HITCHAM AND TAPLOW
NEWS LETTER No.9
The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Astor
Mr. Victor Williams, J.P., C.C.
Mr. E.F.J. Perkins
Mr. J. Martineau
Mr. A.J. Page, M.P.
Lt. Col. B. Morton, 0.B.E., J.P.
Dr. M.A.T. Rogers, Ph.D.
Mr. W.J. Garrard
Mr. R.J. Lewis
Miss E.V. Matthews
Mrs. L. Miall
Mr. A.J.C. Paines
Mr. J.M. Taylor
Mrs. D.A.D. Young
All communications should be addressed to:—
Dr. M.A.T. Rogers,
With this News Letter we are sending the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in October. Members who were not there may be interested to know that over 50 people attended, and that the discussion was so lively that the Chairman had eventually to close the meeting at 10.15, to allow our guests to get home.
The mess, noise and inconvenience which we foresaw in 1961 has materialised, but no more than was inevitable. No doubt there are points of detail over which members might complain, but we have heard no really serious criticisms, and many people have remarked on the consideration shown by the workmen; Contrast the experience of some of our neighbours in recent years.
The subject was discussed at the A.G.M.; Mr. Partridge referred to a letter which he had written to a Taplow resident; he read it out as it answered many commonly asked questions. It reads – ,
“(1) In accordance with usual practice, all property owners will, at the appropriate stage, receive a letter from the Council’s Engineer and Surveyor informing them that the sewer is available, for connection and giving full instructions as to the procedure to. be adopted.
(2) It is the practice of the Council to lay laterals from the main sewer to the boundary of the property to be served and thereafter it is the responsibility of the property owner to arrange for the laying of the necessary drain from the property to the point of connection with the lateral. There are a number of small contractors who undertake this type of work.
(3) The Council have power to require connection of a property to the main sewer subject to certain provisos being satisfied, of which full details will be supplied to any person who feels he should not be required to connect.
(4) The Council operate a scheme whereby the connection to the sewer can be carried out under arrangements with the Council and the cost spread over a number of years. Reference to the scheme is made in the letter referred to in paragraph (1) above, and full details can be supplied upon request.”
The ‘powers‘ of the Council referred to in para. 3 of the letter will be found as an appendix at the end of this letter. We are grateful to Mr. Partridge for supplying us with this information. Further information will be found also in the Minutes of our meeting held in 1961, a few copies of which are available on request.
MAIDENHEAD AND DISTRICT CIVIC SOCIETY AND THE RIVERSIDE PLAN
Since the meeting, when the representatives of this Society gave us an out- line of their plan (see minutes), there has been quite a lot of discussion about it in the “Maidenhead Advertiser”, and we understand that the Borough Council is considering very seriously the suggestion that a Consultant should be asked to prepare a plan just as Mr. Brett was asked to prepare one for the city centre; such a plan might, of course, differ fundamentally from that put forward by the Civic Society.
Your Committee accepts the View that Maidenhead ought to have a clear idea of what it intends to do on the Berks. side of the river. But it is not happy about a number of the features of the plan which the Civic Seciety have put forward. For example, we don’t like the idea of the riverside being developed as a ‘fun centre’ with all the attendant noise, crowds and waste paper! Nor are we able to accept gladly the idea of very tall buildings along the river bank. Insofar as the Society holds that a planning consultant should be engaged, we support them.
TAPLOW VILLAGE AND THE BUCHANAN REPORT
Just at about the time the Buchanan report was published, news was received that the Bucks County Council has refused permission (granted by Eton R.D.C.) to convert Bapsey into two houses on the ground that half the house will be pulled down for road widening,
Bapsey is the house at the T junction by the entrance to Taplow Court. It juts out into the road, and is considered dangerous to traffic.
What would Buchanan say to this? Surely he would argue (as we have) that this patching up will not materially reduce the danger; that in a few years time, or earlier, the position will be as bad as ever, and then something else will have to be done; meanwhile part, at least, of the village will have been spoilt.
Let us just consider how necessary it really iso We know that it is planned to widen Boundary Road/Hill Farm Road soon — indeed it appears as a major North— South link on the Town maps. Is there any reason why this step should not be taken first; and as much traffic as possible deflected up this road? Furthemore we know that there are ideas on the other side of the river to improve the North—South road systems, and finally we suspect that when the Marlow bridge is built much of the traffic coming our way will go elsewhere. With all these changes is it really necessary to take this action without trying other measures such as halt signs or deflecting some of the traffic via Saxon Gardens?
The decision about Bapsey is taken by the Highways Department. One wonders if they have heard of, or acknowledge, the Taplow Village plan. Engineers are admirable and necessary people, but they are not always very amenity—conscious, and one wonders if they would not prefer it if all villages were based on the New York principle of all roads being straight and meeting at right angles.
Buchanan says (Observer, January 19th) – “One day we may wake up to sudden realisation that the country is no longer worth living in”
The route of the Denham-Beaconsfield Motorway (M 3O) route is now being discussed. It will be only a few miles away to the north of us. The Eton Relief Road was to have been started last year, and presumably will be begun soon. The former is supposed to need no imported gravel, balancing its cut and fill, but we cannot be sure of this and the Eton Road will run along a high embankment over much of its length and will need enormous quantities – about a million cubic yards – (and it’s no use suggesting that we do as every other country in the world seems to do now, and put our roads on piers; this is invariably rejected on cost grounds)s
The prospectors are out again, digging holes in fields in the Rosehill Lane area. For the moment Hunts Wood is not under assault, but we must be prepared to resist further attempts to get gravel from it, whether for road works or other purposes. Members are most earnestly asked to let us know of any boring or other activity which suggests gravel prospecting so that we can check whether planning permission has been granted (it’s illegal without planning permission), and so that we can have early warning of the threats.
THE HAG HILL/HITCHAM ROAD SITE
Now that the enterprising builder who hoped to establish a claim on the land opposite to William Woods Nursery has been turned off (and it needed a law suit to do it) we have been interested to know what will happen to it. We know, of course, that it is common land, to be used “for the purpose of storing road building materials”, and that the Council intends to use it for that purpose, We learn from them that they propose to fence it in; rather reluctantly we feel that this is necessary, or it will become a dump for old mattresses; cars and the like.
Now it seemed to us that this was an admirable site on which to plant some trees. The Council has to destroy a great many, quite legitimately, and plants very few, one reason being that there are very few suitable sitesﬂere is onea But the Council has told us that it has no money for this purpose; it is very willing to allow us to plant and maintain trees on the site, but cannot consider doing so itself. We are continuing to press them on this.
STOCKWELLS AND THE PRIORITY
We like the look of the Stockwells development, It seems to us the best ‘ compromise (which of course it is) for Taplow, and we shall hope to see as satis- factory a solution to the problem of the new buildings on The Priory site. We hope the new school will blend with the surrounding buildings as well.