Cox Green campaigners hold rush-hour protest against school's plans

Campaigners, councilors and their dogs spent early Monday morning protesting against Claires Court Schools’ expansion proposals in Cannon Lane.

More than 50 people attended the peaceful protest organised by Cox Green Says No.

The action group, which was set up in July, is against the proposals for the development of the school and 157 homes in Cannon Lane.

Phil Haseler, who set up the group, said: “We were really pleased with how it went on Monday.

“We were on the grass verges at Cannon Lane so we caught the rush hour traffic, we had cars beep and show us their support. We had about 50 people come down and some took time off work or rearranged it.

“The group now has 1,290 members and a petition has 1,968 signatures.

“All we can do now is wait for the planning application to be submitted.”

In June the school announced plans to expand on its Ridgeway site to form a single campus, funded by the new homes plus housing development on its existing sites.

The protest group has a number of concerns about the proposals which include increased traffic, pressure on infrastructure and building on greenbelt land.

Mr Haseler said: “Once the planning application is submitted we can write our formal letters of objections.

“It’s up to the school now to show why they think the build is very special circumstances.”

Cllr Ross McWilliams (Con, Cox Green) also attended the protest.

The group said it may hold another protest once the application is submitted.

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Claires Court Schools has said it is looking to address residents’ concerns and stressed that consultation is ongoing.

Principal Hugh Wilding said: “Claires Court is a school for families, run by a family, providing a high quality education for young people in Maidenhead and the surrounding area.

“We have brought forward plans in order to help meet the continuing need for school places.

“We understand the concerns raised and agree that the current access from Cannon Lane needs improvement.

“We are therefore proposing a new roundabout and access road to the site from Cannon Lane. There would also be parking for all visitors and staff.

“I would like to emphasise that we are still at a pre-application stage and our consultation with our parents, staff, pupils and the local community is ongoing.

“We are working closely with the council’s highways department and will consider all responses before going forward.”

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