05:00PM, Thursday 27 January 2022
Cllr David Coppinger
Cllr David Coppinger, lead member for planning, environmental services and Maidenhead, said he was ‘delighted’ following the news that the Borough Local Plan had been returned to the council.
Councillors will debate and vote on whether to adopt the plan, which dictates where houses can and cannot be built in the borough until 2033, at a council meeting next month, which has been in development since 2013.
The news comes after the Government-appointed planning inspector, Louise Phillips, issued her independent report stating the plan is sound (subject to inclusion of main modifications) and therefore capable of adoption. Her report is available on the council website.
“This plan has been far too long in the making, and I am delighted that the inspector, after we made the major modifications which we were asked to do, has found it sound,” said Cllr Coppinger.
“Not only has she found it sound, but she has fully supported all of the very hard decisions we had to make. For example: Maidenhead Golf Course, where she quite clearly says that it was the right decision.
“I really feel for people that don’t appreciate it, but I can understand it. This is the only way we can ensure we get the right number of affordable houses for our growing population.
“You can’t expect everyone to live in a high rise flat in Maidenhead – people have every right to have a house and garden, and it’s only by using certain areas that we can do that.”
Cllr Lynne Jones (OWRA, Old Windsor) said that the plan had taken ‘a lot longer than it should have’ to be ready for adoption, but added the Royal Borough ‘needs a Borough Local Plan, and it’s got to be the right one’.
“The residents have put in a load of work to change this plan from unsound to sound,” said Cllr Jones.
“I’m slightly concerned about the supplementary planning documents we need to put in, because there are a lot of those outstanding, and they’re the basis of a lot of the BLP.
“They’re the ones that set out a lot of the detail, so they’re needed.
“We will be asked to vote whether to adopt the plan or not; the question on my mind at the moment is how can I vote to adopt something that isn’t a finished product, as far as I’m concerned.
“One good thing about it is that it says neighbourhood plans are an integral part of it – I welcome that because neighbourhood plans are in place and they need to be part of the planning process and given equal weight.”
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