As I posted on Facebook earlier this week, two of us went to the ThinkBurnham meeting on Monday night. It seems to me that they are much divided in their opinions on the project. From their constitution, they are not allowed to get involved in the fight against this. From my observation and the emails I received from various members afterwards, it seems that a majority of members are against the project.
Interestingly during the meeting, I discovered that Burnham Parish council is only concerned with 8% of the development land; the rest (92%) is on Taplow Parish. I believe that there are no Taplow councillors on the planning committee.
As part of the development, Land Securities (LS)will pay for various infrastructure developments in the local area. Sainsbury’s for example paid for the roundabout on the A4. They also paid for a clock tower for the old Burnham Park Hall. You all saw the state of the roundabout until Sherriff Mountford eventually paid for the roundabout to be replanted and maintained.
The clock tower is now in storage as the hall was demolished.
Burnham High Street traders have decided not to fight the proposal. I guess the offer from LS to pay South Bucks District Council for 5 years of 30 minutes free car park has something to do with it.
In comparison, Maidenhead Chamber of commerce sees this development very much as a threat and are willing to put their money where their mouth is by giving a donation to our fighting fund.
We have also secured funds from a Burnham High street trader who feels that this development will not serve the local community.
LS is also very keen to engage the local community and to pay for some local developments. LS mentioned Taplow Station, street lighting, etc… As far as I know the only people talking to LS about this at the moment are ThinkBurnham and Burnham Street Traders association. When you think that only 8% of the land from the project is under Burnham, those guys will do rather well out of the development. I also find it difficult to understand why it would be beneficial to the local community for Taplow Station to be revamped. Surely, as a commercial enterprise, Network Rail should be doing this.
In the meantime, it is important for you to write about your opposition to the plans to the council. At the public meeting we did say that we would prepare a letter so you could copy it and send it to the council. We have now taken advice on this and it seems that if we all send the same letter, this will be considered as one objection. It is therefore important that you send individual letters or file your objections. You can do so online, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to: The address to write to is:
South Bucks District Council
The planning application reference number is: 11/01625/FUL
It is very important that you contact the Council to object as without objections, it is possible for the application to be passed without going to committee. i.e no public hearing
Simply writing that you do not want Tesco there will not be good enough. Please use traffic, loss of high skilled jobs, environment, over development, etc… as your reason for objecting but please object! The more objections the better.
Please also make sure you talk to your local councillor, after all he is the elected official in your area that is supposed to represent your views.
We need £5,000, the funds that are to employ a professional town planner to review the plans and give us advice on how we can fight the application. If you are willing to contribute any amounts to the fund, please contact me.
The money will be used strictly to buy legal advice, public meeting expenses and printing. The accounts will be audited by an independent third party so rest assured that the money will be put to good use. At the end of the project, if any money if left, the balance will be given to Thames Valley Adventure Playground.