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Appeal launched over bid to convert Cookham Rise greenbelt building into house

Members of Cookham Parish Council are set to reiterate their opposition to plans to change a greenbelt agricultural building into a home.

In December, Geoffrey Copas, of Copas Farms, submitted a notification for prior approval for a proposed change of use, which if granted would allow the conversion of Lower Mount Farm in Whyteladyes Lane into a house.

It was objected to by Cookham Parish Council in January on the grounds it was ‘unsuitable permitted development in a prominent open locality’ and ‘the building is subject to prior planning conditions that preclude change of use’.

The planning condition was applied to ‘restrict the retail function of the development and the intensification of the use which could be to the detriment of the openness of the greenbelt’, according to the Royal Borough’s planning officer’s assessment.

The council’s planning department rejected the application because of the condition and said that ‘an express grant of planning permission is required for the proposed development’.

Mr Copas has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

Cookham Parish Council’s planning committee met on Tuesday, and proposed that representatives draft a letter to the Planning Inspectorate to reinforce their view.

Mr Copas told the Advertiser on Wednesday: “Windsor and Maidenhead council are proposing to build thousands of houses on the greenbelt.

“Surely it must be better to convert an existing building into a house in the greenbelt.”

It would have a ‘less detrimental effect on the countryside’, he added.

The view was not echoed by some members of the community who left comments on the Royal Borough’s website.

Katherine Price, of Southwood Road, wrote: “The greenbelt is important to the people of Cookham and no precedent should be set for house building on this land.”

It was also opposed by the Cookham Society.

Search 16/03903/CLASSM to view the notice on www.rbwm.gov.uk or search 3175665 at acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk to view the appeal.

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