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Swan Support looks to spread its wings with new Bray HQ

David Lee

Swan Support’s dream of building a headquarters in Bray has moved a step closer following a planning meeting.

The Datchet-based charity has submitted an application to the Royal Borough for a new facility which includes treatment rooms and an educational centre on greenbelt land near Upper Bray Road.

The charity’s founder, Wendy Hermon, told a meeting of the borough-wide development management panel on Thursday last week that the site provided a ‘unique opportunity’ to teach youngsters about the work involved in protecting the royal birds.

She said: “Swan Support need a quiet site and an unspoilt natural environment with easy access to water.

“This is vital for the treatment and recovery of injured swans.”

Council officers recommended that the application should be refused due to the charity’s failure to carry out a protected species and bio-diversity survey of the greenbelt site.

But Mrs Hermon told the panel that Swan Support relied on public donations and would need to justify any extra expenditure.

Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray) said: “I drive past this site at least twice every day and for me it’s not open greenbelt.

“This proposal provides support for one of the beautiful birds that is part of our heritage and enables children to appreciate the work that is being done to help the birds themselves.”

Councillors agreed to defer and delegate a decision on the plans to the head of planning, who will now attempt to agree conditions with the charity before approving the development.

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