10:42AM, Wednesday 14 February 2018
Shoppers had the chance find out more about plans for a £36 million campus for Claires Court School.
Applications were submitted in January for the development at Ridgeway, off Cannon Lane, as well as 157 residential properties and a hockey club.
The independent school’s existing sites in College Avenue and Ray Mill Road would also be redeveloped by Berkeley Homes, providing 53 and 11 homes respectively.
The school set up in the Nicolsons Centre on Friday and Saturday inviting questions and comments from the public.
Principal at Claires Court Hugh Wilding said: “It is quite clear the public has an interest in our scheme and it is a scheme which deserves to be promoted.”
He said the stall had received responses from people in favour for and against the plans.
The plans have faced fierce opposition from campaign group Cox Green Says No.
One of the group’s founders, Phil Haseler, told the Advertiser last month he believed the school was ‘playing on a bit of a sob story’ about buildings falling into disrepair and the need to relocate.
“The other aspect of meeting here publicly is when people give us their view we can agree to disagree without being disagreeable,” Mr Wilding added.
“Those who are against our proposals on Cannon Lane have had an unpleasant tone and have been disagreeable.
“We aren’t benefiting financially from this and it is not the case that the school is going to close tomorrow – It is not a sob story.
To people who don’t agree with the plans Mr Wilding asked that they keep an open mind and ‘look again at the benefits of the proposals’.
He said: “With more than 14,000 homes to be built in Maidenhead by 2030, not everyone will want a private school place, but there will be many who do.
“We are providing the quality school places that the government expects our sector to provide.
“How can we do so if we are working with inappropriate buildings?”
The planning application has received hundreds of comments objecting to and in support of the plans.
Campaign group Cox Green Says No was started in response to the plans, and dozens of members have given their reasons why they are against the plans.
A ‘strong objection’ to the plans was also submitted to the Royal Borough by White Waltham Parish Council on Tuesday.
A statement said: “Our residents in White Waltham parish are extremely concerned of the impact on local roads if this proposal were approved.
“Already they are struggling with severe disruptions and delays on small local journeys just to get to work or their children to schools locally.
“We would also mention that our residents in Littlewick Green would be severely affected with light pollution by the proposed 15m high floodlights at the Hockey Club which would also be detrimental to the rural village atmosphere.”
Other responses object on the grounds of overdevelopment and increased traffic.
One objection, also submitted on Monday, said: “The traffic generated by 157 new homes is too awful to contemplate in an area already gridlocked during rush hour periods.”
Public consultation on the outline planning application closes on Friday.
It can be found by searching 18/00130/OUT on the borough’s planning website.
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