With air quality measuring close to the legal limit of 40 µg/m3 in Dedworth, Windsor a new housing estate of 320 houses was given the green light last night? I need to work out what breaching the legal limits actually means for RBWM.
Last night at the Windsor and Ascot Development Management Committee meeting I was trying to secure exploration into having a second access point from the A308 as the Air Quality at the end of Dedworth Road is measuring 39.8 according to Bray Parish Council, 40.0 is the legal limit. Adding another 1000 cars to the mix and only having one access seems crazy to me.
I have explained my reasons and thinking below. The officers could / would not facilitate an extra condition and I ultimately had no real choice but to vote for the application after fighting my corner. I will have to explore this through other channels.
I also called in “Land At 11 And 11 Clifton Rise Windsor” for the following reasons: Development not in keeping with the character of area, adverse impact on parking and set a precedent on similar future applications harming the character of the area.
On reflection after listening to the debate I changed my mind and proposed we accepted officer recommendation to grant planning permission.
I recognise that AL21 has been removed from the Green Belt by the BLP pushed through by this administration at the start of last year.
That means that house building is allowed and very likely to happen.
What is missing in all the plans I have seen to date is any consideration for the residents of the Willows Riverside Park who have been crying out for a safe crossing of the A308 for years.
A crossing was proposed and agreed as part of the north side planning application but this is not for the WIllows residents but simply for new residents to cross the A308 near Oakley Green Road.
ii) Be highly connected with surrounding streets
iii) Provide a highly permeable layout
v) Enhance existing pedestrian and cycle links towards Maidenhead and Windsor
vi) Ensure that the development is well served by public bus routes/demand
xvii) Consider and avoid or, where necessary, mitigate potential disturbance impacts on the users of the Cardinal Clinic
xxii) Provide appropriate mitigation measures to address the impacts of noise and air pollution to protect residential amenity.
10.17 EA have raised an objection to the application based on the modelling provided.
Thames Water had no objections subject to meeting conditions 10.15 and 10.19. All these points deal with flooding and non-touch on delivery of services to homes.
We have a major sewer collapse from the Willows under The Thames and Thames Water have done a temporary fix, linking up with another main pipe. It is going to take months to fix and there they were, when I popped round to take a look for myself, connecting AL22 to the old pipe.
AL21 north side of A308 already has outline permission but this did not consider sewer failures… We need to start considering this as part of the planning process in a logical / professional way if we are going to expand our towns. The sewer network, built probably 100 years ago needs a full review and we need to put pressure on Thames Water to reinvest some of their billion pound, annualised profits, in being proactive rather than just reactive to system failures.
10.20 BLP requires new development to be located close to offices and employment. Does that mean within walking distance of an office?
10.22 The indicative site layout includes seven pedestrian/cycle connections… great but only 1 access point for 1,000 cars
The big concern right here, right now is traffic flow… air pollution is very high in this area and current proposals seem to ignore this, with a single exit onto the Dedworth Road which is already very congested at peak times.
10.24 Traffic movements
It’s fair to assume 450 homes = 1,000 cars
But seemingly, according to the report, only ¼ are going to move each morning and come back each evening
The SEN School for 150 students report makes for magical reading… Many of these students will be entitled to a free taxi to and from school depending on their needs but the report would indicate they don’t need taxis…
The school is apparently going to see just 17 arrivals each morning and rather magically 34 leaving in the afternoon?
How can that possibly stack up or be seen as any sort of realistic picture of the true traffic flow? I’d suggest, simply a convenient equation to tick a box to facilitate the development.
10.39 looks at Air Quality
Bray Parish Council air pollution shows serious concerns from a WHO point of view but is marginally below the figures used by UK Gov who believe the lungs of the English are far stronger than those of other mortals… after all, our SEN kids have special powers, seemingly being able to fly to school.
I approached officers at the start of 2022 saying I thought residents would like CIL (building tax which developers pay to the council) spent on
- improved bus routes
- Protecting the Willows boundary wall
- And the protection of the small plots of land that might be formed (much less likely in 2023 than in 1965)
Talking to officers the question was are these your wish list or what residents actually want? They were right…
So I ran a survey in May 2022 and this showed that while residents wanted the small plots protecting, their other priorities were
- Around Safety – cctv, safe parking for bikes and concerns for pollution
- Youth – provision of community facilities for our young people
Buses were less important and actually, recent changes to the bus routes have speeded up the transition between Maidenhead and Windsor. And realistically, if residents want buses they need to use them.
Dealing with Air Quality and the need for Willows residents to be given the crossing they very much need got me thinking about the Squires roundabout junction.
If the land to the north east of the current AL21, the copse next to the squires roundabout, was RBWM land, then we could consider a 2nd entrance and exit. Taking the cyclops idea from the other end of Maidenhead Road and replacing the current roundabout?
I have written to officers and Wates about exploring this idea and it already has support from OGAFCA
Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association have suggested an alternative for the North West side, replacing the traffic lights with a roundabout with Oakley Green Road.
I’d like to propose, accepting the effort that goes into putting these outline planning applications together, that we agree the application in principle subject to the condition of a 2nd access point be established somewhere along the A308 at the most appropriate point to optimise traffic flow and minimise air pollution.
The key being that a 2nd entrance / exit is on record as part of the plans going forward.
Cllr Jon Davey
Clewer & Dedworth West