MAIDENHEAD golf club formally surrenders the lease to its 132-acre green land to the council as the controversial 2,000 homes scheme moves close to fruition.
In a joint statement, council leader Andrew Johnson (Con: Hurley & Walthams) and councillor David Coppinger (Con: Bray), lead member for planning, announced the exchange of contracts on lease surrender agreement has taken place with the golf club.
The site is earmarked within the borough local plan for over 2,000 homes, 30 per cent of which are affordable, schools, open space, and a community hub.
A planning application is yet to come forward by developer Cala Homes.
Last year, the council bought the lease for nearly £16m after an overwhelming number of club members voted for the local authority’s offer.
The new agreement allows the club to remain at the site on Shoppenhangers Road until December 2025.
In the joint statement, Cllrs Johnson and Coppinger said: “It’s a critical part of the Borough Local Plan, which has now been independently assessed as sound by an independent Planning Inspector.
“The Royal Borough is currently 83 per cent green belt and while a fraction of greenbelt development is needed to meet local housing need, 82 per cent will still remain green belt. This site allocation will therefore accommodate future population growth while preventing speculative development across the borough, including on green belt land elsewhere, while opening-up significant areas of green space for public access, improve walking and cycling connectivity for residents.
“We would like to thank all those involved in getting us to this important stage and we look forward to commending the Borough Local Plan for formal adoption next Tuesday.”
Campaign group Maidenhead Great Park has been urging the council to convert the golf course into a great park via a 4,448 signed petition – but was rejected by the ruling Conservatives.
They have been protesting outside the town hall, urging councillors to vote down the local plan in order to protect the greenbelt sites from development.
The plan is due to come forward to an extraordinary full council on Tuesday, February 8.
A third demonstration will be held outside the town hall at 6pm.