03:05PM, Thursday 05 August 2021
Flooding remains a ‘very real concern’ for some councillors following the release of further details over a planned housing development at Spencer’s Farm.
The greenbelt site, which runs alongside Maidenhead Road, is being targeted for 330 homes and a new primary school as part of the emerging Borough Local Plan.
The proposed redevelopment of the land in North Maidenhead has faced long-term opposition from sections of the community due to its close proximity to land which is prone to flooding.
Councillor Josh Reynolds (Lib Dems, Furze Platt) told the Advertiser: “This is a terrifying prospect, a new school, hundreds of new homes in an area we know is prone to flooding and at a time when everyone understands the risks are increasing because of global warming.
“We will all have seen the scenes of devastation in Germany and Belgium on the news recently.
“Yet that happened in regions that have far more sophisticated flood defences than we enjoy.”
Fellow Lib Dem councillor for Furze Platt, Catherine Del Campo, added that flooding remained a ‘very real concern’ in an area which has been hit by heavy rainfall repeatedly over the last 15 years.
Rob Thompson, responsible for managing flood risk and drainage on the Spencer’s Farm site, revealed at the recent consultation session that water basins, such as a pond, could be built on the site to reduce the risk of flooding.
He added development will not be taking place in an area which is considered to be a high flood risk.
Questions have also been raised over whether the nearby B4447 Cookham Road could cope with increased traffic triggered by hundreds of new houses and an additional primary school.
Last week’s consultation over the proposals revealed that access to the site could be provided via a new junction on the Cookham Road featuring a priority right-hand turn.
But Cllr Del Campo questioned the suitability of emergency access being provided via Westmead and asked why the council’s highways team has now made a U-turn over its original opposition to the scheme.
A spokesman for the Royal Borough said: “Spencer’s Farm is included as a proposed housing allocation in the emerging Borough Local Plan.
“We’re aware that a developer is undertaking community engagement as part of developing a stakeholder masterplan document, which is required for larger housing developments ahead of submission of a planning application.
“At this stage, no formal plans have yet been put forward for public consultation and consideration by the council in line with planning policy. Highways is a statutory consultee in the planning process and will come to a view and feed back on the highways considerations once those plans are submitted.”