are concerned that this scheme includes far too many flats as a percentage of the total.
This Development Brief consultation, in order to comply with Neighbourhood Plan policy should include more information on the proposed scale, height and bulk of the buildings. For example, what we understand is being proposed at the top of Station Hill is a 4-storey, flat-roofed building; while this may not be much higher than the buildings on the other side of the High Street, its bulk we believe will tower over the High Street.
Please come along to either or both events to find out more about these plans – and tell local friends and neighbours about them too.
An outline planning application has been submitted for the redevelopment of the Shorts Yard in Ascot. This is for 131 houses with the access being from St. George’s Lane. While we support the redevelopment of this site – and will be pleased to see all their HGVs removed from our area – we are seriously concerned about several aspects of this application:
The number of dwellings proposed is too many, in relation the access constraints of the site; there is insufficient parking allowed for; and there is a question mark over the viability of the proposed pedestrian and cycle accesses onto the High Street.
To read the NPDG’s letter of objection submitted to the Council, please click on this file: Shorts site 18_00945 NPDG consultation response.
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.
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.
Petition against the building of 350 new homes in the centre of Ascot closed on 10 January 2017. It was signed by 1,287 people online; and a further 86 signed a paper copy on display in Budgens. The petition called on the Royal Borough to NOT remove this land out of the Green Belt and to NOT include this site for housing in the new Borough Local Plan.
As at 17 December, the petition has attracted 924 signatures and the number is still growing. There is also now a map being shared showing the total of proposed new houses for Ascot.
We understand that a local resident has set up a petition against proposals to build 350 houses in the Green Belt on the South side of Ascot High Street and the open space (currently Car Park 6) on the North side of the High Street.
The petition calls on the Royal Borough to NOT release this land from the Green Belt in the new Borough Local Plan and to remove this site from their allocated sites for housing.
The see the petition, click on this link: petitions.rbwm.gov.uk/AscotCentreGB/
It is the NPDG’s view that what is being currently proposed by the Ascot landowners consortium for the building of 350 new houses here is totally unacceptable and NOT in accordance with our Neighbourhood Plan.
To read more about the Ascot Centre proposals, click here.
The proposals presented at the Open Day held by the promoters of Ascot Centre “regeneration” on Thursday 1st December were in the view of the ASandS Neighbourhood Plan Delivery Group totally unacceptable. In summary, they fail to deliver the vision developed by The Prince’s Foundation with the local community back in 2012 and do not respect what is included in our adopted Neighbourhood Plan. To read more about the original vision, click here.
You can read more about these new development proposals on the promoters website: www.ascotcentreconsultation.co.uk. This is also where you can respond to their proposals using their feedback form. Please do so and make sure your views are heard. Closing date is 19 December 2016.
We have prepared a summary, available here which sets out the considered views of the NPDG, reinforced by everything local residents told us when attending the open day.
The consortium of landowners and promoters for development in Ascot Centre are holding an Open Day to update the local community on progress being made on creating a Development Brief. This will set out the broad structure and development principles for the regeneration of Ascot High Street and the centre of Ascot which will guide future planning applications. To read more, click here for a newsletter produced by the consortium.
The Open Day will be held at Ascot Racecourse on Thursday 1 December 2016 between 3pm – 8pm.
At 6:30pm The Princes Foundation, who were involved with the local community in the original consultations over Ascot Centre, will be hosting a talk outlining the background and progress of the proposals.
Everyone is invited to go along to contribute their views.
There is also a website set up by the consortium where you can register to receive update newsletters: www.ascotcentreconsultation.co.uk