Planning panel approves homeless shelter application

Reporter:

Emma Billingham

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Plans for an emergency shelter for the homeless have been approved by the Royal Borough's development control panel.

The application, submitted by the Brett Foundation, will see one of the units in Howarth Road changed to become a shelter, with additional food bank storage and a furniture repair workshop which can be used for training.

The permission is for a five year period.

Councillors praised the idea as they gave approval for the plans at last night's meeting.

Cllr Richard Kellaway (Con, Bisham and Cookham) said: "This use is absolutely splendid."

A number of members of the public attended the meeting, at Maidenhead Town Hall, with many awaiting the decision on plans to convert Woodlands Farm, in Spring Lane, Cookham Dean, into three detached homes.

This item was approved by DCP members in March, but had to be deferred for Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy agreements to be settled.

Councillors agreed to approve a £190,000 contribution, adding the change of use from stables and offices has already been passed.

Councillors Gerry Clark (Con, Bisham and Cookham) and Derek Sharp (Con, Furze Platt) abstained from the vote.

Also on the agenda was an application to build 45 new one and two-bedroom flats in Boyn Valley Road following the demolition of a light industrial site.

Cllr Maureen Hunt (Con, Hurley and Walthams) asked for more trees to be planted on the road side of the development to keen the area green or 'it is going to be an elephant on the road'.

Lead member for planning Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) also asked if some of the homes could come under the Royal Borough's key worker housing provision, but the planning officer stated the provision is not the same as shared ownership which has already been earmarked for the development.

He added: "There are only two letters of objection with this property. If there really was a problem people would have written in. With many items put before us it is local residents who put forward convincing arguments about why it shouldn't happen."

The councillors approved the decision.

An application to create 12 new apartments and a single retail unit at 71 to 73 High Street was praised.

Cllr Wilson said: "This is a fantastic development bringing life back in to this building that has been in despair for a number of years."

The application for nine one-bedroom and three two-bedroom homes was agreed unanimously.

Also approved was the conversion of 159 Grenfell Road into five one-bedroom flats; alterations to 20A Castle Hill to provide two one-bedroom flats and two studios; and a part single, part two-storey front extension to The Farm, Bigfrith in Church Road, Cookham Dean.

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