Maidenhead: Battlemead Trail debate prompts councilor to be ‘silenced’
AN ARGUMENT ON building permit for setting up a trail in a Maidenhead field prompted a councilor to be “silenced” in a meeting.
A hybrid meeting of a community overview and review meeting was held on Monday, October 25 to discuss controversial plans to add a trail, ‘dog-proof’ fence and field scouting. by Battlemead Common.
The Cabinet decided to approve the three-year project earlier this month so the public can enjoy the open space while protecting and enhancing biodiversity and wildlife.
However, five opposition advisers challenged the plans, fearing they would violate environmental law, the Royal Borough’s climate change and emerging biodiversity strategy, and “damage “wildlife instead of protecting it.
READ MORE: Adding trail would ‘destroy’ Maidenhead Field, opposition says
One of the contentious issues was the building permit. Cllr Geoff Hill (TBF: Oldfield), who attended the meeting virtually, said if the trail crossing the east field did not get planning approval, the council would be breaking the law and its own policies if it was going ahead.
“For the borough to do such a thing is a horrible act because it actually sets a precedent for everyone,” he told panel members.
It was understood that there had been two planning requests in Battlemead in the past that were withdrawn which included the establishment of a parking lot and the change of use of the agricultural land to be used as space. public.
Andrew Durrant, the venue’s executive director, said he believed a project of this nature could go ahead without a building permit – but needed additional guidance from planning officers. None were present at the meeting.
Cllr Catherine Del Campo (Lib Dem: Furze Platt) tried to figure out why she doesn’t need a building permit and why both plans were withdrawn – but chairman Cllr John Bowden (Con: Eton & Castle) told her said that “should” have or could have been previously researched “.
This prompted Cllr Hill to step in. He said: “I won’t let you [Cllr Bowden] pass it on.
“The officers cannot say whether or not this path requires a building permit. So the answer must be found and this is what you must do before a decision is made.
Emma Duncan, surveillance officer, warned Cllr Hill if he was unable to “behave in an appropriate manner”, then he would be arrested.
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Cllr Hill refused, prompting him to be muted.
Cllr Bowden said: “Not only did you interrupt the meeting, you also interrupted the watch officer who is trying to restore order here and unfortunately I had to ask you to stop.”
Mr Durrant maintained his position that this trail, fencing and scouting would not need a building permit to go ahead – but would defer it to the planning department for more details.
In the end, the three conservatives on the panel won over the two opposition members and preferred to “take no further action,” meaning the trail will take effect immediately.