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Council calls for changes to planning laws to safeguard its residents affected by development

The Parish Council is asking the Borough Council and the local MP to seek changes to planning legislation so that priority is given to infrastructure requirements that address current issues as well as the impact created by new development.

During the process of responding to the Borough Local Plan, the Parish Council and its Committees identified the potential for existing infrastructure issues to be overlooked in the planning process.

The Council’s Planning Committee Chairman, Cllr Vicky Howes, said: “The planning process must properly consider the impact of new development on our community’s existing infrastructure. We support the need for more housing, in particular for affordable housing, but if additional development is to be sustainable proper and full consideration must be given to the impact on the infrastructure prior to planning permissions being given.”

At the February meeting of the Planning Committee, Members considered the approach that should be taken to address the issue. Whilst recognising the need for appropriate development, Committee Members agreed that ensuring that the necessary infrastructure was in place first should be given greater priority within the planning system. The Committee unanimously passed the following resolution:

“Cox Green Parish Council recognises that the priority of current planning legislation is for a presumption in favour of development with less significance being placed on the infrastructure implications which are invariably examined in isolation. This disconnected approach is detrimental to protecting the wellbeing of those residents affected by this overarching assumption. This Council therefore calls upon the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, the local planning authority and the Right Honourable Mrs May, the MP for Maidenhead, to actively pursue the necessary changes in legislation to ensure that existing infrastructure deficits are addressed before any consideration can be given to new development.”

The Council will also seek to enlist the cooperation of the Borough Ward Members by asking them to raise this issue directly with the Borough’s Full Council meeting of all Members.

Parish Council Chairman, Cllr Ian Harvey, said: “Only by tackling this issue at the legislative level will the appropriate emphasis be made to ensure that the sustainability of new development correctly recognises the obligations we all have to future generations.”

The Council acknowledged that changes to legislation take time and so the opportunity will be sought to incorporate, as far as possible, these requirements into the Maidenhead & Cox Green Neighbourhood Plan.

Notes to Editors:

  • Planning Committee meeting held on Wednesday 8th February 2017
  • Borough Local Plan response refers to the submission to the Royal Borough’s Regulation 18 consultation of the Local Plan
  • The Parish Council is the submitting authority for the Maidenhead & Cox Green Neighbourhood Plan which once adopted will form part of the statutory planning process for the area
  • Enquiries relating to the press release should be directed to the Parish Council’s Office


Parish Council calls for infrastructure review

Following a lively debate at the Council's recent meeting of the Traffic & Pedestrian Committee Members agreed to aggrogate various issues that have been raised over the past year with regards to the local infrastructure. The Committee has had a number of requests from residents to look at issues such as traffic congestion, parking, pedestrian safety and public transport. The Committee therefore agreed to ask the local Highways Authority, the Borough Council, to instigate a review.

The text of the Committee's proposal is reproduced below:

"Cox Green Parish Council is concerned that the road and public transport infrastructure serving its civil parish does not adequately meet the needs of this community. It believes it is essential that a review is carried out using data not more than one year old to establish a reliable understanding of the current situation and to facilitate rational projections for the future. Such a review should clearly identify the current use of public transport, vehicle ownership, vehicle usage and traffic patterns within the Parish as well as traffic profiling of all through traffic.

Cox Green Parish Council therefore calls upon the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, as the local highways authority to initiate a review in a timely manner such that the data can be used for traffic management policy and schemes as well as the Neighbourhood and Local Plans. It further encourages the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s Highways Department, as a consultee of the local planning authority, to have a heightened awareness of development proposals that are likely to impact upon the local infrastructure. Where a recommendation to refuse an application (based on current policy and legislation) is not sufficiently warranted, and whilst awaiting the outcome of the aforementioned review, this awareness should include conditions and measures to mitigate the traffic impact."

Traffic & Pedestrian Committee meeting - 6th July 2016