02:30PM, Wednesday 22 March 2017
About a dozen residents joined Cookham Parish Councillors for the 121st Annual Parish Meeting last night (Tuesday).
They were given a talk on neighbourhood plans by Kobie Cadle, a representative from Locality, a network of community-led organisations.
Cllr Andrew Nye, the parish council chairman, hoped the meeting at the Cookham Library in High Road, Cookham Rise, might springboard residents into giving comments on whether the parish - which only has a Village Design Statement - should adopt a neighbourhood plan to guide local development alongside borough local plans.
"It is really important that neighbourhood plans can't be anti-growth and can't be anti-development," he said.
If such a plan was to be devised, it would provide greater influence in guiding developments in the Cookhams than a village design statement.
"It is a statutory document, it is legally binding," Ms Cadle said.
"People that are local residents - they are passionate about where they live. They are passionate about their high street.
"That really goes a long way to creating a neighbourhood plan."
Cllr Nye said: "We can't object to everything.
"That is unrealistic."
Cllr Nye also gave a report on the council's year, which also saw him become chairman.
In particular, he singled out the renovations at the Cookham Dean War Memorial as a particular highlight.
"It is now a fitting monument to those Cookham residents who gave their lives," he said in the report.
"The Save Poundfield campaign group has done sterling work, along with the Cookham Society, to fight development of the Poundfield area.
"All councillors have supported a motion to back local residents and fight this development."
He also looked ahead in the year, and talked to residents about the parish council's plans to review the Alfred Major Recreation Ground in High Road, Cookham Rise, watching for parking issues, and engaging with residents about issues and ideas for projects.
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