11:30AM, Wednesday 22 August 2012
Controversial councillor Tom Bursnall has bought the doomed Bricklayers Arms pub in his ward and plans to redevelop it into town houses.
Cllr Bursnall, who represents the Royal Borough's Clewer East ward in Windsor, said he wanted to build three or four town houses on the site and had already consulted with neighbours living near the pub.
He outbid a competitor who wanted to put 12 flats on the site of the pub in Hatch Lane, after the owner Enterprise Inns put it on the market.
He said: "I want a development that would be similar to the Claremonts site behind Windsor College.
"It would be a development to enhance the area - so many developers just want to build as many flats as possible to maximise their profits."
Tom, 32, is married to fellow councillor and former mayor Catherine Bursnall, 31. The couple have a 16-month-old daughter Lara (all pictured left).
The couple run a recruitment company. Tom admits that the pressure has made it impossible to take a proper holiday for four years, leading to his decision to change direction. He has remortgaged his house to buy the Bricklayers Arms.
He said: "Running a head-hunting company since the recession is not the most enjoyable thing. There is a danger of burning out."
Tom and Catherine caused a furore earlier this year when they defected from the Conservative party to become members of UKIP - the anti-EU party.
Tom's decision to buy and develop the pub is also likely to raise eyebrows. But he believes his plan to build three or four houses on-site rather than a block of flats will be popular with people living in the area.
He says he has already turned down offers to buy the site from him by three interested parties, hoping respectively to establish a sports centre, a religious education centre and flats.
More than 50 street parties are set to take place this weekend across the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and the surrounding areas.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.