A second round of public hearing sessions, to examine the emerging Borough Local Plan for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, are taking place over a four-week period in October and November. The second week of hearings starts at 9.30am on Tuesday 20 October and runs daily until approximately 4.30pm on Thursday 22 October.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the hearing sessions are taking place virtually, meaning that members of the public and other interested parties can observe the discussions online via the council’s YouTube channel.
The second week of public hearing sessions will consider a range of matters and issues including future housing provision, infrastructure and the approach to planning for our town centres.
Councillor David Coppinger, lead member for planning, says: "Our current plan is now very dated and the new plan that’s being examined in these public hearing sessions will ensure that we can defend the Borough against speculative development, regenerate our towns and meet the growing housing needs of our residents.”
The Borough Local Plan is being examined by an independent planning inspector, Mrs Louise Phillips, who conducted a first round of public hearing sessions in June 2018. Following these hearing sessions, we were asked to address a number of issues highlighted by the inspector, which involved consulting with residents and businesses on proposed revisions to the plan and updating supporting documents. This process was completed in late 2019.
Following on from this, the inspector reviewed the proposed revisions to the plan and the comments received from residents and businesses, and in June this year, issued a series of questions to guide and inform the discussion at the second round of public hearings. Along with a range of interested parties, we responded to the inspector’s questions in writing, and having reviewed these responses, the inspector has prepared an agenda for each of the forthcoming hearing sessions.
Councillor David Coppinger, lead member for planning, says: “Since June 2018, officers have been working very hard to address the issues raised by the independent inspector. I am confident that the changes we are proposing to the Borough Local Plan, which include the removal of some sites and the addition of others, along with the introduction of new policies to place a greater emphasis on ‘placemaking’, will help to ensure that the development needs of the borough are met in a more sustainable way.
“We are very pleased with how the first week of hearings went earlier this month. It’s been a very constructive process and we’re making clear progress. We’re looking forward to assisting the independent inspector at the remaining hearing sessions, and subject to the modifications that the inspector feels are necessary to make the Local Plan ‘sound’, we anticipate adopting the Local Plan in spring/summer 2021.
“The coronavirus pandemic means we can’t hold the hearing sessions in person so we’re running them virtually instead. To ensure transparency of process, in place of a public gallery, members of the public and other interested parties will be able to observe the hearings live on the council’s YouTube channel.”
This second week of hearing sessions will run as follows:
Tuesday 20 October: 9.30am to 5.30pm
Wednesday 21 October: 9.30am to 5pm
Thursday 22 October: 9.30am to 4.30pm
Agendas for each day of the sessions can be viewed on the Inspectors page on the councils website.
As part of this second round of public hearing sessions a further session will be taking place during weeks commencing 9 November 2020. These sessions can also be viewed via our YouTube channel and a programme for each session can be found on our website.
A copy of the plan showing the proposed changes can also be found on our website.