12:41PM, Thursday 30 March 2017
A group of residents united to oppose some of the developments proposed in Maidenhead yesterday evening at SportsAble in Braywick Road.
About 180 people are thought to have attended the Braywick Action Group event, which included a question and answer session with the Royal Borough lead member for planning, Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield).
Residents pressed him on issues in the Borough Local Plan such as the proposed Maidenhead Golf Club developments and the planned leisure centre in Braywick – which forms part of the Maidenhead regeneration effort.
The meeting was convened by Nigel Drayton, of Walker Road, who had written to people nearby inviting them to come.
The group had, up to this meeting, only consisted of Mr Drayton and one other person.
He wanted residents to come together to ‘influence, cancel and improve, do whatever we can to make this Borough Plan more amenable to us, the residents.’
“I do not think sufficient development is going on in other parts of the Royal Borough,” he said.
“I do think Windsor is getting away with it very lightly.”
Speaking of councillors, Mr Drayton added: “They work for us. We are not puppets who should be told by the council what to do.
“And when we look at some of the salaries of the staff at the town hall – well, they are not getting far short of what our Prime Minister gets.
“She deserves it, they do not.”
Cllr Wilson then took part in a question and answer session, and heard from about 20 people in the audience.
He explained how the local plan had been put together, and spoke about the upcoming ‘regulation 19’ consultation, which will allow residents to make further comments about issues in the plan.
When one resident asked why so many houses needed to be built into a town when another village could be built, Cllr Wilson replied: “We are not talking about a separate settlement at this stage as the land is not available.”
He reiterated that the council was determined to hit its housing need.
“We had a meeting with the planning inspectorate on the third of November.
"They made it perfectly clear that we have to meet that need,” he said.
He was later politely applauded after Mr Drayton thanked him for attending.
Some members of the audience then volunteered to form a committee for the Braywick Action Group, which will arrange to meet at a later date.
Responses to the local plan are being reviewed by the council, which is expected to finish that part of the process by Monday, April 10.
An amended version, which will include infrastructure plans, will then go up for consultation from Wednesday, April 26.
If adopted, the plan should be in place by the end of the year.
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