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Author Topic: ‘Reality’ decision not to serve Article 4 direction on Golden Harp  (Read 2558 times)
RBWM Press Release
Hero Member
Posts: 1154

« on: May 09, 2013, 01:05:14 PM »

Issue will be pursued ‘at highest level’

“This is a countrywide concern that we will pursue at the highest level. But while we fully sympathise with and support the desires of Furze Platt residents, reality had to be the deciding factor.”

That’s the message from Cllr Derek Wilson, chairman of the Maidenhead development control panel, after the panel’s decision last night (Wednesday 8 May) not to serve an Article 4 direction on the former Golden Harp pub in Furze Platt Road, Maidenhead.

The building has been leased by Tesco with the intention of opening a convenience store – a move vehemently opposed by residents and the Furze Platt Action Group. An Article 4 direction would have meant that planning approval would be needed to change the former pub into a shop, and that no related work could be carried out on the building until planning permission was granted. This would have ensured that residents and the council would have been able to scrutinise fully Tesco’s plans.

However, after a public debate followed by two hours of intense private discussion, the panel accepted that there was little realistic chance that an Article 4 direction could be served.

Cllr Wilson said: “We are in total sympathy with the residents of the area and are frustrated about the impact on a historic corner of Maidenhead, including traffic and safety concerns. But, along with countless other areas countrywide, we find ourselves up against a situation which, although unwanted by the local community, is completely legal – we will be taking this issue to government. A better way needs to be found, both for Furze Platt residents and all the other communities in a similar situation.”

In the public part of the meeting the panel received representations on behalf of Furze Platt Action Group and on behalf of Central Midlands Estates Ltd, the owners of the Golden Harp.

About 4,400 people have signed two petitions against the proposed convenience store.

At council on 23 April all but one councillor voiced their support for the protesters and called for the viability of an Article 4 direction to be explored.

Cllr MJ Saunders, cabinet member for planning and property, said: “As a council we support the aims of the Furze Platt Action Group and all the residents in the area. However, the Maidenhead development control panel had to take a very difficult decision, however much it rankles.”

There are six revised planning applications submitted by Tesco for minor works at the Golden Harp which will be considered at the next panel meeting on Wednesday 5 June.
Jr. Member
Posts: 92

« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 01:20:47 PM »

The extract below from the English Heritage website places matters in context.

Put simply an Article 4 direction to restrict development rights should only be made in "exceptional circumstances where the exercise of permitted development rights would harm local amenity, the historic environment or the proper planning of the area".

"An article 4 direction is made by the local planning authority. It restricts the scope of permitted development rights either in relation to a particular area or site, or a particular type of development anywhere in the authority’s area. Where an article 4 direction is in effect, a planning application may be required for development that would otherwise have been permitted development. Article 4 directions are used to control works that could threaten the character of an area of acknowledged importance, such as a conservation area.   
Article 4 directions can increase the public protection of designated and non-designated heritage assets and their settings. They are not necessary for works to listed buildings and scheduled monuments as listed building consent and scheduled monument consent would cover all potentially harmful works that would otherwise be permitted development under the planning regime. However, article 4 directions might assist in the protection of all other heritage assets (particularly conservation areas) and help the protection of the setting of all heritage assets, including listed buildings.
Article 4 directions may be used to require planning permission for the demolition of a non-designated heritage asset (such as a locally listed building outside of a conservation area), by removing the demolition rights under part 31 of the Order.
Government has issued guidance on when and how to make an article 4 direction (2). It says that local authorities should consider making article 4 directions only in those exceptional circumstances where the exercise of permitted development rights would harm local amenity, the historic environment or the proper planning of the area."

A shame the council didn't consider that another Tesco would harm local amenity ie shut other shops down, and also impact upon the proper planning of the area, namely too many outlets.
Posts: 9

« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 10:13:55 AM »

If local people are that opposed to yet another Tesco, surely the answer is simple.
Just boycott the place.

People complain about the tide of Tesco's opening, yet they still shop there???

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