11:42AM, Thursday 09 May 2013
The campaign to save the Golden Harp suffered a setback last night when Royal Borough councillors opted not to enforce a planning direction relating to the Maidenhead pub.
Maidenhead development control panel was considering issuing an article 4 direction for the Furze Platt Road building, which Tesco wants to turn into an Express store.
This would mean the supermarket would have to submit a full planning application for it. As it stands the company, which already owns the lease, does not need change of use planning permission.
The panel began discussing the issue as an agenda item at the meeting at the town hall, but the debate was then moved into part two - when the press and the public are excluded - and continued behind closed doors.
The council confirmed the outcome to the Advertiser this morning.
In an email sent to the Harp campaigners, Furze Platt Action Group chairman Mark Newcombe wrote: "Obviously this is not the outcome we wanted but we will continue to fight with what we've got, with or without the council's support."
Tesco has six applications to make material changes to the building which are pending and due to be considered by the panel at a later date.
UPDATE: A press release issued by the council this morning in light of the panel's decision says there was 'little realistic chance' an article 4 could be served.
Panel chairman Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) said: "We are in total sympathy with the residents of the area and are frustrated about the impact on a historic corner of Maidenhead, including traffic and safety concerns.
"But, along with countless other areas countrywide, we find ourselves up against a situation which, although unwanted by the local community, is completely legal – we will be taking this issue to government.
"A better way needs to be found, both for Furze Platt residents and all the other communities in a similar situation."
The council has confirmed the six Tesco planning applications will be considered at a meeting on Wednesday, June 5.
See next Thursday's Advertiser for a full report.
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