10:55AM, Friday 25 October 2013
Fears over road safety regarding plans for The Golden Harp in Furze Platt to be turned into a Tesco store were backed by police at a planning appeal hearing.
More than 50 campaigners against the conversion of the empty pub into an Express shop attended the meeting headed up by planning inspector Isobel McCretton on Thursday, October 17, at the Town Hall in St Ives Road.
It was held following a rejection of eight applications submitted by Tesco including the installation of hard-standing and bollards.
Members of the Furze Platt Action Group (FGAP), who have been campaigning to prevent the conversion of the Furze Platt Road pub since December, were supported by three members of the Thames Valley Police.
Fears were raised concerning road safety surrounding the proposed store including an expected increase in traffic flow and dangers posed by delivery vehicles.
Neighbourhood officer for Maidenhead West Simon Eziashi said: "I am concerned for the safety of school children.
"There has even been an accident this morning. It just goes to show."
He was referring to an incident involving a pupil and a Mini Cooper at the traffic lights near to Furze Platt senior school.
The pupil received minor injuries.
Sima Stannage, who lives in Furze Platt Road, also spoke up and her comments were met with a round of applause.
She said: "Every day 1,000 children walk past my house."
"Their health and safety should take priority over everything else."
Laurie Handcock, one of three representatives from Tesco's planning consultants CGMs at the meeting responded stating: "Tesco don't go into any site without seriously considering its safety."
Other issues raised at the meeting, which lasted more than four hours, include concerns over loss of greenery and changes to the building's brick work.
Tesco does not require change of use planning consent for the building.
A decision is due to be made by the first week of December.
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