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Welcome to Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum

Full Forum meeting on June 27th at URC

11 June 2024

Date: On 27nd June 2024 we will hold the Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum AGM, followed by a Forum Meeting.

Venue: United Reformed Church, West Street, Maidenhead 7.30pm (arrive from 7pm).

The AGM will be as brief as possible: it's a formality mandated by our Constitution, but we do need Members to attend in order to meet the quorum requirement. We will be summarising MNF activity in the year to March 2024 and more recent activity, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

If you would like to join the committee as a member or as an officer; or have any additional motions for the AGM, please let us know by 19th June (email chair@mnf.org.uk).

We will send out the reports and a reminder one week before the meeting. If you are unable to attend the AGM and would like an officer to vote on your behalf, or you would like to send us your votes in advance, by email, please do so by June 20th to chair@mnf.org.uk,

After the AGM, in the Full Forum part of the meeting we will present the progress and current status of the Neighbourhood plan itself along with the next steps. We’re approaching an important stage and will be happy to explain further and take questions.

AGM AGENDA

1.Welcome and Apologies for Absence
2.Chair’s Annual report and Minutes of previous AGM
3.Annual financial report
4.Questions on the Chair’s report and the financial report
5.Motions

  1. To approve the minutes of the last AGM on 22 June-23
  2. To approve the Chair’s Annual Report
  3. To approve the Annual financial report
  4. To appoint the officers (Chair, Treasurer and Secretary) and members of the Management Committee
  5. Any other motions received by 19-June-2024

6.Close of AGM

 

AGM will be followed by Full Forum meeting.

After the presentation and discussion on the plan, we will be asking members to vote on a motion “To share a pre-consultation draft of the Neighbourhood Plan with RBWM” (current draft will be available HERE one week before meeting).

Last chance to complete the design survey

07 June 2024

What's your view on the design of new developments in Maidenhead?
Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum is drafting a Design Code as part of the proposed Neighbourhood Plan, and we need to know what people's preferences are.
You can do the survey created by AECOM (planning consultants) which is on this link

Save the date: Full Forum meeting on June 27th at URC

18 April 2024

Members and supporters of the Neighbourhood Forum can expect an invitation later this spring to a Full Forum meeting on the evening of Thursday June 27th at the United Reformed Church, West Street, Maidenhead.

This will be combined with a short AGM for procedural reasons.

The Forum Meeting will give people a chance to find out what progress has been made in creating a Neighbourhood Plan for the town, and what remains to be done before the Plan is "made" (i.e. becomes accepted as planning policy for the town).

February 2024: 115 suggestions received for Heritage Listing

12 Feb 2024

In the end we had 115 suggestions - thank you everybody - for heritage assets to include in Maidenhead's Local Heritage Listing. Perhaps predictably, several of the same assets were suggested by several people so the final shortlist is likely to be around 50-60 items.

They varied from very large assets like Maidenhead Golf Course and York Road Stadium to single houses and even the remains of a folly in Ray Park Lane (who knew?).

These will be further researched and then reviewed by the Selection Panel on March 1st. The panel includes:

  • Bob Dulson, ex-chair, Maidenhead Civic Society
  • Clare Price, Head of Casework, Twentieth Century Society
  • Peter Knott, retired local architect
  • Paul Seddon, Maidenhead Archaeological and Historical Society
  • Emma Barnett, Admin of Maidenhead History (Facebook Group)

The final selection will form part of the Maidenhead Neighbourhood Plan, which has to go through a series of reviews and consultations before it is adopted because it covers a wide range of topic areas such as housing, climate, design etc.

January 2024: Help us build a list of valued heritage assets

08 Jan 2024

While Maidenhead has several Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas, the town has never compiled a Local Heritage Listing (LHL) -  a list of all the buildings, structures, views etc which people value and want to conserve.

 

This is particularly important for assets which are not in the seven Conservation Areas.

 

We now have the chance to compile an LHL, as part of the Forum's plan to create a Neighbourhood Plan for the town - based on YOUR suggestions.

 

Being on the LHL does not guarantee that a building won't be demolished, but it means that planning policies for heritage assets will apply to that building - so it gives a level of protection and helps to ensure that the special parts of the town are preserved.

 

If you would like to read more about LHLs, here is a link to the Historic England advisory notes https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/local-heritage-listing-advice-note-7/

If you would like to know more about Maidenhead's seven existing Conservation Areas below, please click on this RBWM link.

What counts as a "heritage asset"?

 

Heritage assets can be any buildings, structures, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes  which are identified locally as being of value for the way they enrich and help to give character to the area.

 

Historic England identify eight criteria which help to identify consistently whether a heritage asset might qualify for inclusion on the LHL:
  • age
  • rarity
  • architectural interest
  • aesthetic interest
  • value as part of a group
  • archaeological interest
  • historic interest
  • landmark status

Historic England also point out that a heritage asset may still be worth inclusion even if it does not meet any of these eight criteria - there may be another reason why it's valuable.

 

THE SURVEY HAS NOW CLOSED - THANK YOU
The next stage of the process is for the entries to be collated and reviewed by the selection panel

 

December 2023: an update on progress

We’re drafting policies in each of these topic areas: if you would like to get involved please email chair@mnf.org.uk. First draft of policies should be available in March.

 

 

July 2023: the hard work starts

July 17th 2023

Topic Groups are now formed for the six Policy Topic areas generated by the process so far; to re-cap that process:

  • At the start of the year, and after two years of discussions, RBWM "designated" Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum which meant we can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for the town (NB the designated area is the seven wards of Maidenhead, not Bray, Cox Green etc).
  • Following agreement from the Members, we held our first open meeting in March where people could propose policy ideas for inclusion in the Plan; alongside this process, people could also contribute ideas via an online portal instead/as well
  • All the ideas were then reviewed against three key filtering criteria: 
    • Were they Planning issues (e.g. reducing SUV usage is not)
    • Were they compatible with the National Planning Policy Framework?
    • Were they compatible with RBWM's own Borough Local Plan?
  • This delivered about 90 ideas to take forward, and these fell in to the topic groups shown below.

The Topic Groups will be reporting back early August onwards. 

Can you help in any of these Topic Groups? Work includes reviewing previous draft policies set out in 2019 Maidenhead & Cox Green draft Neighbourhood Plan (2019 - terminated because Cox Green has its own Parish Council), researching the evidence base for policies and collating data. If you would like to get involved in some way, please contact chair@mnf.org.uk

June 22nd: next steps planning meeting

29th June 2023

Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum (MNF) held its second public meeting of the year on Thursday June 22nd at the United Reformed Church to look at priorities for drafting a Neighbourhood Plan for the town.

The meeting notes are here; it followed the 2023 AGM (minutes here).

Attendees worked in groups to look at the ideas about Biodiversity, Built Heritage, Design, Getting About, Housing and Climate which had been generated by the first public meeting in March and by an online consultation.

Co-Chair Andrew Ingram said: “This is where the hard work starts – turning ideas into draft policies – so we are really grateful to the people who turned out on this sunny evening to help improve the future of the town”.

The Topic Groups will be reporting back in early August. MNF was designated by the Royal Borough at the start of the year to put forward policy proposals for Maidenhead within the context of RBWM’s Borough Local Plan.

June 22nd: AGM and next steps planning meeting

08 June 2023

On 22nd June 2023 we will hold the Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum AGM, followed by a planning meeting where we can discuss next steps for the project and who is available to take part.

Venue: United Reformed Church, West Street, Maidenhead 7.30pm (arrive from 7pm).

The AGM will be as brief as possible: it's a formality mandated by our Constitution, but we do need Members to attend in order to meet the quorum requirement. We will be summarising MNF activity across the last 12 months, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. 

The agenda is below. If you have any additional motions for the AGM, please let us know by 15th June (email chair@mnf.org.uk). If you are unable to attend and would like an Officer to vote on your behalf please advise your requirements by June 15th to chair@mnf.org.uk.

The focus for the project is now becoming clearer. The March 30th public meeting (and online suggestions) generated the following key topic areas where MNF could make policy for the town:

  • biodiversity
  • housing
  • climate
  • built heritage
  • design
  • getting around

At the meeting we hope to clarify these categories and get enough people to volunteer to take part in the topic group for each one. Is there a topic group you are particularly interested in? If you want to remind yourself of the suggestions people put forward these are here.

We will send out the reports and a reminder a week before the meeting.

AGM AGENDA

1.Welcome and Apologies for Absence
2.Chair’s Annual report and Minutes of previous AGM
3.Annual financial report
4.Questions on the Chair’s report and the financial report
5.Motions

  1. To approve the minutes of the last AGM on 27-June-22
  2. To approve the Chair’s Annual Report
  3. To approve the Annual financial report
  4. To appoint the officers (Chair, Treasurer and Secretary) and members of the Management Committee
  5. Any other motions received by 15-June-2023

6.Close of AGM

AGM followed by planning meeting.
 

Best regards
 
Andrew Ingram and Ian Rose, Co-Chairs 

To clarify: MNF Members = people who signed up as "I would like to take part as a Member", and MNF Supporters = signed up as "Please keep me informed".
Only Members can vote at the AGM, everyone can take part in the next steps planning meeting.

 

Your topic suggestions - a first review

31st May 2023

Thank you to all those who attended the public meeting on March 30th or contributed suggestions at the online portal.

There were literally scores and scores of ideas put forward. As promised, the Management Committee have reviewed them all (that's why it's been a bit quiet), initially by asking these two filter questions:

  1. Do the ideas fall within the scope of Planning (for example, speed limits, school places do not)?
  2. Do they fit with the National Planning Policy Framework and the Borough Local Plan (important because neighbourhood policies which contradicted these would create confusion)?

These review sessions have delivered us two sets of suggestions - those which MNF can take forward ("MNF POSSIBLES" - about 90 ideas here), and those which it cannot ("MNF NOT POSSIBLES" - about 60 ideas here). 

The MNF NOT POSSIBLES: there were many really interesting ideas in here, and they offer a good insight into important aspects of the town which people want to change. At this stage, we just offer these for your interest: we will consider them shortly, but of course we need to prioritise the Possibles category. If one of your ideas is in the Not Possibles category and you think it should be re-considered, please send a text to 07943 396857 and we will contact you to discuss.

The MNF POSSIBLES. These suggestions mostly fell into these categories:

  • biodiversity
  • housing
  • climate
  • built heritage
  • design
  • getting around

Can you help us make a difference?

With your help we might be able to turn these ideas into policy - don't forget, Neighbourhood Plans are one of the few opportunities citizens have to "make the rules".

The next stage of the project is to take the suggestions in each category and try to turn them into planning policies. Can you help us do this? It needs a bit of time and thought, from people who care about these aspects of the town.

Please come to the AGM on June 22nd at the United Reformed Church hall in West Street, 7pm for 7.30. When the brief procedures of the AGM are complete, we will be considering the topic groups above and looking for people who would like to join one.

We hope to see you there! 

 

Public meeting, March 30th - online portal for ideas and suggestions

24th March 2023

If you want to attend the public meeting please click on this Eventbrite link.

If you would like to contribute thoughts and ideas online about a proposed Neighbourhood Plan for Maidenhead, please click this link (which will take you to a different website - LimeSurvey). There are only three questions.

You are welcome to contribute both at the meeting itself and online as you wish – all contributions will be included in the process. We suggest reading the information in the leaflet as background (leaflet here), and some FAQs and answers are here.

The public meeting: Thursday March 30th at United Reform Church, West Street, Maidenhead, 7 for 7.30pm.

The online portal will be open from March 24th to April 6th, where people can add ideas and comments before or after the public meeting.

Public meeting, March 30th - how to get involved (on the night or remotely)

16th March 2023

The newly designated Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum will be holding its first public meeting on 30th March at 7 for 7.30 at the United Reformed Church, West Street, Maidenhead.

We want to hear your ideas about issues where a Neighbourhood Plan could make a difference. To remind everyone, Neighbourhood Plans are not about taking action today, they are about making Planning Policy for the future - i.e. what goes where as the town grows over the years.

More information about Neighbourhood Plans is on other pages here, plus there is useful government guidance here.

If you would like to attend the meeting please sign up on this EventBrite link - this helps us manage the numbers on the night. It also means we can send you background information for the meeting as it becomes available.

We will also be setting up a mechanism for people to contribute to the debate online, whether or not they can attend the meeting. This will run from March 23rd to April 6th.

Next step - the public meeting, March 30th

24th February 2023

Thank you again to everybody who came to the Members' Meeting last night at Desborough Bowling Club.

There were many questions and suggestions (which we will include in the minutes) but the single biggest action was that the Forum decided our next step should be a public meeting on March 30th.

This will be widely advertised in the coming weeks and will offer an opportunity for everybody to offer their thoughts and ideas on a Neighbourhood Plan for Maidenhead.

Please put the date in the diary for now - it will be an evening meeting,  the location to be advised.

For anyone who cannot attend evening meetings, we are going to ensure that people can offer their ideas remotely.

 

First Members' Meeting for our newly designated Forum

17th February 2023

The first Members' Meeting of the designated Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum will take place at the Desborough Bowling Club, Green Lane, Maidenhead SL6 1XZ on Thursday February 23rd at 7 for 7.30pm.

Please note this is for members - i.e. those who signed up at the website and ticked "I would like to take part as a Member" rather than "Please keep me posted" - there will be a public meeting on March 30th, details to follow.

There is a large car park; teas and coffees will be provided, and other drinks are available at the bar. The agenda will be:
1) Welcome and Update
2) Next steps – what we need to do
3) Public engagement – first stage
4) Questions and answers
5) Resourcing and Way Forward
6) Any other business

Thanks to those of you who have said you would be prepared to help with the project, but we still need more help.

In particular we need a Treasurer (this is a constitutional requirement). The role is not very burdensome because our operations are very simple.

Do let us know if you can help.

We look forward to seeing you on February 23rd.

 

AND WE ARE OFF!

1st January 2023

RBWM has announced its decision to "designate" (= allow) the Forum to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for the designated Area (the seven unparished wards of Maidenhead).

We have been working towards this since the original application was refused in early 2020. Yes it's three years. Let's not dwell on that.

So we can now begin to take some important first steps, and one of these is to find out local views about Planning issues in the town. Remember, a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) can't contradict the RBWM-wide Borough Local Plan (BLP) but it can add Maidenhead-specific detail and it can add policies on issues where the BLP is vague or silent.

Preparing a Neighbourhood Plan will take a lot of work, and we are going to be asking for volunteers to get involved - watch out for more news about that in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile: Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

Another step forward: £5000 grant for the Forum

15th December 2022

While we are waiting for RBWM to announce their decision about designating the Forum and the Area, we have heard the great news that we have received a grant of over £5000 to help us get the Forum operational.

The grant is from Locality who support neighbourhood initiatives on behalf of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The grant will be invaluable as we get into gear, reaching out to the local community to find out their views on planning issues for the future of Maidenhead.

RBWM's decision on designation is expected before Christmas.

 

 

STOP PRESS: For anyone finding the RBWM consultation "fiddly" to respond to

21st November 2022

In the Opinion column in last week’s Advertiser, Gavin Ames described as “a shocker” the fact that Maidenhead does not have a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) when so much of the future development in the Royal Borough is planned here.

That's exactly why Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum have applied for permission to develop a NP for the town, and RBWM is currently consulting the public on whether to agree this. The consultation ends on December 6th and we encourage anyone who cares about the town to support our proposals.

Some people have told us that the mechanisms for responding to the consultation are fiddly. Our advice is - keep it simple. You can just send an email to planning.consultation@rbwm.gov.uk, and state: "Regarding the proposal to designate the Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum and the seven wards of Maidenhead as the Area, I support the designation of both" - plus your name and address.

We warmly thank those who have already done so.

 

 

We're off! ... on the road to "designation" (= becoming a recognised body)

27th October 2022

The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has now agreed to consult on our proposals for establishing a Neighbourhood Area and a Neighbourhood Forum, and has begun the required 6-week consultation where they ask people in the Borough to comment.

They want to know if local people are in favour of the Area (the seven unparished wards of Maidenhead) and us as a Forum.

You can access the consultation here - and obviously we hope you will support our proposals. We will also be sending this information out on email to our supporters (currently just short of 500 - thank you).

We would like to thank everyone for helping to get us to this stage through your continued support. We know things have progressed incredibly slowly at times, but now we want to look forward.

If you would like to see a two-page summary of Frequently Asked Questions around Neighbourhood Planning, you can find that here

 

 

Encouraging news from RBWM

19 Sept 2022

After reviewing our draft applications for Neighbourhood Area and Forum, RBWM Planning policy have recommended that we now go ahead with the formal applications. This is very encouraging, and we thank RBWM Planning Policy team for their helpful and positive engagement over the last few months. This doesn't mean it's a done deal and we're not counting any chickens yet, as there is a formal consultation stage and RBWM will assess the responses.

We will post an update when we know the schedule for the formal consultation, and explain how you can support us to make the applications successful. We'd also like to thank those who voted in the update of our Constitution, which is an essential part of our application.

 

Special General Meeting (SGM) - constitution amended

10 Sept 2022

The SGM voted in favour of all three proposed amendments to the constitution (see below).

This was basically a housekeeping exercise to ensure that we met the requirements of the various planning laws.

Thank you to everyone who voted; full minutes are on the Documents page.

Special General Meeting (SGM) on September 7th 2022 (on Zoom)

30 August 2022

We continue to make improved progress with RBWM on getting designated as a Forum, but we have discovered there are two procedural matters we need to complete before that can happen.

1.   Special General Meeting (SGM)

We have to convene this in order to make three minor changes to the Constitution and get them approved by you, the Members. These really are minor, but they have to be correct!

The meeting will be held on Zoom at 7pm on September 7th  (agenda here) and an invitation email will be issued a couple of days beforehand.

You may find it more convenient to vote by proxy in advance, so we have outlined the three amendments with voting buttons below.

   Requirement    Motion for voting   Vote for    Vote against
To clarify only individuals can join, not groups "To approve update to section 4.1 on membership" FOR     AGAINST
To clarify inclusion of Co-Chairs as Officers "To approve the clarification to section 6.1 on officers" FOR     AGAINST
To clarify the inclusion of electronic voting "To approve the clarification to section 7.6 on voting" FOR     AGAINST
Votes FOR and AGAINST send automated emails (your email software should fire up automatically three times - you only have to press SEND)
Formal details of the Constitution and proposed changes are available HERE.

2.    Members Sign-Up

RBWM have asked for more information about the representativeness of the Forum, particularly in terms of age, gender and ethnicity, so we have an enhanced sign-up form on this link. Please sign up again - it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

Moving ahead now: the Forum, to qualify, must be seen to be more diverse

30 July 2022

Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum is now moving ahead with renewed vigour, with its objective of creating a Neighbourhood Plan for the town.

The Forum has to be “designated” (i.e. recognised) by RBWM before we can create a Plan, and they particularly require the Forum to:

  1. be suitably diverse in terms of age, gender and ethnicity
  2. ensure that the views of businesses/organisations in the town are included

Frustratingly, both of these aspects of the Forum’s development have been on hold while we were clarifying what RBWM’s requirements were going to be – but now we can get going.

We are contacting a few key organisations to start the process of diversification now - e.g. the Mosque, the Synagogue, the WI etc.  This is for the designation stage - once have achieved designation, we will need to recruit further members to ensure we meet the requirements for being a suitably representative forum.

 

RBWM CONSULTATION: South-West Maidenhead

Draft "Supplementary Planning Document" (SPD)

21 July 2022

The Royal Borough is currently consulting on the draft plans for the redevelopment of South-West Maidenhead - this includes the Golf Course area but as this map shows also covers Braywick Park, Ockwell's Park and the land south of Harvest Hill Road.

The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is over 100 pages long but the posters below summarise the most salient aspects of the proposals - infrastructure, green issues,  how the site might be laid out etc.

If you would like to look  at the detailed SPD there is a link HERE.

There is one more drop-in session for the public:

•    26 July, 2pm to 7pm – Braywick Leisure Centre

In addition, an online consultation event will be held via Microsoft Teams on 27 July, 7 to 9pm. The link for joining will be added to the website during w/c 25 July.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - JUNE 27TH 19:00 (on Zoom)

27 June 2022

Please also find a link to the both the Financial Report HERE and Chair’s report HERE. The Minutes of the 2021 AGM are HERE.

Members who are unable to attend may appoint the Chair (or other officer of the Management Committee) to vote on their behalf on any particular issue by sending a notice to one of them (by email or otherwise) authorising them to do so, by the end of Sun 26-Jun.

The Agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1.   Welcome and Apologies for Absence

2.   Chair’s Annual report and Minutes of previous AGM

3.   Annual financial report

4.   Questions on the Chair’s report and the financial report

5.   Motions

  1. To approve the minutes of the last AGM on 29-June-21
  2. To approve the Chair’s Annual Report
  3. To approve the Annual financial report
  4. To appoint the officers (Chair, Treasurer and Secretary) and members of the Management Committee
  5. Any other motions received by 20-June-2022

6.   Close of AGM

 

IT'S TIME TO MOBILISE! Members meeting June 7th

30th May 2022

As you can see from the calendars below, we are now communicating with RBWM in a much more effective way (just look at the frequency of those blue dots). Hopefully, this means it won't be long before we are putting together the Forum, which must be as representative as possible of the Area, and "suitable" (having a written Constitution etc).

If you are one of our 80-odd Members (you ticked "I would like to take part as a Member" as opposed to "Keep me informed on email"), you should be receiving an email about coming to the meeting.

We don't have a big enough space for all the Supporters (450 on database, plus 800 Followers on Facebook), but if you would like to attend please send us an email, and we should be able to accommodate you.

  • Date: June 7th 2022 at 7 for 7.15pm
  • Venue: Desborough Bowling Club, Green Lane, Maidenhead SL6 1XZ
  • Duration: 60-70 minutes
  • Drinks available at the bar

We will be reporting on the progress of the project so far and our hopes for the future in practical terms, and are happy to answer questions.

We will also be hearing from members of the Windsor Neighbourhood Forum, whose Neighbourhood Plan is already made, about the value of these Plans and lessons learned in the creation of theirs.

 

R

The title of the meeting is "A Neighbourhood Plan for Maidenhead - find out more".

 

 

We go back, yet again, to the borough

When RBWM told us before Christmas that Maidenhead was not "rational and appropriate" as an area for a Neighbourhood Plan, and advised us to look at creating two or three sub-areas instead, we decided to consult our members and supporters. We got about 130 replies from a database of  about 420 (a good response rate compared to typical surveys).

In a nutshell they told us that, for the overwhelming majority, Maidenhead was the place they felt a connection to, and they couldn't think of a good way to sub-divide the town as RBWM suggested.

You can read the report HERE - it's only seven pages long. At the end of the report we have also collated the comments, which are informative about the way local people look at RBWM and planning.

The Maidenhead Advertiser ran the story w/c February 14th, and also posted it onto social media; the press article can be seen HERE..

We have forwarded the survey findings to RBWM Planning who are talking about a meeting to discuss in early March.

The Planning Officer who wrote the email response before Christmas has now left the borough, and we are keen to find out whether the new Officer sees things differently.

Meanwhile Maidenhead remains the part of the borough where 70% of new housing is scheduled to be built, and the only part of the borough which does not have a Neighbourhood Plan either in place or in development.

This has been a very frustrating process, full of rebuffs and silences followed by apologies. We want to get started with the Plan - recruiting more people to the cause, and taking soundings about people's hopes and expectations for the town. But, at the moment, that would be like recruiting bus-drivers when you don't know if you will be allowed to have buses.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Is Maidenhead really not an "appropriate and logical" area for a Neighbourhood Plan?

Dear Member/Supporter,

We were very disappointed to receive an email from RBWM Planning on November 24th (which you can read on this link) which expresses their view that the seven wards of Maidenhead (i.e. the whole town) is not an "appropriate or logical" area to have a Neighbourhood Plan. This was after 18 months of protracted discussion with them.

You can read our submission to RBWM on this link.

For anyone who has forgotten what the concept of Neighbourhood Planning is, and the legislation behind it, you can find a refresher on this link. It basically means (in the words of UK Government) "Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community's needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area"

RBWM's Head of Planning's main concern has always been that for a town the size of Maidenhead, it's "a bit of a stretch" to call it a Neighbourhood. We keep pointing to the fact that many other similar towns such as Bracknell have a Neighbourhood Plan for the whole town but as you can see in their reply, they want us to look again at the possibility of creating smaller sub-areas, each with their own Plan.

"Our recommendation to you is to further consider splitting the area into at least 2, with 3 unparished areas in each, and to establish clear local connections supported by evidence. "

There are advantages to this idea – the more local the Plan, the more sensitive it can be to the needs and wants of the people who live there (this is why many Neighbourhood Plans are put forward by Parish Councils).

But there are two major questions raised by their suggestion.

The first is about practicality. Given how difficult it has been to find people across the whole town who are willing and able to run the Forum and develop policies, is it realistic to find two or three times that number to develop different and separate plans?

Secondly, which geographical areas? Our discussions so far have looked at two possibilities:

  1. Divide the town in two along the A4 Bath Road. Currently the north is more populous, but the planned new homes will be in the southern part, so this will even up. But this doesn't reflect two communities, just lines on a map.
  2. Separate the town centre from the surrounding area. This is technically possible but may not make sense from a resident's point of view because the town centre is used by people from all over the town.

But maybe we are missing a trick. That's why we want to ask you the three questions in our survey.

SURVEY NOW CLOSED - THANK YOU. RESULTS WILL BE CIRCULATED SHORTLY, AND POSTED HERE.

Encouraging news from RBWM

19 Sept 2022

After reviewing our draft applications for Neighbourhood Area and Forum, RBWM Planning policy have recommended that we now go ahead with the formal applications. This is very encouraging, and we thank RBWM Planning Policy team for their helpful and positive engagement over the last few months. This doesn't mean it's a done deal and we're not counting any chickens yet, as there is a formal consultation stage and RBWM will assess the responses.

We will post an update when we know the schedule for the formal consultation, and explain how you can support us to make the applications successful. We'd also like to thank those who voted in the update of our Constitution, which is an essential part of our application.

 

Special General Meeting (SGM) - constitution amended

10 Sept 2022

The SGM voted in favour of all three proposed amendments to the constitution (see below).

This was basically a housekeeping exercise to ensure that we met the requirements of the various planning laws.

Thank you to everyone who voted; full minutes are on the Documents page.

Special General Meeting (SGM) on September 7th 2022 (on Zoom)

30 August 2022

We continue to make improved progress with RBWM on getting designated as a Forum, but we have discovered there are two procedural matters we need to complete before that can happen.

1.   Special General Meeting (SGM)

We have to convene this in order to make three minor changes to the Constitution and get them approved by you, the Members. These really are minor, but they have to be correct!

The meeting will be held on Zoom at 7pm on September 7th  (agenda here) and an invitation email will be issued a couple of days beforehand.

You may find it more convenient to vote by proxy in advance, so we have outlined the three amendments with voting buttons below.

   Requirement    Motion for voting   Vote for    Vote against
To clarify only individuals can join, not groups "To approve update to section 4.1 on membership" FOR     AGAINST
To clarify inclusion of Co-Chairs as Officers "To approve the clarification to section 6.1 on officers" FOR     AGAINST
To clarify the inclusion of electronic voting "To approve the clarification to section 7.6 on voting" FOR     AGAINST
Votes FOR and AGAINST send automated emails (your email software should fire up automatically three times - you only have to press SEND)
Formal details of the Constitution and proposed changes are available HERE.

2.    Members Sign-Up

RBWM have asked for more information about the representativeness of the Forum, particularly in terms of age, gender and ethnicity, so we have an enhanced sign-up form on this link. Please sign up again - it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

Moving ahead now: the Forum, to qualify, must be seen to be more diverse

30 July 2022

Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum is now moving ahead with renewed vigour, with its objective of creating a Neighbourhood Plan for the town.

The Forum has to be “designated” (i.e. recognised) by RBWM before we can create a Plan, and they particularly require the Forum to:

  1. be suitably diverse in terms of age, gender and ethnicity
  2. ensure that the views of businesses/organisations in the town are included

Frustratingly, both of these aspects of the Forum’s development have been on hold while we were clarifying what RBWM’s requirements were going to be – but now we can get going.

We are contacting a few key organisations to start the process of diversification now - e.g. the Mosque, the Synagogue, the WI etc.  This is for the designation stage - once have achieved designation, we will need to recruit further members to ensure we meet the requirements for being a suitably representative forum.

 

RBWM CONSULTATION: South-West Maidenhead

Draft "Supplementary Planning Document" (SPD)

21 July 2022

The Royal Borough is currently consulting on the draft plans for the redevelopment of South-West Maidenhead - this includes the Golf Course area but as this map shows also covers Braywick Park, Ockwell's Park and the land south of Harvest Hill Road.

The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is over 100 pages long but the posters below summarise the most salient aspects of the proposals - infrastructure, green issues,  how the site might be laid out etc.

If you would like to look  at the detailed SPD there is a link HERE.

There is one more drop-in session for the public:

•    26 July, 2pm to 7pm – Braywick Leisure Centre

In addition, an online consultation event will be held via Microsoft Teams on 27 July, 7 to 9pm. The link for joining will be added to the website during w/c 25 July.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - JUNE 27TH 19:00 (on Zoom)

27 June 2022

Please also find a link to the both the Financial Report HERE and Chair’s report HERE. The Minutes of the 2021 AGM are HERE.

Members who are unable to attend may appoint the Chair (or other officer of the Management Committee) to vote on their behalf on any particular issue by sending a notice to one of them (by email or otherwise) authorising them to do so, by the end of Sun 26-Jun.

The Agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1.   Welcome and Apologies for Absence

2.   Chair’s Annual report and Minutes of previous AGM

3.   Annual financial report

4.   Questions on the Chair’s report and the financial report

5.   Motions

  1. To approve the minutes of the last AGM on 29-June-21
  2. To approve the Chair’s Annual Report
  3. To approve the Annual financial report
  4. To appoint the officers (Chair, Treasurer and Secretary) and members of the Management Committee
  5. Any other motions received by 20-June-2022

6.   Close of AGM

 

IT'S TIME TO MOBILISE! Members meeting June 7th

30th May 2022

As you can see from the calendars below, we are now communicating with RBWM in a much more effective way (just look at the frequency of those blue dots). Hopefully, this means it won't be long before we are putting together the Forum, which must be as representative as possible of the Area, and "suitable" (having a written Constitution etc).

If you are one of our 80-odd Members (you ticked "I would like to take part as a Member" as opposed to "Keep me informed on email"), you should be receiving an email about coming to the meeting.

We don't have a big enough space for all the Supporters (450 on database, plus 800 Followers on Facebook), but if you would like to attend please send us an email, and we should be able to accommodate you.

  • Date: June 7th 2022 at 7 for 7.15pm
  • Venue: Desborough Bowling Club, Green Lane, Maidenhead SL6 1XZ
  • Duration: 60-70 minutes
  • Drinks available at the bar

We will be reporting on the progress of the project so far and our hopes for the future in practical terms, and are happy to answer questions.

We will also be hearing from members of the Windsor Neighbourhood Forum, whose Neighbourhood Plan is already made, about the value of these Plans and lessons learned in the creation of theirs.

 

R

The title of the meeting is "A Neighbourhood Plan for Maidenhead - find out more".

 

 

We go back, yet again, to the borough

When RBWM told us before Christmas that Maidenhead was not "rational and appropriate" as an area for a Neighbourhood Plan, and advised us to look at creating two or three sub-areas instead, we decided to consult our members and supporters. We got about 130 replies from a database of  about 420 (a good response rate compared to typical surveys).

In a nutshell they told us that, for the overwhelming majority, Maidenhead was the place they felt a connection to, and they couldn't think of a good way to sub-divide the town as RBWM suggested.

You can read the report HERE - it's only seven pages long. At the end of the report we have also collated the comments, which are informative about the way local people look at RBWM and planning.

The Maidenhead Advertiser ran the story w/c February 14th, and also posted it onto social media; the press article can be seen HERE..

We have forwarded the survey findings to RBWM Planning who are talking about a meeting to discuss in early March.

The Planning Officer who wrote the email response before Christmas has now left the borough, and we are keen to find out whether the new Officer sees things differently.

Meanwhile Maidenhead remains the part of the borough where 70% of new housing is scheduled to be built, and the only part of the borough which does not have a Neighbourhood Plan either in place or in development.

This has been a very frustrating process, full of rebuffs and silences followed by apologies. We want to get started with the Plan - recruiting more people to the cause, and taking soundings about people's hopes and expectations for the town. But, at the moment, that would be like recruiting bus-drivers when you don't know if you will be allowed to have buses.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Is Maidenhead really not an "appropriate and logical" area for a Neighbourhood Plan?

Dear Member/Supporter,

We were very disappointed to receive an email from RBWM Planning on November 24th (which you can read on this link) which expresses their view that the seven wards of Maidenhead (i.e. the whole town) is not an "appropriate or logical" area to have a Neighbourhood Plan. This was after 18 months of protracted discussion with them.

You can read our submission to RBWM on this link.

For anyone who has forgotten what the concept of Neighbourhood Planning is, and the legislation behind it, you can find a refresher on this link. It basically means (in the words of UK Government) "Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community's needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area"

RBWM's Head of Planning's main concern has always been that for a town the size of Maidenhead, it's "a bit of a stretch" to call it a Neighbourhood. We keep pointing to the fact that many other similar towns such as Bracknell have a Neighbourhood Plan for the whole town but as you can see in their reply, they want us to look again at the possibility of creating smaller sub-areas, each with their own Plan.

"Our recommendation to you is to further consider splitting the area into at least 2, with 3 unparished areas in each, and to establish clear local connections supported by evidence. "

There are advantages to this idea – the more local the Plan, the more sensitive it can be to the needs and wants of the people who live there (this is why many Neighbourhood Plans are put forward by Parish Councils).

But there are two major questions raised by their suggestion.

The first is about practicality. Given how difficult it has been to find people across the whole town who are willing and able to run the Forum and develop policies, is it realistic to find two or three times that number to develop different and separate plans?

Secondly, which geographical areas? Our discussions so far have looked at two possibilities:

  1. Divide the town in two along the A4 Bath Road. Currently the north is more populous, but the planned new homes will be in the southern part, so this will even up. But this doesn't reflect two communities, just lines on a map.
  2. Separate the town centre from the surrounding area. This is technically possible but may not make sense from a resident's point of view because the town centre is used by people from all over the town.

But maybe we are missing a trick. That's why we want to ask you the three questions in our survey.

SURVEY NOW CLOSED - THANK YOU. RESULTS WILL BE CIRCULATED SHORTLY, AND POSTED HERE.

Welcome to Maidenhead Neighbourhood Forum

NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM GOES UP A GEAR

Thanks to everybody who came to the June 7th meeting - there were about thirty attendees including three RBWM Councillors, plus six more joining on Zoom.

The stars of the meeting were the speakers from Windsor Neighbourhood Plan, who described the hurdles which need to be overcome and then the benefits which accrue from having a "made" (= accepted) plan. Our grateful thanks to them.

The meeting report is HERE; the MNF slides are HERE and the Windsor NP slides are HERE.

The borough has changed its position, and is now asking that both the Area and the Forum are put forward together for Designation at the same time. While that is much of a year's work wasted, at least the requirement is clear.

Designation is the name for the process whereby RBWM agrees that the Area (Maidenhead) and the Forum (MNF) are logical and appropriate for creating a Neighbourhood Plan. This means we will be needing people to join us, and we hope to start the recruiting in earnest after our next meeting with RBWM Planning on June 30th.

IT'S TIME TO MOBILISE! Members meeting June 7th

As you can see from the calendars below, we are now communicating with RBWM in a much more effective way (just look at the frequency of those blue dots). Hopefully, this means it won't be long before we are putting together the Forum, which must be as representative as possible of the Area, and "suitable" (having a written Constitution etc).

If you are one of our 80-odd Members (you ticked "I would like to take part as a Member" as opposed to "Keep me informed on email"), you should be receiving an email about coming to the meeting.

We don't have a big enough space for all the Supporters (450 on database, plus 800 Followers on Facebook), but if you would like to attend please send us an email, and we should be able to accommodate you.

  • Date: June 7th 2022 at 7 for 7.15pm
  • Venue: Desborough Bowling Club, Green Lane, Maidenhead SL6 1XZ
  • Duration: 60-70 minutes
  • Drinks available at the bar

We will be reporting on the progress of the project so far and our hopes for the future in practical terms, and are happy to answer questions.

We will also be hearing from members of the Windsor Neighbourhood Forum, whose Neighbourhood Plan is already made, about the value of these Plans and lessons learned in the creation of theirs.

 

R

The title of the meeting is "A Neighbourhood Plan for Maidenhead - find out more".

 

 

We go back, yet again, to the borough

When RBWM told us before Christmas that Maidenhead was not "rational and appropriate" as an area for a Neighbourhood Plan, and advised us to look at creating two or three sub-areas instead, we decided to consult our members and supporters. We got about 130 replies from a database of  about 420 (a good response rate compared to typical surveys).

In a nutshell they told us that, for the overwhelming majority, Maidenhead was the place they felt a connection to, and they couldn't think of a good way to sub-divide the town as RBWM suggested.

You can read the report HERE - it's only seven pages long. At the end of the report we have also collated the comments, which are informative about the way local people look at RBWM and planning.

The Maidenhead Advertiser ran the story w/c February 14th, and also posted it onto social media; the press article can be seen HERE..

We have forwarded the survey findings to RBWM Planning who are talking about a meeting to discuss in early March.

The Planning Officer who wrote the email response before Christmas has now left the borough, and we are keen to find out whether the new Officer sees things differently.

Meanwhile Maidenhead remains the part of the borough where 70% of new housing is scheduled to be built, and the only part of the borough which does not have a Neighbourhood Plan either in place or in development.

This has been a very frustrating process, full of rebuffs and silences followed by apologies. We want to get started with the Plan - recruiting more people to the cause, and taking soundings about people's hopes and expectations for the town. But, at the moment, that would be like recruiting bus-drivers when you don't know if you will be allowed to have buses.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Is Maidenhead really not an "appropriate and logical" area for a Neighbourhood Plan?

Dear Member/Supporter,

We were very disappointed to receive an email from RBWM Planning on November 24th (which you can read on this link) which expresses their view that the seven wards of Maidenhead (i.e. the whole town) is not an "appropriate or logical" area to have a Neighbourhood Plan. This was after 18 months of protracted discussion with them.

You can read our submission to RBWM on this link.

For anyone who has forgotten what the concept of Neighbourhood Planning is, and the legislation behind it, you can find a refresher on this link. It basically means (in the words of UK Government) "Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community's needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area"

RBWM's Head of Planning's main concern has always been that for a town the size of Maidenhead, it's "a bit of a stretch" to call it a Neighbourhood. We keep pointing to the fact that many other similar towns such as Bracknell have a Neighbourhood Plan for the whole town but as you can see in their reply, they want us to look again at the possibility of creating smaller sub-areas, each with their own Plan.

"Our recommendation to you is to further consider splitting the area into at least 2, with 3 unparished areas in each, and to establish clear local connections supported by evidence. "

There are advantages to this idea – the more local the Plan, the more sensitive it can be to the needs and wants of the people who live there (this is why many Neighbourhood Plans are put forward by Parish Councils).

But there are two major questions raised by their suggestion.

The first is about practicality. Given how difficult it has been to find people across the whole town who are willing and able to run the Forum and develop policies, is it realistic to find two or three times that number to develop different and separate plans?

Secondly, which geographical areas? Our discussions so far have looked at two possibilities:

  1. Divide the town in two along the A4 Bath Road. Currently the north is more populous, but the planned new homes will be in the southern part, so this will even up. But this doesn't reflect two communities, just lines on a map.
  2. Separate the town centre from the surrounding area. This is technically possible but may not make sense from a resident's point of view because the town centre is used by people from all over the town.

But maybe we are missing a trick. That's why we want to ask you the three questions in our survey.

SURVEY NOW CLOSED - THANK YOU. RESULTS WILL BE CIRCULATED SHORTLY, AND POSTED HERE.

"What about the infrastructure?" - some answers

With the population of Maidenhead set to rise by around 40% over the next ten years, people often ask about the plans for new infrastructure to support this growth – schools, surgeries, roads etc. The plans are to be found in RBWM’s Infrastructure Delivery Plan but it’s a lengthy and complex document.

So the Forum has created this series of short summaries to help residents understand what is planned:

Education    Transport  Utilities  Green/Blue infrastructure   Sport & Leisure   Community   Health

Importantly, the 2019 Infrastructure Delivery Plan is a “living document” which is continually updated, with new projects, new cost estimates and new proposed timings. The full RBWM Planning documents can be found at: https://www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/planning/planningpolicy/evidence-base-and-monitoring/evidence-base

We hope you find these useful - if you would like to make a comment please go to Facebook (Maidenhead Future group) or NextDoor.com.

Email enquiries to chair@mnf.org.uk