Campaign group reach fundraising target to challenge Borough Local Plan

Shay Bottomley

shayb@baylismedia.co.uk
Third protest planned against Maidenhead Golf Course development

A fundraiser set up to seek legal and ecological advice on the allocation of 2,000 homes on Maidenhead Golf Course has reached its initial target.

The Maidenhead Great Park group, which is in the process of setting itself as a Community Interest Company, has raised more than £11,000 since it launched the fundraiser last month.

The group is seeking to take the Borough Local Plan – which was approved by councillors in February – to judicial review, citing concerns over the impact of development on the golf course.

Currently, the BLP is in a six-week legal challenge period, although the council says the plan has been shaped over a decade and gone through the required legal process, including a series of public consultations and has been declared sound by a Government-appointed inspector.

Tina Quadrino, chair of the Maidenhead Great Park group, said: “Many people in Maidenhead are utterly dismayed by the adoption of the environmentally damaging Borough Local Plan at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s extraordinary council meeting on February 8. 

“Since then, we have been contacted by other individuals and groups campaigning against the destruction of their local greenspace, sanctioned by this terrible plan. 

“So much development has already taken place in our small town centre, with close to 7,000 new homes built or given planning permission since 2013. 

“Many of these are flats, with residents desperately needing access to greenspace for their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

“The Maidenhead Great Park group has been raising money for a legal assessment of the plan to determine if we have a case to take it to judicial review.

“We have been delighted with the response from our supporters and we have so far raised over £11,000 through our Go Fund Me campaign.”

Tina said the group ‘have enough money for the first round of legal advice’, but were continuing to raise money for further campaign steps to oppose the development. 

“We have appointed a solicitor and the necessary information has now been collated and sent to a barrister to determine whether or not we have a case to take the Borough Local Plan to judicial review,” she added.

“We expect to hear back from the barrister within the next two weeks.”

A Royal Borough spokesman said: “A sustainability appraisal was undertaken in the development of the Borough Local Plan, looking at the social, environmental and economic aspects of proposed development.

“This includes issues around sustainability, climate change and biodiversity, and will also support the future development of a placemaking Supplementary Planning Document for south west Maidenhead, which will be subject to a community engagement process.

“Having a new sound and adopted Local Plan puts the borough in a strong position to meet, in a sustainable way, all our local housing and employment needs, to capture investment and regeneration opportunities, guard against unsupported speculative development and protect our valued natural and built historic heritage. 

“While a tiny fraction of greenbelt development is needed in sustainable locations, the Borough Local Plan still protects 82 per cent of the borough as greenbelt and just one per cent has been released for new homes and employment.”

To view the fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/f/maidenhead-great-park 

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