These pages are regularly updated, please select here to view the latest version.
tip: if copying and pasting an email address - remove the space
Planning - December 2022
Planning News extracts, from the members newsletter, published December 2022, and updates.
Since our last Newsletter there has been no major changes to the plans. Dido, the property developer, has been soliciting support from far and wide by making it easy to anyone to use a standard template. This is unlike the detailed thought-out objections from local community groups. The Society has maintained contact with them and has offered support.
Two major consultees have commented, The Environmental Agency and The Highways Agency. Both the Town council and the Chamber of Trade are broadly neutral. The Town Councillors are principally concerned about the impact on traffic and transport. The Chamber sees some benefit in trade.
The Society remains unconvinced about the Economic case, which needs to be challenged by the planners. The need for more local film studios seems thin as there are already planned on in development studios at Bray, Holyport, Booker airfield, an extension at Pinewood and Shinfield. The Transport proposals are just unworkable as, even under Dido's proposed road layout changes, traffic would likely back up onto the A404 causing a major safety issue. Even this is based on an unrealistic assumption that public transport could account for around 30% of employee movements.
West Street Developments
JD Wetherspoons application to use the M & Co premises as a pub-restaurant has been approved. This is despite local residents raising several concerns; the large size/capacity, increase in anti-social behaviour, nature of the listed building and the lack of parking. The Town Council also objected on two grounds, the lack of parking and that the change of use should not be allowed. It will be interesting to see if JD Wetherspoons proceed as they have just announced further site closures including the site in Beaconsfield.
Little Westerns in West Street has been sold and is being redeveloped as bed & breakfast establishment. The house is Grade 2 listed. Parking is again an issue. Residents are also concerned that the proposed dormer windows at rear are out of character. The Society has commented that the Conservation officer should opine.
The Schools' Boathouse by Gossmore Park has at last been approved as the Environment Agency has acknowledged that their concerns have been addressed. The Society remains concerned about the impact on local roads, mainly because the need for parking is unmet on the site.
Lidl supermarket opened on 10th November. The Liston Road Car park has been resurfaced. The end result is as planned and in no way detracts from the general appearance of Chapel Street. The major learning from this development was need to have better scheduling of work to prevent multiple traffic disruptions. Over three months there were traffic lights at the Dean Street roundabout causing major traffic jams.
Everyman Cinema in the former Steamer Trading Company is making very slow progress. The external scaffolding Is down and at the rear the external structure is now in place. The work seems to have been scheduled well to avoid causing major disruption. It will not be open for Christmas!