The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has received and published the planning inspector’s stage two post-hearing letter on the emerging Borough Local Plan.
The council hosted a second round of public hearings to examine the Borough Local Plan in October, November and December last year.
The letter follows the discussion at these hearing sessions and a review by independent inspector, Mrs Louise Phillips, of the council’s completed stage two post hearing action notes.
Councillor David Coppinger, cabinet member for planning, said: “I’m very pleased to see the publication of the inspector’s post hearing letter which means we are a step closer to adopting the Borough Local Plan.
"Our current plan is now very dated, and the new plan will ensure that we can defend the borough against speculative development, regenerate our towns and meet the growing housing needs of our residents.”
The next stage will be for the council to prepare a schedule of main modifications under the guidance of Mrs Phillips.
Once the draft schedule of main modifications has been prepared it will be published for consultation later this year.
The inspector will need to consider the consultation responses received and should then be in a position to issue her final report. After which the council can proceed to adopt the Borough Local Plan.
In summary the inspector’s letter makes the following points:
• The inspector has agreed with the council’s proposals to amend the detailed wording and approach for some of the policies (for example, in relation to accessible and adaptable dwellings, and in relation to affordable housing on former business sites).
• The inspector is content with the further flood risk assessment work undertaken.
• The inspector has proposed that we reinstate three allocations removed at the proposed changes stage. The Osbourne’s Garage site (HA16), and the Gas Holder Site (HA35), Sunninghill, have planning permission, but in case these permissions are not implemented, the inspector suggests we keep the Local Plan polices for these sites. The Coppermill Road site (HA45) is the third site the inspector proposes we reinstate.
• The inspector has suggested modifications are needed in relation to several other sites including: AL3 (St Mary’s Walk), remove the requirement for housing; AL7 (Maidenhead Railway Station), look again at the tall building element and impact; AL25 (Spencer’s Farm), look at how the new Green Belt boundary will be formed; and AL23 (St Marks Hospital), reduce housing capacity.
• The inspector supports a Supplementary Planning Document for the Ascot area (with some clarifications regarding the scope). She has also suggested some changes to the proforma requirements for sites AL16 (Ascot Centre), AL20 (Heatherwood Hospital) and AL32 (Sandridge House). The inspector has suggested that site AL19 (Englemere Lodge) should be deleted from the Local Plan.
To read the inspector’s letter in full letter please visit: https://consult.rbwm.gov.uk/file/5825422