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Campaigners call for changes to golf club development plan

6 February 2024

The Berkshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is calling on the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to ensure that any development at Maidenhead Golf Club has a higher proportion of social and affordable housing than is currently proposed by developer Cala Homes, in order to provide homes for key workers, and that all buildings on the site, including the schools, café and all houses and flats have rooftop photovoltaic panels to generate solar energy.

CPRE Berkshire has consistently opposed the loss of open Green Belt land at the Golf Club, but, recognising that the site is earmarked for development in the Local Plan, believes that it is vital for any parts of the land that are eventually built on to be fully sustainable, both in terms of meeting local housing needs and addressing environmental concerns. The charity also wants a smaller area of green land to be built on than is currently proposed, a higher density of housing so that optimum use is made of the land, and a stronger plan to protect trees and wildlife habitats on the site for the sake of the area’s biodiversity.

CPRE Berkshire Chairman Greg Wilkinson comments: “Anywhere green land is developed it must meet the very highest environmental standards, especially for renewable energy, which is why we want to see rooftop solar panels as standard throughout the proposed development, not just on the schools and community facilities but also on the roofs of the houses and flats in the scheme.”

He adds: “If we are lose open spaces such as Maidenhead Golf Club to build housing then we must also ensure that these new homes meet the social needs of the local community rather than just boosting the profit margins of the developers. The present planning application allows for more than twice as much ‘market’ housing as social and affordable housing. This is not the right balance for a borough where the requirement at the present time is overwhelmingly for social rented housing, particularly for key workers.”