MP for Windsor
Working Hard For You
LOCAL Column: Thursday, 21 January 2009

Our beautiful area is under threat.

I have enjoyed the beauty of Windsor, Ascot and the Sunnings for many years, yet these areas are threatened by insensitive over-development. If you take a walk through Eton, Datchet, Horton or Wraysbury you’ll no doubt make the same observation.

There’s no doubt that the Government’s planning policy is to blame. It frequently allows planning applications to be granted on appeal, despite being rejected locally. The wishes of residents are simply ignored on many occasions. In contrast, other areas are crying out for re-development, the Thames Estuary and parts of Liverpool for instance.

There are countless examples of this in the constituency, including the recent applications by Tesco in Sunninghill and the gravel extraction in Colnbrook. I have kept an active watch on these applications, writing directly to the Council, planning inspectorate and Chief Executives of the organisations involved, on the behalf of residents.

Of course there is a need for sensitive local development, which is often welcomed by local residents – the new Ascot Business Park is an example- but the Government’s one size fits all policy is spoiling this exquisite corner of England.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the many constituents who have raised their concerns with me, including Mr Mark Bristow, who has tirelessly fought for local wishes and continues to keep me updated on developments.

It has to stop somewhere and I hope the planning inspectorate considers the wishes of local residents closely when making their final decisions.