09:40AM, Wednesday 13 March 2019
Site of the to-be-built Vicus Way car park
A stronger voice for residents around the Stafferton Way area will be provided by a new group.
The Stafferton Area Residents’ Association (SARA) aims to discourage anti-social behaviour, represent residents when they have issues, and prevent developments out of step with the area.
In particular, it carries on objections to the new Vicus Way multi-storey car park, which was approved earlier this year despite vociferous opposition from people in the area.
Chairman and founding member Derek Philip-Xu, 45, who lives in the Loftings, said: “While many Oldfield residents objected to the car park proposal, many felt they were not heard and not listened to.
“Nevertheless, the experience did bring people in the community together both in the Stafferton area as well as the neighbouring residents’ association areas.
“Consequently, we feel that there is an opportunity here for SARA to provide a stronger voice for residents and to also coordinate more effectively with other residents’ associations.”
People from the Stafferton Way area mobilised as an application to build a 516-space commuter car park in Vicus Way went to the council’s planning panel for approval.
They worried that it would exacerbate anti-social behaviour relating to car meets in the existing Stafferton Way car park and damage their quality of life. The council maintained the scheme is acceptable in planning terms.
It became a tortuous process, requiring four attempts in as many months to pass, with resident anger increasing at every panel.
It was finally green-lit in January after the Maidenhead Development Management Panel reversed its December decision to refuse it, which followed chairman Cllr Derek Wilson’s admission that he had accidentally voted to refuse.
That resident anger has now been channelled into SARA.
“We want to engender a supportive approach towards local issues and build on our varied experience and skills to understand and support local developments as well as remain informed about the regeneration plans for Maidenhead and how they may impact on the Stafferton area,” Derek said.
SARA has a written constitution and a management committee, including Derek as chairman and residents Sarah Storey as secretary and Antigoni Konig as treasurer, which will meet six times a year.
Its first meeting is set to be held on a date to be confirmed in April.
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