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Ascot and the Sunnings Neighbourhood plan at "crunch point"

Published: 2 Dec 2013 12:30

A NEIGHBOURHOOD plan that would see residents have a greater say on developments in their community is at “crunch point”, its steering group says.

A public inquiry into the Ascot and the Sunnings Neighbourhood Development Plan will take place on Wednesday, December 11, overseen by a planning inspector.

Nigel McGurk has selected 16 people who have raised objections about the plan to speak at the hearing.

The focus is on development in Sunningdale and Ascot because they have train stations, to limit the amount of extra traffic. Sunninghill would be protected to enhance its character.

The plan encourages a redevelopment of the centre of Ascot in order to deliver a more attractive shopping centre, plus sensitive development in Sunningdale to improve its economic viability.

The plan proposes that proposed developments com-prising 10 or more properties should actively consult with local people. Proposals set out in the Ascot and the Sunnings Neighbourhood Development Plan – though there are no precise details of the scale of developments – are:

l Terraced houses to the north of Ascot High Street and family homes to the south

l More shops, pubs and rest-aurants to encourage a more vibrant Ascot High Street

l Redevelopment of Ascot train

station area, to include more car parking and some shops

l Support new homes on part of the Heatherwood Hospital site not needed for healthcare services

l Mixed redevelopment in the area around the Broomhall centre in Sunningdale, to include homes, small shops and offices, more parking and possibly a medical centre

l A double-deck car park at Sunningdale train station and some extra shops. Double-deck car park at Waitrose only if there would be no adverse impact on road congestion.

Surrey Heath Borough Council is concerned that the planned developments in Sunningdale would cause traffic and safety issues on the A30 and Chobham Road.

Ascot and the Sunnings Neighbourhood Development Plan is the first of its kind to be submitted to the Royal Borough for possible implementation.

It was drawn up after extensive public consultation, including meetings.

Margaret Morgan, a member of the neighbourhood plan steering group, said: “This really is crunch time for Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale.

“The hard work that everyone has put in over the last three years has come down to this moment. It really will give the community a greater sense of responsibility over what is going on in their community.

“There is nothing to hide now. The whole community has come up with this plan, not just individuals.

“We’re feeling positive about it. We wouldn’t have submitted it if we thought it was going to fail.”

The Royal Borough has hired Nigel McGurk to review the plan, before submitting a report to the council on January 7.

The council will then

decide if any of Mr

McGurk’s recommen-dations need to be implemented before putting it to a vote by residents in a public referendum in late February. If 50% or more people vote in favour of the plan, it will become planning law.

The hearing will be held on Wednesday, December 11, at Sunningdale Park in Larch Avenue, starting at noon.

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