Y

        

WE NEED SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT


We NEED more Housing

We NEED Affordable Housing

We NEED Housing for Key Workers

We NEED Housing with a Proper Infrastructure Plan

We NEED Housing with a Vision

We NEED Housing that will protect the Character of our Areas





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Maidenhead Golf Club

One of the sites proposed for 2,000 units under the

current BLP

The BLP will change the

character of our Bourough beyond

recognition.



 
 
 
 

Borough Local Plan

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OUR 10 QUESTIONS ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING


Is the 30% Affordable Housing promise by RBWM light on substance and heavy on populism?


RBWM is one of the most expensive places to live in the country outside of London with property prices more than double the national average. Whilst the council are proposing c.14,000 additional dwellings over the next decade, they fail to grasp the actual needs of the Borough’s residents, which is the need for more affordable housing. Recent study by Oxford Brookes University shows that Affordable housing has fallen by 43% in the last 8 years. What will RBWM do to ensure that the current plan will deliver real affordable housing?


Our Video highlights 10 questions on Affordable Housing:













The 10 questions are also available in pdf version here



We still have serious questions about infrastructure proposals in the BLP. In particular, proposals for mitigating traffic and air quality are woefully inadequate. We urge you to have your say and ask the Borough to think again.

UPDATE FOR RRAG SUPPORTERS


RRAG Update following the recent ‘consultation’ on further changes to the BLPSV - 14 January 2020

 

RRAG has become increasingly concerned by the mixed messages that Cllr Coppinger has been giving residents about how the latest consultation responses will be handled by RBWM and the Inspector e.g. 'whilst we will submit all comments we will separate the two and we do not believe that the Inspector will consider anything which does not relate to the questions she asked us to examine'. We felt strongly that we could not let this go unchallenged. So on 12 January Peter Lerner, who is the Planning Consultant who is advising RRAG, sent a letter to James Carpenter, the Interim Head of Planning for RBWM, to make our concerns known.

 

We believe that:

(a) RBWM has tried to restrict what residents can comment on;

(b) Cllr Coppinger has compounded the error by suggesting that the Inspector won’t look at all the comments made by residents. He also tries to shift the responsibility for this onto the Inspector.

Nice try Cllr Coppinger, but pull the other one!

 

  1. RBWM has divided the proposed changes to the BLPSV into Proposed Main Modifications and Proposed Minor Changes. According to RBWM the Table of Proposed Main Changes includes the modifications of the BLPSV that are necessary to make it legally compliant and sound. The Council will invite the Inspector to recommend the Proposed Changes as Main Modifications (or MMs) of the BLPSV to enable its adoption. RBWM also said that they were not inviting representations on the Proposed Minor Changes to the BLPSV as they are not necessary to make the BLPSV sound and legally compliant. In other words residents should only comment on Proposed Main Modifications and not minor changes. RRAG’s position is that the Council cannot and should not try to control whether or not its residents and businesses make other comments. There is a lot of new material in this latest document and this is the last chance that we will have to comment on these changes to the Inspector. To deny or reject our comments is not morally or legally justifiable and it means that the Minor, or other undefined changes, would pass through the process unchallenged.

 

  1. RRAG has also been particularly disturbed by specific comments made by Cllr David Coppinger to local residents, as follows:

"Whilst residents and any other persons are welcome to make any comments the Inspector is seeking feedback on changes to the original submission.  Whilst we will submit all comments we will separate the two and we do not believe that the Inspector will consider anything which does not relate to the questions she asked us to examine. Therefore the only one we will be submitting in the core pack of those you mention is the bringing forward of the Triangle site. The reason we ask people to use the process is that it is the method that the Inspector requires.   All emails have to be entered into the system by Borough staff but again they will only codify comments on changes. All emails will be sent to the inspector but it is unlikely she will look at them."  We would assume that as Lead Member for Planning Councillor Coppinger speaks with some authority but we think that in this case his interpretation of the process for this consultation is neither fair nor correct as it suggests that the Council may arbitrarily choose only to “codify”, rather than analyse and consider responses to our comments and that the Council will only be submitting selected representations to the Inspector. Furthermore, Councillor Coppinger’s comments are very much at odds with what another member of the RBWM planning team has said in emails to a member of RRAG that: "all representations will be “properly analysed” by the Council, and “will be sent both as they are and also in an analysed summary form.”

 

  1. Finally RRAG has asked James Carpenter for confirmation that all consultation responses which have been received by the Council will be read and considered by the Council and forwarded to the Inspector. Further, if the Council is analysing representations for the Inspector, we would like confirmation that the Council will analyse all comments and not just the comments on Main Modifications.



11th December 2019

 

We are getting ready to submit the RRAG response to the BLPSV-PC consultation and are pleased that we have been able to put together strong, well-reasoned arguments that are based on expert evidence, particularly in respect of Air Quality.

 

It is disturbing to read recent statements by Councillor Coppinger that: "Whilst residents and any other person are welcome to make any comments the Inspector is seeking feedback on changes to the original submission.  Whilst we will submit all comments [to the Inspector] we will separate the two and we do not believe that the Inspector will consider anything which does not relate to the questions she asked us to examine. All emails have to be entered into the system by Borough staff but again they will only codify comments on changes. All emails will be sent to the inspector but it is unlikely she will look at them."

 

We find this disturbing mainly because it seems to us to be a somewhat confusing distortion of what we believe to be the case. 

So just to be clear: we think that this consultation is on the PROPOSED CHANGES to the BLPSV - the version of the BLP submitted to the Inspectorate in 2018, which went to Stage 1 Hearings in June 2018 and was then paused. The Borough has made changes to the BLPSV which includes material reviewed and revised at the request of the Inspector but there have also been alterations to the wording of some policies, and some wholly new policies have been added to the BLPSV.   We think that if the Borough is proposing any changes that were not previously subject to consultation then we are entitled to comment on them. Whether or not the Inspector is interested on reading them is down to her not Cllr Coppinger. 


29 October 2019

 

As you will know, last week the RBWM Councillors voted in favour of a number of proposed changes to the Borough Local Plan. These changes will now be subject to public consultation.

You may well be wondering about RRAG’s reaction to this latest development in the BLP story.

Well, from our perspective RBWM is proposing an ENORMOUS number of changes. The supporting evidence alone runs to thousands of pages. We are approaching this in our usual manner – coolly and calmly we will study it – all of it – and only release a briefing when we have fully digested all the implications and can present a balanced and reasoned opinion.

We are sorry if you are disappointed by the delay – but we will NOT rush to judgement on something so important.  Bear with us, please. We truly value your support and hope we can continue to rely on you.

For more information see our Communications page.