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Parish council blasts Ponyfield planning appeal

James Harrison

James Harrison

Plans by Oakford Homes, in Hedsor, to build four houses on the Ponyfield site, in Poundfield, Cookham, were thrown out by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in December.

However, Oakford has applied to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to overturn the decision.

And, despite a request by borough, the hearing on the scheme will not be held as a public inquiry.

In a statement, Cllr Andrew Nye, chairman of Cookham Parish Council, which helped lead opposition to the application, accused the developer of attempting to bypass ‘local decision-making process’ by submitting an appeal even before the plans had been rejected.

“The Ponyfield is part of the much-loved Poundfield area in Cookham and forms part of a vital green space in the village,” he said. “Oakford have totally ignored the views of residents and sought to hear their appeal in private. The original application was riddled with holes and local concerns have not been addressed.”

The campaign to protect the wider Poundfield site has seen significant support in a petition, signed by more than 1,500 people to have it designated a ‘local green space’ in the Borough Local Plan.

Cllr MJ Saunders, chairman of the parish council’s planning committee and also the Royal Borough’s cabinet member for finance, said: “The decision of Oakford to ignore the concerns of residents, and bypass and ignore local planning processes is deeply disappointing.”

Oakford has been contacted for comment.

Visit www.rbwm.gov.uk/pam to find out more about the application and www.planninginspectorate.gov.uk to find out more about the appeal.

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