05:11PM, Thursday 16 July 2020
Items from Buckingham Palace will be stored in Windsor Home Park during its reservicing works after councillors approved plans for a temporary building.
The plans, submitted by Tim Maynard from the Royal Household, were for a temporary modular [prefabricated] storage building which will be sited within the 19th Century walled gardens of the Grade I Royal Estate off Datchet Road.
The purpose of the structure is to store items from Buckingham Palace while it undergoes ‘urgent’ reservicing works.
The Royal Household website said Buckingham Palace’s electrical cabling, plumbing and heating have not been updated since the 1950s and the infrastructure is in ‘urgent need of a complete overhaul to prevent long term damage’ to the building.
Speaking at the Royal Borough Development Management Panel on Wednesday, planning officer Sue Sharman said the plans were an ‘inappropriate development in the greenbelt’ but that it would only be in place for five years.
She said: “The public benefits arising from the proposal’s association with Buckingham Palace would be long term and substantial, there are therefore very special circumstances in this case to justify approving the application.”
Cllr Neil Knowles (Independent - Old Windsor Residents' Association, Old Windsor) said he was concerned the building ‘is slightly high’ and that at certain times of year it may be visible.
However, he said the fact the building would be finished in a dark green ‘will help to disguise it in the general vegetation’ and acknowledged ‘it’s not intended to be permanent’.
Cllr John Bowden (Con, Eton and Castle) said there are ‘very, very, few walkers’ in the vicinity of the site who would observe the site line of the building and said those who were would be ‘hard pushed to see it’.
The panel unanimously agreed to defer and delegate the decision to grant planning permission to the head of planning subject to conditions.
An application for ten apartments for a site at Hill House in Cross Road, Sunningdale, was also up for debate.
Senior planning officer, Adam Jackson, explained there is ‘quite an extensive planning history on this site’ with the most recent planning application being refused and then later dismissed at appeal.
He said: “The main reasons for that being refused were due to the scale and the density of the plan being out of keeping of the street scene and the impact that would also have on protected trees on site.”
He added: ‘In terms of this application they haven’t gone far enough to address those concerns.”
Sunningdale Parish councillor, Michael Burn, and Patrick Griffin, chairman for the Society for the Protection of Ascot and Environs both spoke in opposition of the application.
Cllr Geoff Hill (The Borough first, Oldfield) made a visit to the site said he was more concerned with the ‘actual design of the building’ rather than the ‘mass and scale’.
“The façade at the front seems very similar to a previous application that was granted, but the rear of the building seems like it was designed by a completely different architect who didn’t take into account the street scene in Cross Road.”
He added: “It concerns that me that the whole character of this building is out of context with that particular part of Sunninghill and Ascot.”
The panel unanimously voted in favour of officer’s recommendation to refuse the application.
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