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Sunninghill gasworks development to go to Planning Inspectorate

A major planning application to build dozens of houses and apartments in Sunninghill has gone to appeal after the borough failed to decide on it in time.

The application by Berkeley Group subdivision St William seeks to redevelop the former British Gas site in Bridge Road into 53 houses, 24 apartments and four residential coach houses.

The developer states that after giving the council two extensions to decide on the application, and it being indicated that officers would recommend the plans be refused, it has gone straight to the Planning Inspectorate.

The first documents were submitted to the council by October last year.

It means the council could only vote to say it would have refused the application at the Borough-wide Development Management Panel at Maidenhead Town Hall on Wednesday (June 13).

Cllr David Hilton (Con, Ascot and Cheapside), complained that consultations held by the developer did not take views of residents on board.

He noted that ‘consultations are about listening, making appropriate change’ but claimed: “They failed to listen to local residents. They failed to listen to the parish council.

“They failed to listen to the neighbourhood plan.”

Cllr Jesse Grey (Con, Datchet) said: “I really like this site. It is a wonderful location.”

But the planned ‘number of houses and the design, the density’ meant he ‘liked the site, but now I don’t’.

The panel chairman, Cllr David Burbage (Con, Bray) said he believed the ‘scheme is not that bad’.

A total of eleven councillors voted to refuse the plans.

Officers’ reasons to refuse the plans presented to councillors ahead of the meeting included their belief it was of ‘poor design’, constituted ‘overdevelopment’ and there was an ‘absence of a mechanism to secure 30 per cent affordable housing’.

Three councillors voted against refusing and one abstained.

A decision on a planned forest school in Titness Park, London Road, Sunninghill was deferred so a survey into whether wildlife will be affected if the plans went ahead can be carried out.

Councillors also refused an outline application about access to a potential development of up to 14 apartments in Clarence Road.


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