Histories of Windsor
Vansittart Road Recreation Ground
The RBWM Threat to Sell It Off, 1989
Campaigners Press Release
In May 1989, the following Press Release was issued by the Friends of the Vansittart Road Recreation Ground in response to the Windsor and Maidenhead council's plans to sell The Recreation Ground.
Issued by The Friends of Vansittart Road Recreation Ground Public Open Space,
Windsor May 30th 1989
Royal Borough Ignores Residents and Plans to Sell Public Open Space for Development
For some months now the residents of Windsor have been wholeheartedly opposing an outrageous scheme, promoted by Conservative councillors in Maidenhead 6 miles away, to sell a much-needed Public Open Space in the heart of the town and within sight of Windsor Castle.
The plan will deprive a very large number of Windsor parents and children of their only recreational area, yet councillors from Maidenhead and beyond continue to force the land sale through.
Compared to Maidenhead's 300+ acres of Public Open Space, Windsor has just 90 acres, 70 of which comprises The Home Park, well to the north east on the other side of town and beyond reach by most families. Of the remaining 20 acres, Vansittart Recreation Ground represents 6.5 acres, well situated in the heart of residential Windsor.
Previous applications to develop the site have been refused on the grounds that Public Open Space in this part of Windsor was already insufficient [READ REPORT] and this in the days when the area covered 10 acres. A new road scheme, and a fenced off running track, have further reduced this area to the current 6.5 acres, which Windsor residents consider is now even less sufficient.
Yet the Conservative councillors continue at some speed to push through measures for the land's sale. Their leader's insistence that councillors follow the Party Whip, irrespective of the electors' loudly aired views, has already led to the demise of the last Conservative county councillor in the area, one Mr Thatcher by name. Mr Thatcher was rash enough to promise to vote against the sale of school land elsewhere in the town, yet reneged on his promise when the time came. The voters chose another representative when their time came.
The residents have created a powerful and vociferous group, lead by retired Borough Surveyor, Gordon Cullingham, who has over 50 years experience in planning matters in Windsor.
The Action Group has published its own CAMPAIGN NEWS to keep residents informed of events and the Group has its own song, Ten Green Acres,
"And if one green acre should accidently fall,
We'll look for guts for garters at Maidenhead Town Hall!"
(Extract, to the tune of Ten Green Bottles) Read the complete Anthem!
This Battle Hymn brought the house down when sung recently by local boys during the Friends' Public Meeting.
Gordon Cullingham is also making use of little known legisation to register the Open Space as a New Green whilst at the same time making his presence felt at Planning Meetings with a recording of Ten Green Acres, much to councillors' discomfort.
- The scheme deprives local residents of essential Public Open Space.
- Previous applications to build on this site have been refused.
- The overwhelming majority of Windsor residents oppose the scheme.
- Outsider councillors from as far away as Cookham, Hurley, Wraysbury and Ascot have voted against the wishes of Windsor councillors and residents.
- The new Windsor Local Plan contravenes certain County Council guidelines.
- The Recreation Ground is Public Open Space.
- The land is currently being registered as a New Green.
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