It is very easy for any of us to focus on our own issues when it comes to a consultation. That is fine when we are putting our case to another in an open forum, face to face, where a quick decision can be made by those present, a solution agreed and we all move on with our lives.
When it comes to a Borough Local Plan then this process is not a quick fix. It is a legal process that can take years. Therefore it cannot be taken off at a tangent and we need to focus on specific points.
RBWM is currently consulting with residents on a wide range of proposed changes to the Borough Local Plan. You need to stick to reviewing the changes and any concerns you might have with them specifically.
The consultation runs from Friday 1 November 2019 until midnight on Sunday 15 December 2019.
Cllr Helen Price was very involved in the first consultation and so I deferred to her for what she felt would be the best use of your time in reviewing any changes. I asked her which documents you should look at…
All are available via this link:
Borough Local Plan with Proposed Changes
The Amendments certainly improve the Plan. Many of these amendments are the result of representations made by residents. Therefore our views and voices are being heard. There is the opportunity to further improve the Plan. Whilst you are advised to stick to commenting on the Amendments, any comments you make on the original document will be forwarded to the Inspector. It would be helpful to the Inspector for you not to just say you disagree, but why and what could be done to improve it.
As there is a wealth of documentation (in excess of 3000 pages) we thought it might be helpful to give you a steer of what, in our opinion, are the key documents. Some of these are in the Libraries and are indicated with an asterisk * and all are available via this link >>>
These documents were produced and passed at breakneck speed and understandably errors have crept in. If you think you spot something that is odd, don’t ignore it but make a comment on it. The Inspector needs to be alerted to any errors. You are of course free to comment on areas outside Windsor but I’ve restricted my points below to Windsor related matters.
*BLP Submission Version incorporated changes. Look at the Contents to see what areas are of interest to you and do look at appendix C, the Housing Proformas and find the sites of interest. Note the boundaries carefully on the map. Read the requirements as these inform you what HAS to be on site. For example I’ve noted that on AL 21/22 (West Windsor) there is no mention of Affordable Housing, this is an error and you can point this out and indicate what % of Affordable Housing YOU think appropriate. If you think there should be a higher level of self-build on the four Windsor housing sites, say so. If you are concerned about loss of medical services at KEVII then say that you want this to be a Requirement of development.
*Policy Maps – its often easier to visualise impacts rather than just read. There is a separate map for the Windsor Area
*Sustainability Appraisals (three volumes). Vol 1 outlines the impact of the Amended Plan in terms of social, economic and the environment. Do look at P27 as this clearly outlines the ten areas negatively impacted including an increase in carbon emissions of 22%. Vol 2 shows the impact of different polices and of different sites. These are clearly laid in tables with colour coding – look for the red flashed areas- “major negative”. P61 clearly shows the Housing Policy to be the main contributor to the negative impacts, and look at P65 for the negative impact of the AL21 (West Windsor) site.
Infrastructure Delivery Plan (I have requested a hard copy be placed in the libraries). This covers transport, public open spaces, education, health,sport & leisure, community, utilities. See P14 for project A17 on Mill Lane roundabout (£0.5m allocated, incorrectly labelled Maidenhead), A19 Winkfield Road junction (no money allocated), P43 project F3 Community Facility, this is for the AL21 West Windsor site (£1m cost).
Ask yourself, does this document give you the assurance that the necessary infrastructure will be delivered BEFORE development?
We also asked RBWM Residents Action Group for their take on things and their suggestions are below along with how to respond:
Overall, after a preliminary review, RRAG thinks that the proposed changes will make for a better plan. It is clear that RBWM have taken on board many of the issues we raised previously e.g. there is now a much better policy on Affordable Housing, and policies make allowances for the role played by Neighbourhood Plans.
This is all good news BUT there are still some issues that cause us concern such as:
⦁ Air pollution
⦁ Noise pollution
⦁ Traffic congestion
⦁ Density of development in many areas
⦁ Protection of the Green Belt
Of course RRAG will be submitting a response to the consultation to let the Borough know what we think of the proposed changes – and we encourage you to do so as well.
Please write to the Council setting out your views, and wherever possible, giving local examples of how issues affect you and your family.
You can submit your comments in different ways depending on what is easiest for you.
Online – using the consultation portal at: http://consult.rbwm.gov.uk/portal
Download – the response form at: http://rbwm.objective.co.uk/file/5513840
Write – a letter or an email
Scan and email forms to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post to: FREEPOST RBWM PLANNING POLICY
We hope this is of help and do get in touch if you need further guidance.