Fight over Imperial House plan continues

Fight over Imperial House plan continues

Francis Batt

Fight over Imperial House plan continues

Campaigners determined to block a major office development are fighting on despite a defeat in the High Court.

Opponents of the plan by St Congar Properties to build the offices on the site of Imperial House in Alma Road, Windsor, have lost a judicial review.

Although the hearing went against them one of the fighting residents who live in the roads surrounding the site, former Royal Borough councillor David Eglise, insisted the case was far from lost.

He said their solicitor Richard Buxton has already lodged an appeal, although a lot may rest on whether the scheme's opponents can get legal aid again.

Residents raised £2,500 in contributions towards costs last year but legal aid made up the difference.

Mr Eglise said: "I remain optimistic and am very impressed by our legal team."

Meanwhile John Goodwin Menswear proprietor and past Windsor Chamber of Commerce president David Jessey has warned the ongoing battle to stop the offices being built could put businesses off coming to the town.

He said: "This appeal process can only have a detrimental affect on other companies deciding to invest in Windsor."

He said that businesses had deserted the town in the past because of a lack of suitable, 'state-of-the-art' offices that the proposed development would provide.

The new plan by St Congar Properties was regarded as too overpowering by Royal Borough councillors who turned it down in 2010.  But their decision was overturned by a Government appeals inspector a year ago.

Neighbours living near Imperial House refused to give up, successfully getting a judicial review in the High Court in November that could have sent the plan back to the appeals inspector to reconsider. But the result that came through did not go their way.

St Congar Managing Director Matthew Chichester said he will wait until the legal process is over before commenting further. He has insisted in the past that people will come to accept the development which will bring jobs to the town.

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