Category Archives: Planning

The RBWM Borough Local Plan Examination

The Borough’s proposed new Local Plan is now undergoing examination. The Inspector appointed has set dates for a Stage 1 Hearing (26-28 June) and has published a list of Matters, Issues and Questions she wishes to cover during this. To find out more, please visit the RBWM Examination website:

https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/info/201026/borough_local_plan/1350/examination

The Ascot, Sunninghill & Sunningdale Neighbourhood Plan Delivery Group, along with several other Parish Councils, Neighbourhood Plan groups and Residents and other community organisations, will be attending the Hearing and have asked to participate in it.

IMPORTANT – Proposals for Ascot centre redevelopment out for consultation – 22 May and 29 May

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.

Planning application for redevelopment of Shorts Yard

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.

Borough Local Plan submitted for examination

The Royal Borough submitted the Borough Local Plan to the Secretary of State (which means the Planning Inspectorate) for examination. All documents are available to view on the Council’s website at: https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/blp

The Plan submitted is the same Plan that was consulted on at Regulation 19, to which we strongly objected, sending in one submission as part of RBWM Residents Action Group (RRAG) and a supplementary one on more specific issues relating to our area. If you wish to read our submissions, go to the Library section of our website http://www.ascotandthesunningsnp.com/borough-local-plan/

The ASandS NPDG continues to be strongly opposed to the Plan as we do not believe it provides the necessary vision for our area, it will not deliver sufficient affordable housing, and lacks a credible plan for the infrastructure needed – roads, schools, drainage etc – to make the proposed development sustainable. This Plan is ill-conceived and was produced without engaging with local communities. It will also have a significant detrimental effect on our Neighbourhood Plan which so many worked so hard to produce and which tries to secure appropriate development for our area that will not erode its character.

We, together with RRAG will be fighting this Plan and doing everything we can to make a case to the examining Inspector that it should be found unsound.

Briefing Notes on Reg 19 Borough Local Plan – consultation closes Wednesday 27 September 2017

We have prepared some Briefing Notes for local residents on this current Reg 19 Borough Local Plan.  If you agree with some or all of our points, you are welcome to use them to aid your response to this consultation. The Royal Borough have, under pressure from us and other residents’ groups, extended the consultation deadline until 5pm Wednesday 27 September 2017 AND confirmed that anyone can make representations on ANY aspect of the Plan.

Previous representations you may have made to earlier versions will NOT be seen by the inspector who will examine this Plan so, if you wish to make your views known, you must submit responses to this Reg 19 consultation.  These Briefing Notes are available to download HERE.

 

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.