Controversial 80-home plan in Maidenhead to be debated this week

Controversial 80-home plan in Maidenhead to be debated this week

A controversial planning application to build 80 homes on Maidenhead open space will be debated by councillors once again this week.

The Maidenhead Development Management Committee will convene at the town hall on Wednesday to discuss the proposals from developer, CALA Homes. 

The plans, which seek to construct the homes on land to the south of Ray Mill Road East, are controversial ones due to concerns over flooding and the provision of affordable housing and open space.

A planning application was originally put forward in February 2020 but was rejected, with plans resubmitted in January this year.

These were due to be discussed at August's planning committee meeting, however there was anger after the proposals were withdrawn at late notice, leaving councillors and the public gallery bemused.

Opposition councillors questioned a last minute change of members sitting on the planning panel before the plans were withdrawn in the summer.

The latest in the Ray Mill Road East saga saw CALA Homes claim that it felt the application would not have been determined in a ‘quorate and fair manner’ at the meeting on August 18.

The plans have now come forward for a third time and are set to prove contentious once more as planning officers have recommended councillors reject the proposals.

This is due to familiar concerns over flood risk, and the 'absence of a signed legal agreement' to secure on-site affordable housing and open space.

These reasons for refusal are the same as the ones given for the withdrawn application in August, which never made it to a discussion.

One objector to the plans said that the withdrawal of the application before the last meeting 'was frustrating and left many questions unanswered.'

They added: "In light of this [I] would question whether any future planning meetings in relation to this development can be considered fair and independent given councillors not entitled to vote were sitting on the panel for the meeting and when removed, CALA Homes withdrew their application immediately."

The Royal Borough's planning officers maintain that 'correct process has been followed in the assessment of the current application'. 

In the planning officers' report, which can be found by clicking here, they state that the application site is located in flood zone 3, where there is a 'high risk of flooding'.

"The application has failed to demonstrate that safe escape from the site and safe access to the site could be achieved in the event of a flood, resulting in lives and properties being put at risk," they add.

"In the absence of a legal agreement, the proposed development fails to secure a satisfactory level of affordable housing [and] a sufficient open space."

Officers add that the plans could also 'impact upon the integrity' of the nearby Burnham Beeches, which is a conservation area.

Residents can watch the meeting virtually on the Royal Borough's YouTube channel from 7pm on Wednesday. 

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Editor's Picks

Most read

Top Articles