SBDC, in conjunction with Chiltern District, is writing a new Local Plan to cover 2014 to 2036.
A public consultation was held, closing 12th December 2016 concerning the proposals for Green Belt Options. The particular proposal affecting Taplow is Option 15, adjacent to Taplow station. We responded as follows:
The Hitcham and Taplow Society comments as follows on the Green Belt Options Consultation. The Society has been in existence for over 50 years. It has a main objective to ensure that all development within the district is of the highest standard and preserves the quality of the environment. It represents a significant proportion of the residents of Taplow.
Our comments are restricted to Option 15 (Land adjacent to Taplow Station).
This site, bordering the A4 on its northern edge supplies one of the prime functions of the Green Belt, namely the separation of conurbations. This tree and bush line site is a very visual signal of the separation of Maidenhead and Slough.
Whatever the longer term employment requirements may turn out to be there is presently unused office capacity in Maidenhead and more is not justified in the short term.
Most significantly the proposal does not take into account the arrival of Crossrail in 2019 and the consequent growth of station parking requirements. This growth is difficult to predict but the very rapid growth (and projections of growth) of housing in the Beaconsfield area suggest that a short journey down to Taplow for direct London connectivity will draw many commuters. Presently too many bodies are involved for this to be easily resolved. BCC are in charge of road parking restrictions, GWR, Crossrail and TfL all have interests in the station itself and SBDC controls the designation of the site adjacent to the station. We believe that some extension to station parking facilities will be needed in the next few years.
A pre-allocation of the Opton15 land to office development will make the correct station parking solution much harder to implement. As there is no immediate urgency for office space here we strongly recommend that Option 15 is rejected in the short term, It appears very likely that in the next two or three years a new unitary authority will be in place with responsibility for this area. At that time, this authority will have full control of all factors, TfL will have control of the station and the parking pressures will be much clearer. At that time the site should be re-assessed. We would not necessarily oppose some office development as part of that reappraisal.
Option 15 should be rejected in the short term.