12:37PM, Monday 24 January 2022
A third protest against a 2,000 home development on Maidenhead Golf Course has been planned outside Maidenhead Town Hall.
Supporters of the Maidenhead Great Park campaign are planning to demonstrate outside the building in February; their third protest since November.
The golf course is earmarked for thousands of homes under the council’s Borough Local Plan, which is in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate before it returns to councillors in the near future.
Previous protests outside the town hall have been well-attended, with hundreds braving the cold for two demonstrations at the end of last year.
Tina Quadrino, one of the leading members of the Maidenhead Great Park campaign group, said: “Following our two previous demonstrations on November 23 and December 14, where hundreds of local people joined us to ask our councillors to reject the environmentally damaging local plan, our council continues to ignore the need to protect our local environment.
“So, we are again calling on local people to gather outside Maidenhead Town Hall on Tuesday, February 8.
“Many local people are utterly dismayed with this plan, which despite the fact we are in a climate emergency, will see the destruction of publicly owned greenspace, including thousands of trees.
“So much development has already taken place in our town centre, with over 6,000 new homes built or given planning permission since 2013. Many of these are flats and people need access to more greenspace for their physical and mental health and wellbeing, not less.
“Our council is using out of date figures for housing need in our area to justify the destruction of our greenspace. They say there’s nowhere else to build, but any new development should be focused on brownfield sites and there are plenty available in our borough.
“By rejecting the Borough Local Plan, councillors will put a stop to plans to concrete over this greenbelt land in our town centre, protecting woodlands, biodiversity, public amenity and our green lung all in one go.”
Councillor David Coppinger, cabinet member for planning, environmental services and Maidenhead, said after the most recent protest: “The content of the Local Plan should not come as a surprise as it has been shaped over more than a decade, including through a series of public consultations and public examination by an independent Planning Inspector.
“The redevelopment of Maidenhead Golf Course is a crucial part of the next phase of Maidenhead’s regeneration.
“The club site offers a highly sustainable location, which, once complete, will deliver more than 2,000 desperately needed homes, especially houses, with 30 per cent of the properties being affordable, in addition to a new primary and secondary school, and a community hub.
“It will open-up significant parts of green space for public access, improve walking and cycling connectivity for residents. It will accommodate future population growth while preventing speculative green belt development across the borough through the adoption of a valid Local Plan.
“The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead recognises the challenges posed by climate change, and we remain committed to our Environment and Climate Strategy which was adopted last December.”
A cross-party coalition of 28 councillors from three different factions has been formed at Wokingham Borough Council.