As we know, the Trust has agreed to withdraw only one ‘site’ ie the 7.8 acres from their plans for development of part of Rowley Fields and has stated that they intend to continue with the 1.48 acres Benson Road parcel.
This is not only wrong but completely contradicts their promises. The Trust put both sites up for inclusion in the Sites Allocation in the first place without any warning or prior consultation, and only decided to allow consultation and an EGM when it realised the strength of public feeling. It then eventually caved in to pressure, called an EGM and announced it would hold two consultation events including both parcels of land ie, the 7.8 acres at the top of Maidenhead and the 1.48 acres behind Benson Road. The Chair Alan Haigh himself agreed that they would be bound by the result of the EGM vote on both sites. Probably realising that they would lose the vote, the Trust decided to cancel the EGM, announced that they would withdraw the 7.8 acres but continue with the development of the 1.48 acres behind Benson Rd, citing reasons of ‘sub-judice’ as they were involved in a High Court action, an action brought by themselves. The court case in no way prevents them from withdrawing the site if they wished.
The Trust’s actions over the 1.48 acres have been:
- Fencing it off illegally to prevent the public from using it – then saying it was going to be used purely for cattle which mysteriously never appeared.
- Speculating £600k plus on 7 Benson then leaving it empty for 2.5 years as an eyesore to deteriorate without income.
- Not consulting at any stage until being forced into the recent public ‘consultations’ on RF where it was first included – but then suddenly withdrawn by STT – supposedly because of ‘sub-judice’ reasons just to give them a fallback if they lost the vote.
- Refusing the traditional Land Registry route for settling registration disputes and instead attempting to intimidate the objectors into withdrawing by Instigating a hugely costly and distressing High Court action against objectors and in the process further risking Trust money potentially running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Rowley Fields comprises 21.2 acres not JUST 7.8 acres and it should be dealt with as a whole.
The Trust are holding a meeting this week when we believe they will decide formally to withdraw the 7.8 acres. However, this decision will not include the 1.48 acres unless we can put enough pressure on each trustee to reconsider.
Please help as follows:
- Anyone who is a Trust member write to the Chair Alan Haigh requesting in the strongest possible terms that the Trustees reconsider and withdraw both sites, as they had originally agreed, asking him to copy each of the other Trustees.
- Write a letter to the Herald to bring readers attention to this matter and how the Trust has acted. Letters can be submitted on line. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Thanks for your help.