02:00PM, Thursday 15 June 2017
A coalition of community groups has formed to try and postpone the next stage of the Borough Local Plan.
Yesterday frustrated residents gathered at the Town Hall to deliver an open letter, signed by 13 groups, urging the council to postpone the Regulation 19 consultation.
In the letter, addressed to Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the council, it states: "We are writing to you to express our serious concern about the lack of consultation and engagement between RBWM and the local community."
Richard Endacott, who signed the letter on behalf of the West Windsor Residents Association said the Regulation 18 consultation was 'impenetrable' and 'beyond most peoples capabilities'.
A petition, set up by RBWM Residents Action Group, calling on councillors to vote against the item at the Extraordinary Council Meeting on Monday, June 19, now has more than 1,000 signatures.
The group was set up this week by Naheed Majeed, with the support of her brother, Cllr Asghar Majeed (Con, Oldfield) and Cllr Geoff Hill (Con, Oldfield).
Cllr Asghar Majeed said: "We're not against building houses, there is a need for it. But we want real consultation with the community."
On the action group's website, it states: “This is a bad plan that will harm our area and the character of our towns and villages.”
Reasons listed include a lack of consultation, no proper greenbelt review, concerns over infrastructure and no real engagement with neighbouring authorities.
A twitter account @RBWMResidents set up to promote the group was blocked by Cllr Dudley – almost immediately after it had tweeted.
Earlier this month, an open letter co-signed by 14 groups raising serious concerns about a lack of consultation for the Borough Local Plan (BLP) was sent to the leader of the council.
Visit www.rbwmresidentsactiongroup.co.uk for more information.
The cabinet member for planning Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) has hit back at claims there was no meaningful consultation for the Borough Local Plan.
He said: “They had ample opportunity to make comments during that period. We cannot go backwards, we can only go forwards.
“If the BLP is not voted for at council the work on the plan will stop. The Department for Local Government has stated they will step in and take over.”
He continued: “We will have no control over the sites.
“They will pick and select sites themselves. Some people say they won’t step in because Theresa May is the Prime Minister, and they would not step in her area, but I think that is naive because what will happen is they will do it to make an example.”
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