AFTER more than a decade’s worth of work, a blueprint that sets out where thousands of homes will be built within the Royal Borough is set to be adopted.

The Borough Local Plan has finally been given the green light by an independent planning inspector and it will be put forward to councillors at an extraordinary full council meeting on February 8.

The plan sets out the vision for future development of the Royal Borough up to 2033, including how many new homes are needed, how much space for jobs is required, the best locations for new development and, just as crucially, where development cannot happen.

It has been shaped over a decade through a series of public consultations and a full public examination by an independent Government-appointed Planning Inspector, Mrs Louise Phillips.

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Another consultation took place last summer on the proposed main modifications that she advised were necessary to make the plan sound.

Mrs Phillips has today issued her independent report advising the plan is ‘sound,’ subject to inclusion of main modifications, and capable of adoption.

Councillor David Coppinger (Con: Bray), cabinet member for planning, said he was “pleased” with the inspector’s determination.

He said: “By having a new sound plan identifying the best locations to meet projected housing needs, as required by the Government, the borough is in a stronger position to resist inappropriate and unsupported speculative development elsewhere in the borough, protecting our built and natural heritage.

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“Adoption of the plan will mean it has full weight in deciding planning applications, complementing existing planning documents such as the neighbourhood plans. In bringing forward the largest housing sites, there will also be further engagement with the community, in addition to the usual consultation once planning applications are submitted.”

However, campaign group Maidenhead Great Park are set to protest for a third time at the extraordinary meeting, urging councillors to vote against the Borough Local Plan.

If adopted, the plan would see the 132-acre Maidenhead golf course earmarked for over 2,000 homes and campaigners have been demanding the potential concreting of the “green lung” to be scrapped.

Royal Borough Observer: Maidenhead Great Park protestersMaidenhead Great Park protesters

Tina Quadrino, one of the leading members of Maidenhead Great Park, said: “Our council is using out-of-date figures for housing need in our area to justify the destruction of our green space. They say there’s nowhere else to build, but any development should be focused on brownfield sites and there are plenty available in our borough.”