03:27PM, Thursday 09 June 2016
The proposed chicken farm location
Affordable homes in Cookham and ‘chickengate’ applications were both refused at Maidenhead Development Control Panel last night.
More than 60 members of the public squeezed into the town hall at Maidenhead Development Control Panel to hear the application which would see seven affordable houses built on greenbelt land near Whyteladyes Lane.
Objectors including The Cookham Society, Cookham Parish Council and residents from an action group spoke out against the plans. Concerns raised include sewage in the area, protection of the greenbelt and green gap, and the lack of need for affordable houses in Cookham.
However, applicant James Copas said there was an ‘overwhelming need’ for affordable houses in the borough and the eviction of homeless people from the town hall proved this.
He said: “We have struggled to employ staff due to the expensive house prices in Cookham.”
Cllr David Coppinger said he was ‘aware’ of affordable housing needs in the borough but ‘they have to be in the right place.'
He then proposed a motion for refusal which was voted for unanimously.
Controversial plans for a chicken farm in Cookham, part of a long-running saga dubbed 'chickengate', were also discussed at the meeting.
The application, submitted by Mr Samuel Driver, was for a certificate of lawfulness to install a poultry shed on land between Lightlands Lane and Strande Lane in Cookham.
The shed would have been capable of holding up to 4,000 birds.
A spokeswoman from the Say No to Chickens action group said residents were ‘bemused’ by the application and had ‘serious health concerns’.
Cookham parish councillor Andrew Nye said the site was ‘unsuitable’ and the current structure looked ‘permanent and not temporary’.
Cllr MJ Saunders urged the panel to reject the application. He said: “‘This public nuisance and threat must end tonight.”
Cllr David Coppinger recommended the application for refusal which was unanimously agreed by councillors.
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