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Call to protect Poundfield after planning appeal is withdrawn

Protect valued land that has appeared in famous paintings to help stop it being built on, a campaign group has urged.

Save Poundfield, which formed last year to oppose plans for the construction of homes on the area in Cookham Rise, made its plea on social media on Tuesday.

The group wants the Poundfield space, north of The Pound, to gain extra protection from development by being designated a Local Green Space. It received backing at its launch from the Prime Minister Theresa May.

Developer Berkeley Homes was refused permission to build 28 homes on land between Poundfield Lane and Terry’s Lane by the Royal Borough’s Maidenhead Development Control Panel last year. It appealed in July but had withdrawn the appeal by Friday.

“To safeguard on-going protection of Poundfield, it is essential that as many people as possible support the designation of Poundfield as Local Green Space in the current consultation of the Borough Local Plan,” a post on the group’s Facebook page states.

The Cookham Society submitted a petition to designate Poundfield as Local Green Space to the Royal Borough last year, and more than 1,500 people signed it.

It was included in the Borough Local Plan, which can still be commented on as part the Regulation 19 phase it has entered.

“You may have signed the original petition or commented on earlier versions of the BLP, but for your word to count, you must restate your case,” the post says.

Poundfield appears in paintings by Cookham artist Sir Stanley Spencer.

Cookham Parish Council chairman Cllr Andrew Nye said the withdrawal was ‘excellent news’ and added: “It’s a credit to everyone who has worked tirelessly to stop this unnecessary and unwanted Berkeley Homes development, including the Parish Council, Save Poundfield campaign and Cookham Society.”

The Cookham Society’s Dick Scarff said his group, which aims to protect public amenities in the village, was ‘delighted that Berkeley Homes has withdrawn their appeal against refusal of their application to build on this treasured site in the centre of Cookham’.

He added: “However, our campaign continues, and it is vital that as many people as possible support the designation of Poundfield as Local Green Space in the current consultation on the Borough Local Plan.

“We believe that Local Green Space status in the BLP is the best additional protection that Poundfield could have against further attempts to build on it in the future.”

Berkeley Homes declined to comment.

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