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Local campaigners slam ‘cuckoo’ development plans

19 February 2023

Countryside campaigners in Ascot, Berkshire, have branded a proposed development of offices, shops, housing and theatre/cinema auditorium as ‘cuckoo’ because, just as the cuckoo uses other birds’ nests to lay their eggs, the developer of this scheme is using other people’s land for parking.

The local branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) believes that the planning application submitted by developer London Square to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead should be rejected because the concentration of new buildings including over 130 dwellings and a combined floorspace of 2,500 sq.m on such a small parcel of land would be disproportionate and would represent a significant over-development of the area.

CPRE also opposes the loss of trees which this development would involve (40% of the 115 trees on the site would be felled).

The group is also concerned that the area is poorly served by public transport, which means travel by car, but the developers are not proposing any car parking facilities for shoppers or visitors, despite Ascot already having a lack of parking spaces. London Square has instead offered the car parks on land it does not own.

Greg Wilkinson, Chairman of CPRE Berkshire commented: “We support development in towns if it saves pressure on the countryside but this scheme is badly planned and totally disproportionate. Anyone thinking this development is acceptable is living in cloud cuckoo land.”