Green belt off limit in search for spaces
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TARGET: Cllr Bateson wants the borough to approve 350 new housing developments a year.
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THE Royal Borough has begun its search to find space for up to 350 new properties a year - while making good its promise to protect the Green Belt.
Councillor David Burbage, leader of the Royal Borough, made a high-profile pledge to protect the district's Green Belt last month, but pressure will be put on town centres to find room for residential premises.
The council is preparing a public consultation for autumn, in which residents and stakeholders will be asked their views on potential sites to target new development, including Spencer's Farm, in north Maidenhead.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting, on Thursday, Cllr Christine Bateson, lead member for planning, said: "We are confident we can deliver the minimum 290 dwellings, but we can go up to 350 without losing any Green Belt land.
"We are hoping our residents will see and understand that in the consultation."
The council is aware of more than 100 sites in the Green Belt which have been suggested for future housing development.
The consultation will ask residents' views on whether to add land to Ockwells Manor site, Maidenhead, to the Green Belt to further protect it from developers and at the meeting in the Town Hall, in St Ives Road, councillor Simon Dudley said there is room in Maidenhead for more houses.
He said: "The population of cities around the world are expanding and there are several opportunities in Maidenhead to bring in more development to the town centre."
Simon Hurrell, the council's head of planning and property services, admitted that there had been a "drop-off" in applications for property development last year, but there does appear to be an element of catch-up now, suggesting there is the supply to meet the demand."
This article appeared in Local Berkshire 07 Aug 12