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Borough Local Plan concerns raised at Cookham Parish Council meeting

Will Taylor

Will Taylor

Concerns over the impact of the Borough Local Plan (BLP) on the Cookhams were aired at Tuesday’s parish council meeting.

About 40 residents packed into Cookham Library to speak to councillors about why they believed sites identified in the plan were not suitable for development.

Sewage was one of the main issues raised at the meeting, held at Cookham Library in High Road, Cookham Rise, with many worried the infrastructure was not present to support new housing.

In light of their concerns, parish councillors agreed to work with residents addressing the sewage problem and help provide information on what kind of evidence must be submitted with comments on the local plan as part of the Regulation 19 consultation.

Cllr Mandy Brar, who said the local plan was ‘not worth the paper it is written on’, will also make contact with the RBWM Residents Action Group, which opposes the current BLP.

Cllr Andrew Nye, the chairman, stressed the parish council did not have input into the local plan’s creation beyond providing comment.

He also said councillors had been involved in various campaigns opposing certain developments.

“We can’t win everything,” he said.

“We can have some success in some places.”

Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield), the Royal Borough cabinet member for planning, was present, and stood in the corner at the back of the library with a folder, taking notes.

A handful of residents remained following the discussion, and councillors turned their attention to responding to Berkeley Homes’ appeal to build 28 homes on Poundfield.

They agreed to send a letter to the Planning Inspectorate highlighting their objections.

The document states: “We would urge the inspector to note local concerns and allow for the appeal to be heard in public. Hearings in secret do not allow local people to express their views and contribute to this important decision making process.

“We would also hope that the inspector notes that this area is a much loved green jewel at the heart of the community and we lose such areas at our peril.”

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