ROYAL Borough leader Cllr Simon Dudley has been made a director of a Government agency that supports house building – while facing a growing furore at home over his own council’s plan to allow development on green belt sites.

Cllr Dudley was confirmed this week as a director of the Homes and Community Agency (HCA), which controls a £3 billion home building fund to help finance building projects.

But the news went down badly with some green belt campaigners. Pat Morrish is against the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s plans to allow as many as 650 new homes on open fields between Wyevale and Squires Garden Centre in Oakley Green near Windsor.

The plan is still up for consultation. But Mrs Morrish said that seeing Cllr Dudley become part of the HCA was bemusing.

She said: “I don’t understand how Cllr Dudley can be a banker, council leader and a director of this body.

“I really fear he will have split loyalties over this.

“I know there have to be houses in the Royal Borough but they don’t need to go over the top to the detriment of the community. There is much bad feeling.”

Cllr Dudley said it was his skills as a leader of the council, banker and financier that had made the HCA seek his expertise and that taking on the role would not conflict with his role on the Royal Borough.

He said: “I will be one of nine directors. The HCA helps fund housing associations and builders as they acquire land for building.”

He insisted he understood people’s concerns about the green belt and that the next stage of the consultation would take into account reactions received.

The site in Oakley Green under consideration for development houses wildlife. A packed public meeting saw angry scenes erupting late last year with residents pledging to protect it.

Cllr Dudley said the council was taking into account people’s views He said: “We need to minimise the utilisation of green belt while meeting the needs of the community. The next stage of the consultation is coming up. Watch this space.”