January 2021 - Thames Tap
Plans for 131 homes on Green Belt land at Ascot have been approved by the Royal Borough.
The development management panel approved plans by demolition and skip and plant hire business Shorts Group to redevelop its home of 40 years, at the December 16 meeting.
The company, advised by planning consultant Boyer, has outgrown the St George’s Lane site which is close to the Ascot Centre regeneration project.
The council accepted there were very special circumstances that outweigh the limited harm resulting from the housing development, required for development on a Green Belt site.
Shorts Group worked on the outline application with internationally-renowned classical architect John Simpson, who has worked on Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Eton College, to produce the illustrative masterplan design.
Local consultations with residents found overwhelming support for the redevelopment due to the sustainable location, the removal of the waste operations and its associated HGV vehicles from the local road network, environmental benefits and highway and other infrastructure improvements.
Gary Short, managing director of Shorts Group, said: “‘This site has been at the heart of our recycling, waste and environmental family business for more than four decades.
“We are reluctant to move from what is a very successful and important site. However, the community, operational and commercial arguments for a relocation were strong and we are therefore pleased to have now secured panel approval so that we can plan for the future of our waste business.”
Duncan Campbell, director at Campbell Gordon, who provided development consultancy services to Shorts Group, said: “The team have worked very closely with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead over the past five years to address all the planning issues in a comprehensive and detailed way.
“The support of the council, general public and other stakeholders clearly demonstrates how working together can deliver a solution that is both viable and welcome across the board.
“We are extremely excited by this opportunity to help bring forward the next step in the rejuvenation of Ascot Centre, and to provide homes for local people.”
Karen Charles, director at Boyer, said: “The scheme will make an important contribution to Ascot Centre through the delivery of homes, affordable housing, infrastructure, environmental improvements, linkages and open spaces.
“It has the potential to deliver an exceptionally designed scheme which can set the benchmark for the remainder of the Ascot Centre sites to be redevelopment as planned through the borough Local Plan.”