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Petition launched against Spencers Farm development plan

Protesters opposed to the use of greenbelt land for hundreds of homes have launched a petition.

The campaign, calling on the Royal Borough to reject development on Spencers Farm, located between Maidenhead and Cookham, has so far collected more than 400 signatures.

The 40-acre site has been included in the council’s Borough Local Plan (BLP) which was submitted to the Government for approval last month, and earmarked for up to 300 homes and a senior school.

Residents are concerned about the environmental impact, flood risk and extra traffic if the site is developed.

In November, developer IM Land showcased outline proposals to build 500 homes on the site, including 30 per cent affordable housing and open space.

A statement from the protesters said: “Not only is this large piece of countryside home to a range of wildlife, the loss of which would be a travesty, but it has also been twice refused planning permission.

“Residents are scratching their heads as to how, because of its history, it can be part of the Borough Local Plan.”

Peter Prior, chairman of gravel firm Summerleaze, which owns the land north of Lutman Lane, has rejected concerns about its suitability.

As well as calling claims of flooding problems ‘simply wrong’, he also said building on the greenbelt was necessary to tackle the country’s housing crisis. He added: “If we’re going to maintain democracy in this country, young people have to be able to afford houses and the only way to do that is to build houses.

“There’s not enough land in areas of high employment, like Maidenhead, so the greenbelt has to be built on.

“Spencers Farm is the least important part of the greenbelt around Maidenhead so it’s the obvious part to take out.”

Campaigners are collecting signatures on paper and online for the petition.

The online version can be found at: http://petitions.rbwm.gov.uk/spencersfarm/

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