Updated December 2003
refused in December 2003)
Update December 2003
Planning permission for
the demolition of the above property in York Road and York Avenue
has been refused, although this may not stop the developers from
having another go with revised plans in the near future.
We are particularly pleased
that this area of Windsor has been preserved from inappropriate
development and hope that it will remain so, but pressures from
a variety of directions remain on attractive period properties
such as this and we must remain vigilant.
The following is extracted
from the letter sent to local residents.
It is to be hoped that
the reasoning behind this refusal of planning permission can
also be usefully applied to others in Windsor. BUT note the warning
at the end of the letter where the applicant has the right of
In coming to its decision,
the Council ...took
into account all other relevant factors, including the policies
in the Development Plan, and in this case the proposed development
was considered unacceptable. The application was accordingly
refused on for the following reasons:
1 The proposal represents
an overdevelopment of the site in terms of site coverage, height,
bulk and massing and proximity to the south east and north boundaries,which
is at odds with the more spacious character and appearance of
the locality. The proposal also fails to provide usable amenity
space to serve the future occupiers or sufficient space for a
setting for the building and to allow planting to mitigate against
landscaping which will be lost. As such the proposal is contrary
to policies LD3 and EN1 of the Berkshire Structure Plan 1991-2006
and to H11 of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Local
2 Inadequate parking,
is provided to support this level of development. The site is
located outside the town centre, where reduced parking standards
are not considered to be appropriate. Additional visitor parking
would be required and cannot be satisfactorily provided within
the context of this scheme. Without additional parking there
will be an overspill of cars onto the neighbouring heavily parked
roads which will exacerbate problems of limited visibility and
thus will adversely affect highway safety and the amenity of
the locality . The proposal is therefore contrary to Policy LD3
of the Berkshire Structure Plan 1991-2006 and Policies H11 DG1
and P4 of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Local Plan
3 The proximity of
the development to northern and westerly boundaries will, as
a result of the height, bulk, massing and disposition of windows,
create an overbearing intrusive and unneighbourly form of development
which will, on the northern boundary, create problems of an overbearing
relationship and loss of privacy and, on the western boundary,
will give rise to the loss of residential amenity due to the
overlooking of neighbouring houses and private gardens, particularly
in the winter months. The proposal is therefore contrary to Policy
LD3 of the Berkshire Structure Plan 1991- 2006.
4 The location of
the car parking area in close proximity to the north and western
boundaries of the site and in close proximity to neighbouring
properties will give rise to noise and disturbance to neighbouring
residential properties and will, as a result, be detrimental
to the residential amenity which these neighbouring properties
might reasonably expect to enjoy, contrary to Policy LD3 of the
Berkshire Structure Plan 1991 -2006
5 The proposal would
fail to provide provision for on-site public open space, education
facilities, community facilities or library services to meet
the additional demands for such facilities that would be created
by the proposed development, or financial contribution in lieu
of such provision. As such, the proposal would be contrary Policies
LD6 and R5 of the Berkshire Structure Plan 1991-2006 and Policies
R3 al IMP1 of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Local
Plan (Incorporating Alterations adopted June 2003), and to the
Council's Adopted Supplemental Guidance on Public Open Space
Provision (February 2003) and Planning Obligations and Developer
Contributions (March 2003).
A copy of the Decision
Notice can be inspected at the address shown below during normal
You should be aware that
the applicant does have the right to appeal to the Secretary
of State for the Environment against the Council's decision at
any time during the next six months. In the event of such an
appeal being submitted I will write to you again to give you
an opportunity to make representations to the Inspector who would
be responsible for conducting the appeal.
Development Control Manager
The pressure to build in the south-east 'come what may' threatens
quality Victorian homes
The Original Story
On 7th March 2000 Mr Prescott, Deputy Prime
Minister, demanded a significant increase in housing projects
in the south-east while announcing in the House of Commons his
Regional Planning Guidance for the South East and the publication
of Planning Policy Guidance on Housing (PPG3). Given this government
green light, the announcement paved the way for developers throughout
the south-east to go on the hunt for land, confident that local
authorities would be under central government pressure to approve
planning applications which in any other circumstances would
be deemed undesirable and unsuitable.
Mr Prescott originally claimed that the only sites
that would be affected by this pressure to build, build, build,
would be brown field sites. I.e. those sites that had formerly
been industrial and which were now derelict or otherwise ripe
for change of use.
This yardstick has now been very much stretched and
distorted such that attractive buildings of real character and
visual amenity to a community are now threatened with high density
housing development . This is government sponsored vandalism.
One such property under threat is 38 York Road, Windsor,
pictured above, a delightful home of considerable character dating
from the late Victorian period. The very fine domed roof in the
south east corner of the property is particularly attractive
above the fully rounded bay windows.
A planning application has been lodged with Windsor
and Maidenhead Borough Council to demolish the existing house
and erect ten flats. The danger is that, with the increased government
pressure, this application will be granted, along with many similar
around the country, such that in a number of localities the quality
of the housing stock will be reduced to non-descript, high density
units, totally lacking in style such that a once-attractive residential
area is reduced to a soulless street with no quality architecture
of any kind.
Update April 2005: I have found a reference to the house in an ISC
journal 'Chronicle' dated February 1920 which reads "The
house "Tokio" in York Road, which is now the property
of the College and is to be known in future as the Chaplain's
House, is under Mr Healey's charge."
Added Government Pressure
The Guardian newspaper, in July 2002 reported
that Mr Prescott attacked councils in the south-east "for
missing their targets for new house building in the last two
years, and promised to intervene to force reluctant local authorities into approving
This is continued
government sponsored vandalism.
Effect of Euro 'convergence'
Extract from http://assessment.treasury.gov.uk/
Assessment of the
five economic tests
...But there remain
structural differences with the euro area, some of which are
significant, such as in the housing market. Because of the risks
these factors pose, and the fact that any dynamic changes would
take time to come through, we cannot yet be confident that UK
business cycles are sufficiently compatible with those of the
euro area to allow the UK to live comfortably with euro area
interest rates on a permanent basis...
Although it is not immediately
obvious, the sometime acceptance of the Euro as the unit of currency
in the UK (given acceptance by the UK public) is currently adversely
threatening properties such as no. 38.
In order to reduce the Bank of England interest rate
to European levels and to achieve some sort of 'convergence',
a much lower interest rate is required here in the UK. If the
interest rate was lowered significantly now (Summer 2003) house
prices would jump substantiallially once again, adding to inflationary
pressures. To reduce house price increases, more property must
be made available - built - to meet demand. This is one of the
government strategies that Gordon Brown touched upon in a TV
interview, on June 10th 2003, where he intimated that more housing
was being encouraged. This would reduce the pressure on prices
and help meet the requirements of the Famous Five economic tests. In order to build more houses,
higher densities are required in existing residential areas.
In these circumstances the application to build 10 properties
on the site of 38 York Road could be permitted, especially if
local planners give in to central government pressure. The danger
is, as previously stated, that political targets can wreek havoc
in residential areas such as these where valuable and architecturally
interesting properties are sacrificed to make way for drab as ditch water development. To borrow a phrase from another campaign...
"Just say 'no'!"
It's up to the residents
We urge all residents to lobby their local
councillors and MPs to express their concern at this potential
destruction of their neighbourhood. The sad truth is that ill-considered
planning approvals serve merely to legalise property vandalism
and line the pockets of property developers.
Only in years to come, when later communities come
to mourn the loss of significant local buildings, will the true
loss be realised. Attractive residential areas and neighbourhoods
take years to mature, yet can be wrecked in days.
There is a serious loop-hole with planning
applications these days, and the loop-hole is being expolited
by developers. Quite simply, if a developer puts in an application
for some form of development to which local residents have objected,
the plans can be withdrawn and a second, very similar set lodged
which nullify the original objections UNLESS they are resubmitted
in relation to the new set of plans. In other words, every opposed
planning application must be objected to, however similar they
may seem to previous applications. The initial objection will
be deemed to have been withdrawn if any subsequent applications
are not objected to.
This sorry state of affairs requires attention.
Planning Application Details
||Location of Property
||38 York Road
of a two storey apartment block with accommodation in roof space
for 10 2-bedroom flats following demolition of existing property
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