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Bray community news (August 15): Swan Support plans to move to Bray for the second time

Each week, the Advertiser packages all the news from the Bray page of our print edition into a handy web format.

A new place to nest for swan sanctuary?

The founder of Swan Support has said she ‘can’t see there being any objections’ to moving the charity to a site in Bray.

Wendy Hermon, operations director of Swan Support, founded the charity in July 2015, since which time it has been based at a temporary site in Horton Road, Datchet.

Its aim is ‘to rescue, treat, release’ and last year the team rehabilitated more than a thousand birds.

The proposed site for a swan rehabilitation and care centre is on Summerleaze Limited land, north of Bray Watersports in Monkey Island Lane.

It is partially bordered by a lake and would be accessed by a bridge over The Cut.

Wendy said: “With the new site we can expand, have a bigger premises and an education centre – it gives us the future we’ve been waiting for.”

Wendy hopes that through the education centre people will be taught about the importance of keeping waterways free of debris for the wellbeing of the swans and other wildlife.

She said: “The lake is a disused gravel pit that’s doing nothing at the moment and to put it to good use would be a benefit for wildlife and the community.”

“I can’t see there being any objections to be honest.”

The latest plan is the second attempt the charity has made to move to land in Bray.

In April 2018 an application was submitted to move the treatment centre to another site owned by Summerleaze Ltd, near The Cut and Upper Bray Road.

It was withdrawn in October when Summerleaze informed Swan Support the land was no longer available.

Prior to the withdrawal the application received broad support from councillors at a panel meeting.

At a parish council meeting on Monday, Cllr Brian Millin said: “The panel would have passed it, but it didn’t have an ecological report or flood risk report and it was delegated to the head of planning subject to those reports coming through.”

Wendy said: “This time we’ve done every-thing we needed to do to push it forward.”

“I’m quite confident, it seems to be going in the right direction, we’ve got so much support and it seems really positive.”

Cllr Sandra Kieley said at the meeting on Monday: “The only consultee who has said anything so far is Highways and they’re not very happy because it doesn’t say anything about the parking for the education centre – there’s only four parking spaces, there’s three employees and a vet, who will take those spaces up.”

Mike Lowe, director at Summerleaze Ltd, said: “We believe that Bray Lake North is a better fit for the charity’s needs as they require open water and a quiet location which is easily accessible.

“The new site is close to other local organisations such as Bray Watersports which means that the infrastructure required already exists and removes the need to build a new access road, thereby reducing their build costs.”

On Monday Bray Parish Council recommended the plans for approval, subject to positive reports from Ecology, the Environment Agency and Highways.

BCP also requested that the security lighting is reviewed to ensure no inappropriate light pollution.


Theresa May opposes plans for Lodge Farm

Theresa May has written a letter of objection to the planning inspectorate in reference to the controversial Lodge Farm application.

Beaulieu Homes Southern Limited has proposed to build a development in Ascot Road that includes 150 homes, a doctors’ surgery, community park, two football pitches and allotments.

At a Maidenhead area development management panel meeting last Tuesday councillors unanimously voted to support the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse the application – which will be heard at a public inquiry from October 22-25.

At the meeting Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray) spoke in opposition to the plans and started with the Maidenhead MP’s letter.

In it she says that her ‘primary concern’ is that the land is in the greenbelt and allowing the development would go against ‘the fundamental aim of greenbelt policy to prevent urban sprawl.

In her letter Mrs May explains that the land of the development ‘was previously put forward by the land owner for allocation in the Borough Local Plan but was not selected’.

It reads: “It (the land) was deemed too important to the function of the greenbelt and retaining the settlement boundaries of Holyport village from further erosion.”

Mrs May also said that the site adjoins the Holyport conservation area and said ‘the village preserves an important and distinctive layout and streetscape’ with a ‘rural ambience’.

She also said the impact of 150 homes on local infrastructure will have a detrimental impact on existing residents.

To close, she said: “The local community do not want to see the site developed. I hope their strong views along with my own concerns are fully considered.”


Live music and BBQ nights on pub's line-up

The Clem Johnson Swing Tribute band will be playing at the Fifield Inn tomorrow.

It is the first of two live music events the Fifield Road pub is holding to celebrate summer as part of the ‘August Takeover’.

On Friday, August 30 the Marley Motown Experience will be performing.

This month there is also two for one on Aperol Spritz every day from 4-8pm and weather dependent, a barbecue on Fridays from 6-10pm. The pub has also recently had a pizza oven installed.

Hannah Dickson owns the pub with her husband, Harry. She said: “We just wanted to make it a relaxed family-friendly event.”


Diary

Friday: Pilates keep-fit classes, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 1.35-2.45pm. Contact Tina Berry on 07557 127141.

Sunday: Afternoon tea in the church hall, 3-5pm. Find out more at www.braystmichael.co.uk

Tuesday: Gentle Yoga, Holyport Scout HQ, from 9am. Contact Tara Sutthoff Crist at YogaTime@live.co.uk

Darby & Joan Club (Alternative Tuesdays), social club for people of retirement age from Bray Parish, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 2-4pm. Contact: 07453 678790

Circuit training, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 7-8pm. Call Jennie Saunders on 07766 461242.

Wednesday: Pilates, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 7.30-8.30pm. Call Matt Bryant on 07834 595322.

Smile, chair-based to standing exercise, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 2-4pm. Call Sarah Hill on 07876 586445.

Thursday: Mother and Baby Group, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 10-11.30am. Call Elizabeth Royds 07747 669769.

Boxing, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 4.30-6.30pm. Call Alexander Campbell-Borland on 07490 182185.

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