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.