10:27AM, Wednesday 04 May 2016
A campaign to save Poundfield in Cookham received a visit from Theresa May MP during a demonstration on Saturday.
The Home Secretary spoke to organisers and some of the dozens of residents who turned out to show their support.
Protesters hope the area – fields bound by Terry’s Lane, Poundfield Lane, Station Road and the Pound – will be designated a Local Green Space, amidst property developer Berkeley Homes’ interest in building new houses on the site.
Mrs May said: “I think the campaign is really important. It is a shame that once again we have to band together.
“This is a long-standing campaign for Cookham.”
A number of attempts have previously been made to build on the land, which was designated as a greenbelt site until the High Court overturned it due to what campaign organiser Ed Millard called a ‘legal technicality.’
He said the Royal Borough supports the site’s upgrade in status to a Local Green Space, which despite not offering Poundfield as much protection as greenbelt status, would make it harder for development proposals to go through.
Areas designated as such are given special protection against development for green areas of particular importance to local communities.
Mr Millard, said: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
“Around 1,600 people signed a petition to have Poundfield become a Local Green Space. That’s about a third of the village.”
The area is considered by campaigners to be ‘much-loved’ by Cookham residents, and it is the subject of some of Stanley Spencer’s artwork.
Protesters claim it is an area of Roman and Saxon historic significance, with several listed buildings.
It also provides quick and easy access to wildlife for interested parties in Cookham.
Mr Millard added: “There were brownies here recently on a bug hunt.”
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