Category Archives: Planning

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.

URGENT: Make your views heard on the Borough Local Plan – closing date 5pm Friday 13 January

We are outraged at the Borough Local Plan’s proposals for 30% increase in housing in Ascot and the Sunnings. And at the inclusion of policies which will negate much of what is in our Neighbourhood Plan.

We have prepared a draft or “template” to help local residents respond to RBWM’s consultation on the Borough Local Plan, available either as a Microsoft Word file or as a PDF.

Make sure you send in your Representations by the closing date which is 5pm on Friday 13 January 2017.

 

Borough Local Plan Consultation – more details

We are facing up to 30% more homes in our area – where are the roads, schools and GP surgeries to support them? This is NOT what our Neighbourhood Plan envisaged.

The RBWM draft Borough Local Plan (BLP) is out for public consultation (closing date for submissions 13 January 2017).

The NPDG has prepared a summary on the BLP and the issues that most impact on our area. To read this, click here. This gives more detail on projected housing numbers (up to 2,191 new homes) and aspects of the BLP policies which concern us.

The most important points are:

  1. We believe that the BLP policy for Ascot Town Centre does not reflect what is in our NP and is not what the local community wants. We OBJECT to the removal of the area South of Ascot High Street from the Green Belt.

2.  The number of housing units proposed for the 9 allocated sites in our area is 991, which is very much higher than was envisaged in our Neighbourhood Plan. We are also concerned that developers may apply pressure to increase these numbers. In the NPDG’s view, the proposed housing numbers for these sites are very high and we would object very strongly indeed to any arguments for increasing them.

3.  The BLP proposes to remove Sunningdale Park, Heatherwood and Shorts sites from the Green Belt. Although our Neighbourhood Plan allows for development on these sites, our policies are based on their remaining in Green Belt, thereby providing some constraints on the amount and type of development that could take place on them. We want Sunningdale Park, Heatherwood and Shorts sites to remain classified as “Previously Developed Land” in Green Belt and NOT be removed from Green Belt.

4.  Although not clearly set out in the BLP, we estimate that we will have an additional c. 1,200 homes from “windfall sites” in our area – making the total number of houses over the next 20 years approx. 2,191. This represents a massive increase of c. 30% on the present number.

5.  We want the Borough to promise to provide the infrastructure that is needed to cope with this development. A promise that, as a minimum, ALL Community Infrastructure Levy (“CIL”) developer contributions, including those from Windfall sites, generated from sites in Ascot and the Sunnings – are spent on infrastructure in our area. This seems only fair.

6.  BLP policies, especially the Design policies and the site Proformas should reflect and    reinforce NP policies that seek to protect the character of our area.

Please respond to this Borough Local Plan consultation.

Tell the Borough what infrastructure you want – for example:

  • List roads that need widening
  • Roundabouts that need improving
  • Where more car parks are needed
  • We need more school places, especially Primary
  • More GP surgeries
  • More open spaces
  • Better community facilities
  • Safe cycle ways and more public footpaths
  • Improved drainage and sewage systems
  • Address problems with surface water flooding
  • Faster Broadband
  • More reliable water and electricity supply

Add to your response your views on Ascot Town Centre, the other allocated housing sites and other BLP policies – See the summary prepared by the NPDG.