Our MP, Theresa May, sent the below statement which was read out at the appeal hearing on 17th October:
Statement for the Maidenhead Planning Committee Hearing – 17th October
I have been approached by a number of my constituents who have raised concerns about the proposal for a new development of a Tesco Express store on the site of the Golden Harp Pub. I understand Tesco have appealed against the Royal Borough’s decision to refuse planning permission for the eight applications which include the installation of a shop front, plant and equipment and bollards.
The Golden Harp is located within the conservation area of the Furze Platt Triangle and has played a part in the community since the late 19th triangular area is characterised by Maidenhead’s Victorian and Edwardian development and local people are concerned about the harm of the different proposals when considered on an individual basis or in combination, on the character of the Conservation Area. As mentioned by the Royal Borough, the installation of a shop front, the proposed bollards and the materials used for it would have a detrimental impact on the character and setting of the area. Concerns have also been raised about the associated use of the development and whether there could be a change in the pattern and level of activities which may result from a new use which could detract from the character of the conservation area.
My constituents have also raised wider concerns outside of planning considerations, notably the impact the development could have on local amenities. The Golden Harp was listed by the Local Authority as an Asset of Community Value which under the Government policy initiative, would allow the community to bid for the asset if it were to be put up for sale. Some of my constituents are concerned about the ability for the local corner shop and post office to compete with a large convenience store from an international chain, which could have an impact on the local post office.
In addition, I understand that Thames Valley Police raised concerns about the Highway Safety of the development which includes increased road traffic, additional vehicular traffic entering the site and potential road safety issues. The conclusion given was that the site will not be able to cope with the increased amount of traffic at the junction of Courthouse Road and Furze Platt Road, especially during peak periods.
I would be grateful if you could consider the concerns raised by my constituents and that of the local community when further determining the planning applications.