THE planning inspectorate has outlined what changes are needed for the Royal Borough’s planning blueprint, which will decide where thousands of homes will be built.

This means the council is one step closer to adopting its borough local plan (BLP).

The council hosted the second round of public hearings to examine the BLP last October, November, and December.

After these hearings, the independent planning inspector, Louise Philips, has published her stage two post-hearing letter outlining what needs to change before another public consultation is undertaken later this year.

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In the letter, Mrs Philips said housing at St Mary’s Walk, Maidenhead, which is earmarked for 120 houses, shouldn’t be considered as “essential” after the developer raised issue with the homes having an “uncomfortable relationship” with the commercial units.

Mrs Philips also mentions the envisaged 13-storey building at the Maidenhead Railway Station – which approximately 150 homes, office space, and retail could be built on land surrounding the station – would be “utterly dominate” with the scale of the two-storey homes.

Elsewhere in the inspector’s report, she said the council needs to look at how the new Green Belt boundary will be formed at the Spencer’s Farm site; and reduce the housing capacity at St Marks Hospital.

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The next stage will be for the council to prepare a schedule of main modifications under the guidance of Mrs Phillips.

Councillor David Coppinger, cabinet member for planning, said: “I’m very pleased to see the publication of the inspector’s post hearing letter which means we are a step closer to adopting the Borough Local Plan.

“Our current plan is now very dated, and the new plan will ensure that we can defend the borough against speculative development, regenerate our towns and meet the growing housing needs of our residents.”