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Viewpoint: Maidenhead Golf Club and concern over new town square

Featuring discussion on the proposed new golf course development, the Christmas Day lunch at SportsAble and 'a concrete carbuncle'. Scroll down for all of this week's letters.

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

Viewpoint: Maidenhead Golf Club and concern over new town square

Turning golf course into housing is ‘disgraceful’

Well, we’re probably a year nearer to seeing Brexit done. That has been the question on so many people’s minds.

But, nearer to home, we are a year nearer to the implementation of one of the most appalling and disgraceful decisions ever taken by The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s council – to destroy Maidenhead golf course and put in its place up to 2,300 dwellings.

The golf course has been in existence for well over 100 years since Lord Desborough, the owner of the land, granted a lease to the club.

Regretfully, on his death, much of his land, including that occupied by the golf course, was sold to pay death duties.

As the club were not able to find the money, the land was purchased by your council who granted a lease to the golf club.

The lease expires in 2039.

Now, the council has persuaded the club to relinquish its lease early in exchange for a considerable sum of money.

In practice, the club has very little alternative.

To refuse to leave and wait until the end of their lease would have meant that the club would have finally left with nothing.

The golf club is considering the possibility of using the money to relocate the club by creating a new golf course, probably in Fifield. This will ultimately be decided by a democratic vote by the members of the club.

Whether you have any sympathy for the members of the golf club or not (amazingly, some still consider golf to be an elitist sport), it is indisputable that one of the last significant size parcels of greenbelt land close to the centre of the town, a home to a wonderful habitat of flora and fauna including beautiful wild deer, could be lost.

It has been said that the site will be developed sympathetically, it covers about 130 acres, so 2,300 new dwellings on a site of 130 acres works out at about 18 dwellings per acre.

That doesn’t leave much room, particularly after allowing for roads and the proposed new school, for trees or fauna.

Will the animals that have lived in harmony with us for countless years survive? You don’t have to be a genius to work out the answer.

In what is frequently referred to by us as The Third World, in places such as Borneo, Madagascar, Sumatra, Brazil etc, it is recognised that the destruction of the habitat has to be stopped and their governments are finally taking steps to do so. Is it too much to hope that, in what is supposed to be a civilised country, your elected council cannot have the same foresight?

Or, in a very short time, and we are talking of as little as five years if the council have their way, will your children or grandchildren be asking; “Why didn’t you do something about it?”.

DAVID BURDON

Ray Park Road

Maidenhead


Hard to see where town centre square will be

Christmas is well and truly over and town centre residents are once again enduring daily construction noise and disruption.

The concrete structures fronting Park Street and St Ives Road rise ever taller into the sky. However, in the midst of these new buildings will be the new attractive town centre focal point and square, which we have been promised.

It is a little difficult at present to see exactly where it will be, but I am sure all will be revealed

Perhaps former council leader Simon Dudley could perform the opening ceremony.

JON FOSTER

Fotherby Court

Maidenhead


Maidenhead becoming ‘a concrete carbuncle’

An interesting letter from Richard Davenport (Viewpoint, January 9) where he mentions enhancing biodiversity.

The walk between the library and York Road had laid a bank of wildlife and wild plants – maybe too many weeds but they supported little insects and butterflies.

I now see that the area has now been turfed by grass. 

Does this council or Maidenhead Waterways project understand biodiversity ?

Maidenhead is becoming a concrete carbuncle – as life becomes torn out of its centre.

We must look at some way of bringing constant green thinking into this council.

BRUCE ADAMS

Cox Green Lane

Maidenhead


So many to thank for Christmas Day lunch

On behalf of Churches Together in Maidenhead, I wish to thank the Maidenhead Advertiser for running the Christmas Cracker Appeal and for the excellent coverage of our event in the Advertiser last week.

Our Christmas Day lunch at SportsAble is for people who would otherwise be alone at Christmas and it would not have taken place without the commitment and support of many volunteers on the day and also financial contributors including The Maidenhead Advertiser Christmas Cracker Appeal; Waitrose Maidenhead Community Matters at Christmas; The Cherry Pickers (formerly Kaffirs) of Cookham Dean; The Lions Club of Maidenhead; The Rotary Club of Maidenhead Thames; The Fabulous Shirtlifters; and The Tuesday Singers.

We thank them all very warmly for their support.

Special thanks goes to Linda Pittick and her food preparation team in the kitchen, backed up by the chefs at Cardinal Clinic; Alyson Kelly and her setting up team; Keith Cartland our guest and transport co-ordinator; Mina Jobanputra and Steve Walsh who organised our volunteers; Joanna Marlow for the guests’ gift bags; Lily Peacock and Winnie Prior who ran the volunteer database; and Andrew Fleet who did a great deal to promote the event.

It is thanks to them that the event was successful and everything ran smoothly.

Many thanks to SportsAble for the use of their facilities and the wonderful support from the staff, to Copas Traditional Turkeys for donating their award winning turkeys, to Peter and Gemma Higley together with flautist Trudy Wiseman for providing superb live entertainment, to Roger Neal for brilliant audio visual presentation with support from Ross Kelly, to People to Places for the use of their buses, and to all the drivers who helped to bring the guests to the event and return them safely afterwards.

We were delighted to welcome Theresa May MP and her husband Philip to our event. Mrs May attends every year and she spoke personally with many of the guests.

She gave an address before lunch thanking the volunteers and emphasising the value of being together and of giving and sharing.

Reverend David Downing, chairman of Churches Together in Maidenhead, welcomed the guests, congratulated the volunteers, and said the Grace before lunch.

The guests and volunteers appreciated the time our VIPs spent with them and a lot of selfies were taken!

We were delighted to see numerous priests from the local churches supporting us on the day.

This year’s event was a great success and the weather was unusually warm. We very much enjoyed spoiling the guests and there was a lovely relaxed and happy atmosphere.

We would like to pay tribute to all the other charitable organisations and their volunteers who also do so much good work in the local community at Christmas and throughout the year.

TONY WEEKS

Leader of the Christmas lunch organising team for Churches Together in Maidenhead


Electrical store far from currying favour

We are hearing and reading regularly about how stores are going out of business, as more people shop on line. 

Last weekend, we visited Curry’s electrical store to buy a new vacuum cleaner, quite a trek along the A4, not exactly on our doorstep. There was one on display that met my requirements.

However, there wasn’t one in stock and the assistant advised me that he could put an order in, but it would take 10 days for it to be delivered to the store.

He then suggested that we order it online and it would be delivered quicker. At no time did he offer to order it online for us.

We came home, went on to the internet to find that Amazon was £2 cheaper and it could be delivered, free of charge within four days. Job done.

Is it surprising that instead of spending time, effort and money to go to look at goods that we want to purchase, we sit at home and a few clicks later, our problem is solved? I still do most of our grocery shopping in stores locally, but obviously larger items need to be delivered.

Stores have to do their part in welcoming shoppers and making the shopping chore as easy and quick as possible. 

Mrs JOYCE BANKS

Silvertrees Drive

Maidenhead


Economic impact of EU membership has always been marginal

In the aftermath of the EU referendum the Advertiser kindly published a letter in which I reflected on my decision to vote to leave (Viewpoint, June 30 2016).

In one paragraph I wrote:

“I’m not too worried about the economics because I know something most people don’t know, that according to the EU Commission itself the treasured Single Market has only added about 2 per cent to GDP across the EU, probably less than that for us, and going back to 1956 before we joined the Common Market the UK economy has grown naturally by an average of 2.5 per cent a year so even if we did lose all that two per cent or less, which we certainly would not, we would in any case make it up in less than one average year.”

But even now, three and half years later, apparently it is still the case that many people have not yet understood that the overall economic impact of EU membership has always been marginal, and probably marginally negative rather than marginally positive, and it really will make very little long term difference whether or not we agree a new special trade deal to replace the present Single Market arrangements.

And if anyone questions how this can possibly be the case when opponents of Brexit routinely talk about ‘the cliff edge’ and ‘the economic disaster of no deal’, and so on, I suggest that they ask the German Ifo Institute for Economic Research about their advice provided to the German government in June 2017.

According to which advice it could perhaps cost the UK a mere 1.1 per cent of GDP to leave the EU on World Trade Organisation terms, rather than with a comprehensive free trade deal.

Dr D R COOPER

Belmont Park Avenue

Maidenhead

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