09:30AM, Friday 20 November 2020
An appeal to build 55 residential park homes on the site of the old Queens Head pub has been rejected.
The proposal would have involved knocking down all the buildings on the 4.5acre site and replacing them with the 55 new chalet park homes.
The battle for the site in Windsor Road has been ongoing for more than a year.
The planning application was refused by the Royal Borough on December 19, on the grounds that it represented ‘inappropriate development in the greenbelt.’
“No very special circumstances have been demonstrated which clearly outweigh the harm to the greenbelt,” the Royal Borough wrote in its refusal.
The applicant, Ricky Davidson, contested this, claiming the Royal Borough’s housing need, especially its need for affordable and social housing, were very special circumstances.
“The state of the current affordable and social housing situation in the Royal Borough is startling. It’s frighteningly obvious why there’re so many people unable to afford to live here,” Mr Davidson said to the Advertiser in February.
Around 20 members of the public lodged comments on the application.
Among the objections, building on the greenbelt and concerns about increases of traffic on the already strained A308 were the most common reasons.
Maidenhead Civic Society was among the objectors.
“It would be completely unacceptable for areas such as [this] to be covered by swathes of residential lodges,” its representatives wrote.
“To prefer these dwellings on ecological terms is misrepresentation. They do not constitute housing stock for future generations.”
But there were several messages of support from neighbours, local businesses and residents living in council housing.
An appeal decision from the Planning Inspectorate backed the council’s refusal of the plans, stating ‘the development would have a substantially greater impact on the openness of the greenbelt than the existing uses and buildings that occupy the site’.
“You give them what they need and they turn it down,” said Mr Davidson on losing the appeal.
“I was offering them £2m in property – I was trying to give back, but it isn’t worth my time and money. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
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