The Royal Borough is today (Wednesday 6 July) starting a consultation on a key planning document for South West Maidenhead, a major development area bringing forward much-needed new homes, community facilities, employment space and improved public access to green space.
The area is allocated in the adopted Borough Local Plan, with a vision to provide a sustainable, high-quality and distinctive place where people will want to live and enjoy living, that is well integrated into the existing community and supported by the right on-site community facilities and infrastructure.
The development will include around 2,600 homes, 30% being affordable, new primary and secondary schools, a local centre, employment space, green space for people and nature, along with biodiversity net gain.
As the next stage in the planning process, the council is now producing a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This site-specific document will provide more detailed guidance to help implement the policies and vision already set in the Borough Local Plan, guiding developers in shaping planning applications and the council in determining them.
With the SPD area containing land in multiple ownerships, it will also help ensure development, and the infrastructure needed to support it, happens in a coordinated and comprehensive way.
Having considered initial public feedback from engagement sessions held during spring 2022, the council has produced for public consultation a draft SPD document shaped around design principles, community needs, connectivity, sustainability and the environment, and infrastructure delivery. The consultation is running for six weeks, until Wednesday, 17 August.
To get involved and find out more, people are invited to attend one of three drop-in sessions below, or visit www.rbwm.gov.uk/SWMaidenhead-SPD to view the SPD document and supporting documents, complete the feedback form and discover more about South West Maidenhead.
• 14 July, 2pm to 6.30pm – Maidenhead Library drop-in session
• 20 July, 12.30pm to 5pm – Maidenhead Library drop-in session
• 26 July, 2pm to 7pm – Braywick Leisure Centre drop-in session
In addition, an online consultation event will be held via Microsoft Teams on 27 July, 7 to 9pm. The link for joining will be added to the website during w/c 25 July.
Public access computers are available in libraries. People can also visit Maidenhead Library to view a hard copy of the draft document and pick up a feedback form.
Councillor Phil Haseler, Cabinet member for planning, parking, highways and transport, said: “South West Maidenhead will meet, in a managed way, a significant proportion of our future housing need, by creating a sustainable, high-quality and distinctive place where people will want to live and enjoy living, that is well integrated into the existing community and supported by the right on-site community facilities and infrastructure.
“The community engagement during the spring was valuable to ensure we captured the key considerations in producing the SPD, and we’re hoping lots of people will take part in our consultation on the draft document. The SPD process is a great opportunity to get involved in creating a place that we can all be proud of, building upon high quality place-making work that has already taken place and adding more detailed guidance to the vision and policy set in the Borough Local Plan.
“The SPD is important because it will help ensure the various developers bring forward applications for high quality, coordinated and comprehensive development that is supported by the required infrastructure and meets community needs and aspirations around housing, community facilities, connectivity, sustainability and the environment.”
The draft contains an illustrative framework plan and design principles, setting out how the development will deliver a high quality, sustainable and coherent environment that is well integrated within the wider area, addresses climate change and delivers significant amounts of affordable housing and family homes across two distinct neighbourhoods, with a broadly even split between houses and flats.
The document sets out a number of other requirements and guidelines including reaffirms commitments to delivering a sustainable, net carbon zero carbon development, including 10 per cent biodiversity net gain, a green/blue infrastructure network helping wildlife move across the site, a highly connected green spine running north-south through the site, retention of Rushington Copse and as many other trees as practically possible.
The vision is to open-up areas of green space for public access and improve connectivity for active travel, with improved pedestrian and cycle links across the SPD area, including to Braywick Park and Ockwells Park.