Borough Local Plan Proposes Reduction in HA11 to 450 Houses with Full Council to discuss on 19 June 2017
Under electoral law we have been unable to discuss the local plan with our residents in the past weeks. It’s an important matter and we wanted to let you know what’s going on as soon as the General Election was over. The latest version of the plan is released today and we have been delivering leaflets in Clewer North to give you the facts about the Local Plan and the ongoing consultation process.
The Local Plan is a blueprint for the future development in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM). Among other things, it sets out where new housing will be located. Housing site are put forward by the current landowners rather than the council (except where the council owns the land). Our current local plan is out of date and a new plan is needed to ensure that:
- Contributions to local infrastructure projects from developers can be set, collected and invested in our community;
- Speculative development in and around green belt can be stopped; and
- Central government does not use its powers to complete the plan on behalf of RBWM. More importantly the plan allows the council to insist that developers build new “affordable” homes that will hopefully be bought or rented by local residents.
How does the local plan affect me?
Two areas in Dedworth have been designated as potential housing sites white the Fairacres Industrial Area has been earmarked as an employment site. The housing sites are:
- Wyevale; Squires Garden Centres (and land between the garden centres) - 450 homes including a provision for 90 affordable homes.
- Shirley Avenue/Vale Road (Medina Dairy) - 89 New homes.
Where a site is designated for housing it does not mean that houses will be built there. Landowners can continue to use their land as they do now. There is no plan to compulsory purchase. Planning applications will still need approval by the Council before any house can be built. Applications can be made at any time 15 years after the borough local plan is approved.
Overall the plan will see 81% of land in the Royal Borough remain as “green belt” (it was 83% before the local plan) It also identifies £70+ million of new infrastructure investment in Windsor (this includes road widening; park and ride facilities; secondary and primary school places and additional leisure facilities).
Can I comment on the Borough Local Plan
Subject to a Council Vote on 19th June 2017, a further consultation on the plan will take place from 30th June to 25th August 2017. Details on how to comment will be available from the main Council Offices and through www.rbwm.gov.uk . Alternatively you can contact us through this site or the number at the top of our site.
What are the next steps
A vote will be held to approve the next stage of the plan on the 19th June 2017. The Council will consider the plan and the views of our residents before we commit to voting on it one way or another. It is not perfect, but we think that there are three key points to be considered:
- We do not believe that there is an option to stand still.
- Without the Local Plan we will not be able to access vital funds to support our community.
- By controlling new developments we have the opportunity to focus development and create extra housing for local people.
It is important that you know about the Borough Local Plan and how it affects our area. Copies of the plan can be obtained through the Council’s website and at York House, Sheet Street, Windsor.
As your local councillor, I believe that we should live within our means and ensure we can meet future housing needs without compromising our current needs. Having listened to local residents, Cllr Bhatti and Cllr Pryer have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the council listens to residents’ concerns. We are pleased to see a reduction in the number of houses planned to be built in West Windsor but believe that further discussions are still needed.