Windsor resident slams council over alleged planning breach

A FRUSTRATED resident has labeled the council’s planning department as “lacklustre” for not taking “tangible” action against an alleged breach of planning.

A Windsor local, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), saying they have been trying for a year to get enforcement action on a site that’s reportedly building outside its application’s scope.

The Royal Borough granted planning permission in 2020 to redevelop the old knee clinic at 30 Frances Road into seven flats. The site was believed to be sold off to developer Gilbert Homes the next year.

Works started later in 2021, but the resident claimed some of the structure works were outside the application’s scope. They then contacted the council’s planning department for construction to cease until new permission was allowed.

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However, they said the council’s response has been “lacklustre” after flagging this to the planning department.

A variation application was submitted in February to construct a rear dormer and make changes to the windows and balcony screening as well as to the garden and car parking areas. Planning officers are yet to determine this varied scheme.

Royal Borough Observer:

The resident said: “We are still in this limbo of nothing happening. The developer is allowed to do whatever they want, thinking they will get away with it.

“The planning department is being inept. We’re almost a year down the line since they were first notified of this and nothing tangible has happened. It’s all very frustrating.”

The resident also claimed the developer was adding more rooms and flats, but the developer refuted this claim and said it is not adding anymore than its initial seven. It added the developer is making internal alterations to improve a couple of layouts as the previous ones “did not work efficiently”.

The council added it is reviewing the scheme to see if there have been any changes to the mix of units and will also review if any action is required once the application is assessed and determined.

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A Gilbert Homes spokesperson said: “We have been trading over 25 years and will always try and leave a development with the best life space possible. Furthermore, we have an exemplary health and safety record and have been an A1 registered NHBC builder since 1990.”

A council spokesperson said: “The application is being fully considered against all relevant planning policies, including those related to design and the impact on any relevant heritage assets. The council has followed the correct processes throughout in line with the relevant legislation.

“Enforcement complaints are investigated on a priority basis in line with the council’s adopted enforcement policy.

“The onus is on owners and developers to follow planning policy and controls, seek early guidance from the council if needed and ensure they have in place any relevant consents or authorization before undertaking works.”

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