King Canute pops up in cabinet greenbelt debate

King Canute pops up in cabinet greenbelt debate

Reporter:

Francis Batt

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King Canute pops up in cabinet greenbelt debate
Maidenhead Golf Club

A famous king who tried to stop the tide coming in made an unexpected contribution to a Royal Borough cabinet meeting last night.

King Canute was cited by Cllr  Simon Dudley (Con, Maidenhead Riverside) as members discussed the authority's controversial plan to consider 23 greenbelt locations as potential development sites. It has been forced to do this in the face of Government demands that it find space for 12,627 new homes before 2030.

The plan has caused quite a stir, but Cllr Dudley said there was no choice but to consider the sites on the list. He said: "We can't be like King Canute. The status quo is not an option."

Council leader David Burbage (Con, Bray) acknowledged that it would hurt but said: "Doing this now means we get to choose where it will hurt.

"We would not willingly choose to build on greenbelt but there is no choice."

During the meeting members rejected a request from solicitor Phil Hind, on behalf of Maidenhead Golf Club,

asking for its ground to be removed from the list of possible building areas.

Mr Hind pointed out that the club had a protected tenancy on the site lasting until 2039, which made its inclusion irrelevant.

But Cllr Michael John Saunders (Con, Bisham and Cookham), who is cabinet member for planning and property,

said that none of the sites listed for possible development were known to be available and it would be 'inappropriate' to take one off the list at this stage.

The borough has indicated that the public will be consulted about each site early in the new year, after which a final draft plan will be prepared that will also be consulted on in the summer.

The meeting took place at Windsor Guildhall. See next week's Advertiser and Express for a full report.

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