Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Windsor. View directions
Contact: Wendy Binmore 01628 796251
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Jack Rankin, Hashim Bhatti and Samantha Rayner.
To receive any declarations of interest.
To confirm the Part I minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the meeting held on 16 February 2016 were agreed as a correct record.
Update on the two Windsor Neighbourhood Plans.
To receive and update on the Windsor Neighbourhood Plans and an opportunity for the Chairmen of the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan Groups to address the Forum.
Helen Price, Member of the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (WNPSG) gave a short presentation covering the background to the Neighbourhood Plan (NP), what the WNPSG had been doing and what was going to happen next in terms of the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan.
Members of the Forum noted the following key points of the presentation:
Ø In 2012 local communities were given the opportunity to develop a NP for their area.
Ø Ascot and the Sunnings already had their own NP and it was likely there would be a further 10 NP’s.
Ø NP’s were limited in what they could cover. They could not cover strategic matters and they could not conflict with National Planning Guidelines or the Borough Local Plan.
Ø The current WNPSG was formed in 2014 at the same time as Windsor 2030 was created which covered the Town Centre of Windsor as well as the Central Riverside area.
Ø The WNPSG and Windsor 2030 were staffed by volunteers that have had to learn legislation as they went along. They also had to contend with changes to legislation, delays with the Borough Local Plan and issues around Green Belt land and Crown Estate land.
Ø The WNP Forum meetings were open to all and there were currently 39 Forum Members.
Ø Four public consultations had been carried out; nine major and minor surveys and numerous presentations had been carried out.
Ø The Plan was consultation led and evidence based.
Ø For the current pre-submission consultation there would be a permanent display of the plan in three locations and the WNPSG were contacting as many residents and interested organisations they had email addresses for.
Ø There is a six week consultation and the WNPSG were making presentations, holding information days and producing leaflets.
Ø The purpose of the consultation was to check the WNPSG had got it right by consulting as widely as possible with the local community.
Ø The plan contained several proposed policies and key objectives for Windsor.
The Policies and key Objectives are:
Ø Natural Environment (including Open Space)
o Protecting and improving green spaces to ensure residents live in a high quality natural environment
Ø Appearance (including character, heritage, design and views)
o Influencing how Windsor looks, including guidelines for future development
Ø Getting around
o Improving accessibility, parking provision and cycling.
Ø Housing and Community
o Housing provision and community facilities bringing people together
Ø Working and Shopping
o Supporting small and large businesses and combatting the loss of pubs.
Some of the policies were for specific places, including:
Ø Dedworth Road
Ø The former Imperial House and Police Station Quarter
Ø Royal Windsor Racecourse.
The next steps:
Ø All comments received would be considered by the WNNPSG and the Plan would be amended accordingly.
Ø Peer review by the Planning Inspector or equivalent to ensure the Plan complied with all regulations.
Ø Submit the Plan to RBWM to check it met basic conditions – a minimum of six weeks.
Update - Specific aspects of the BLP
To receive a presentation on the Windsor specific aspects of the BLP where residents can obtain copies, and how residents can make their views known.
Russell O’Keefe, Strategic Director Corporate & Community Services, stated he was providing an overall update on the Borough Local Plan. The main points the Forum noted were:
Ø Summer 2016 the BLP reached final draft stage
Ø There were a range of issues to be addressed prior to submission
Ø Extra consultations with communities were to take place before going to Cabinet in November 2016
Ø Full consultation would take place in December 2016 on Regulation 18
Ø Following the consultation, the council would review all feedback and adjust the Plan accordingly
Ø The Plan would then go before Full Council in February 2017
Ø Following that, a full consultation would take place on Regulation 19
Ø All comments following that consultation would be collated and sent to the Planning Inspectorate in April 2017
Ø Both the Regulation 18 and Regulation 19 consultations would take six weeks to complete.
Ø Infrastructure delivery plan to would be delivered alongside the BLP and would be published on the Council website.
Ø The draft would be available of the Infrastructure delivery plan but, would not form part of the consultation
Ø The programme for Windsor specific elements of the BLP to engage with residents would be in the form of leaflets and information on the website.
Ø The intention was to make it easy for residents to engage with the process
Ø There would be information promoted through channels such as Facebook, Twitter, libraries, the Town Hall and also in Around the Royal Borough publications. The communications would contain dates of when information would be made available.
Robert Paddison, Borough Local Plan Team Leader confirmed that Regulation 19 was no longer about content and was now about process of implementing the Plan. The draft of the Plan in summer2016 was regulation 18 which needed more work which was being carried out. The Regulation 19 consultation began in February 2017. The Plan was published in summer 2016 but it did not progress to Regulation 19 due to legal advice.
Russell O’Keefe, Strategic Director Corporate & Community Services stated the council would be carrying our Regulation 18 consultation where residents can submit comments and feedback. Cllr Bowden commented the BLP was motoring ahead but he feared after October 2016 following the decision regarding the third runway at Heathrow, that would mean the council would need to re-look at how the council accommodated the need for extra housing, business and flight. Cllr Quick said she was hoping that would not be the case as the Borough very strongly opposed the third runway. Cllr quick added she felt it would be good if there was a short summary on the BLP so that people could get to grips with the Plan and that as the consultation period crossed over with Christmas, the consultation period may need to be extended.
To receive the above update.
Ben Smith, Head of Highways & Transport stated work had been carried out to the traffic signals at the Imperial Road Junction between April and July 2016. The changes had made traffic lighter and had reduced journey times. Although he accepted that due to the changes in the traffic lights, some journey times getting onto Imperial Road and other adjoining roads were made longer. However, traffic moving through Winkfield Road were improved. He added the proposal to ban right turns at the junction had been shelved as the traffic did move faster through the junction without the need to ban the right turn.
To receive the above update.
Charles Knight Grave
Ben Smith, Head of Highways & Transport stated in respect of Charles Knight Grave, the council were looking into fencing the area and lighting to improve safety. The council were also working with the Castle Hotel to establish an electricity supply. Shrub planting in the area would begin in January 2017 and the railings were currently being made.
The Windsor and Eton Society stated the project had been initiated by the Windsor and Eton Society and they had worked with great difficulty with council officers. It was a project the Society would be funding. Ben Smith, Head of Highways & Transport stated in terms of pace and resources provided by the council, a member of staff had been assigned to look after the project.
v Action: Ben Smith, Head of Highways & Transport to get new member of staff assigned to the project to contact Ann at the Windsor and Eton Society.
Ben Smith, Head of Highways & Transport stated there was funding n the Capital Programme for the scheme. The scheme had been developed and the council were working with the three landowners. The scheme would be completed by March 2017 at the latest and it was being financed by the Royal Borough. Ben Smith also promised he would look into wheelchair access to the site as the ramps were not wheelchair friendly at present.
Update from Windsor Town Manager on progress with Windsor UK
To receive the above update.
Paul Roach, Town Manager gave a brief update on Windsor UK which included the following key points:
Ø 2015 the Windsor, Eton and ascot Town Partnership Board and the local Chamber of Commerce merged and created a CIC to push Town Centre services.
Ø The current position was that the last six or seven months, they had tried to identify a key leadership team but, they had been unable to do that.
Ø To move forward, they needed to retain and gain new membership and get leadership from the new members.
Ø Therefore, until that happened, the scheme was suspended.
Ø The Town Manager hoped to move forward by 2018.
Ø The Borough and other partners were very keen for Windsor UK to be set up.
Ø The Windsor, Eton and Ascot Town Partnership were still working and delivering.
Cllr Shelim stated he was concerned regarding the gold stud scheme outside eateries and cafes in the Town Centre because at the bottom of Peascod Street, the studs were nearer to the properties; but by the junction at the end of the street, the god studs were nearer the middle which limited space for pedestrians. He was worried it could cause an accident and he suggested the gold studs be moved to nearer the property to prevent accidents happening. The Town Manager stated there had been a long debate regarding the café tables and chairs over the years and there was a lot of pressure on the businesses. The part of the street with tables and chairs more in the middle of the street could be because the area was fully pedestrianised. The Town Manager offered to have another look at the policy as any changes could not be to the detriment of the Town. Robert Paddison confirmed that the studs were installed to make enforcement easier and also identify boundaries. Permits issues for outside furniture was regularly reviewed by the Highways team.
One of the comments from residents was that the pedestrian lights at Crosses Corner needed to be reconfigured as the green man lit up out of synch with the red light which stopped the traffic. Ben Smith confirmed he would look into the issue.
v Action: The Head of Highways and Transport to look into the configuration of the traffic lights at Crosses Corner in Windsor.
Windsor Air Pollution Update
To receive the above update.
Feliciano Cirimele, Environmental Protection Officer updated the Forum on the results on air pollution gathered in 2015.
Ø There were two areas of concern:
o Arthur Road
o St Leonards Road.
Ø There had been a decrease in poor air quality in 2014
Ø No site had exceeded the maximum limit
Ø There was good news as there was a further decrease in poor air quality from 2014 to 2015
Ø There was a proposal being looked at to ban coaches using Arthur Road which would reduce emissions further.
Ben Smith, Head of Highways and Transport stated the ban on coaches was meant to already be active. The council could issue notices to coach companies telling them to use Alma Road and could find drivers and companies who ignored the notices. Operators would get a warning letter to start with and then the council would come up with a way to police and monitor it. He added a grace period of 15 minutes to allow coaches to drop passengers off at the coach park had been removed and the coach park was now a pay and display parking site.
Feliciano Cirimele, Environmental Protection Officer stated the council had started monitoring levels of PM10 in January 2016 and he understood from many assessments that there were no exceedances anywhere in the Borough, concentration did not exceed local limites.
To receive the above briefing note.
Ben Smith, Head of Highways & Transport stated the proposal followed the discussion that took place during the last Windsor Town Forum meeting and the report explained the proposed 20mph zone around central Windsor. The details of the proposal included:
Ø There would be signage at entry points to the zone and other signage within the area
Ø If Members were happy with the proposal, a consultation with residents would be carried out
Ø The paper set out the benefits such as road safety, excessive vehicle speed reduction, encourages walking and cycling and improved air quality.
Ø The next stage was the consultation.
Ø The consultation would include discussing and consulting with bus companies.
Ø The 20mph zone would be legally enforceable by the police and would rely on police enforcement.
Usage of Alexander Gardens Bandstand since opening and itinerary for future events
To receive the above item.
Paul Roach, Town Manager stated the Bandstand officially opened in summer2016 and had a number of bookings. There had been 15 bookings through the summer and there were a few more in the pipeline before the ice rink arrived in November 2016. Most bookings were make by individuals and the Windsor, Eton and Ascot Town Partnership had booked most Sundays in August from 2pm till 4pm and had organised performances or bands. The Partnership wanted to continue to do that.
The bookings performed free of charge or were invited to perform and the Town Manager was currently looking at ways to sponsor an extended programme throughout the summer of 2017. A message board had been erected to show visitors planned events and performances at the Bandstand.
The Town Manager explained there was a need to support bands and that could be anything from providing chairs for events and other resources they might require. He added he had contacted good military bands, choirs and pop bands to see if they wanted to perform at the Bandstand. The Town Manager had also started working on fliers and other ways to promote it. There was no charge for people or groups to perform if they were not commercially charging audiences.