Cherishing the Past
Protecting the Future
What We Do
The Society takes an interest in all matters affecting Cookham. These include planning applications and development, Green Belt, Conservation Areas, public open spaces, roads and parking, bridges, bridleways and footpaths, the riverside, waterways and flood risk, tree preservation, the environment and local services.
How To Help
Become a full Cookham Society member from just £5.00 per year. Your support will strengthen the Society’s position and enable it to represent and be more effective on behalf of as many local residents as possible.
6th February 2024
UPDATE - BATTLEMEAD COMMON
Whereas last year's seasonal opening of the Causeway footpath from the West Field to the river was welcome the CS still has concerns with the management of Battlemead. We believe flooding risks are being created by the recent planting and fencing on the site. During flooding the White Brook which normally flows from the Thames to the Maidenhead Ditch and then into Maidenhead reverses and flows back across Widbrook Common and Battlemead and into the Thames. There are also large flows across the fields outside the White Brook channel. It is vital that this flow is unimpeded otherwise it raises flood water levels in the south of Cookham and particularly on the A4094 across Widbrook Common.
Unfortunately the recent January floods have proven that this build up of detritus really does hold back flow as the Society predicted.
We, in common with the Maidenhead Civic Society, are still concerned by the lack of availability of the site to the public for recreational purposes, and the lack of parking on site. We continue working for improvements.
PUBLIC ACCESS OVER ODNEY WEIR -
OPENING DATE ANNOUNCED AT LAST!
After three years of frustrating inaction by the Environment Agency the deadlock was finally broken when the Cookham Society contacted our MP, Theresa May, for help. Within a few weeks an onsite meeting was arranged at the weir attended by senior EA staff and representatives of the Cookham Society and the Parish Council.
A further meeting was held recently between senior EA staff and representatives of the Cookham Society and the Parish Council.
An agreement was achieved in principal, for the site to be made accessible to members of the public on weekdays for a test period from 1st March through to 30th June 2024. This will be subject to all safety measures being completed. The opening times will be dependent on when there is a Lock and Weir Keeper (LWK) on duty, and will remain open until approximately 1 hour before the end of the scheduled LWK working day. This allows for members of the public to vacate the area prior to the site being secured.
Access will be managed according to weather conditions, allowing access during times of expected lower footfall.
At the end of the opening period a further review meeting will be held.
The Cookham Society welcomes this restricted opening and considers it a success at this stage and hope it will lead to full access in the foreseeable future if there are no further problems.
NEW - THE MILLENIUM WALK
This 12.5km walk from Hurley to Boulters Lock, Maidenhead originated as a joint project of Maidenhead Civic Society and East Berks Ramblers to celebrate the Millenium. The main route was waymarked in 2023. The Marlow link will be done in 2024.
Download the leaflet below.
6th June 2022
APPLICATION 22/00343 - 25 DWELLINGS ON LAND EAST OF STRANDE PARK
The Cookham Society and many others have objected to this scheme for multiple reasons. Even RBWM’s flood advisors have recommended refusal of the scheme in its present form. We believe that this scheme should be totally withdrawn or very significantly modified by the developer before it is seriously considered for development.
NOTICE is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 7th March 2024 at the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
OUR SPEAKER - RICHARD POAD
Richard Poad has been involved in the Heritage Centre from its start in 1993 and was its chairman for over 25 years. His lecture at our AGM will look at some of the wide variety of Cookham-related objects in the collection. He has curated many exhibitions for the Centre and was responsible for building its Air Transport Auxiliary collection into one of the most important in the world.
COOKHAM BRIDGE: CLOSURE UPDATE
The latest Bridge update has confirmed that it is still expected to re-open as scheduled, on the 22nd March 2024. The Society's efforts to have it open earlier have not been heeded. Part of the delay is because an additional steel beam was required which had to be fabricated.
The bridge will not be painted during this closure due to the extensive cost required to install scaffolding and other measures to avoid contaminating the river. Interestingly a fragment of the bridge painted in its original colour of creamy white had been found on the river floor. This information would be retained for a future colour reference and no doubt there will be discussions as to which colour should be used
Before the bridge was closed The Society was in touch with Network Rail and RBWM requesting they consider these suggestions during the bridge closure:-
Free car parking on the north side of the bridge for visitors to Cookham coming from the north.
Re-opening of the bridge to traffic over the Christmas Period if there is a shut down of construction activities over that period.
Reducing business rates for businesses in the High Street and Cookham Rise for the period of the closure.
Increase the frequency of trains on the branch line during off peak hours. Bus passes to be accepted on the Branch line during the bridge closure
Unfortunately none of these has been adopted and even our suggestion that bus passes to be accepted on the Branch line will not be permitted by the Dept. for Transport.
The RBWM have issued a very useful leaflet about the repairs and key dates for consultations which you can download HERE.
AL37 - 200 DWELLINGS AT LOWER MOUNT FARM
COOKHAM DESERVES BETTER
23/02019 is the first of two applications by Bellway Homes to build around 200 dwellings on Greenbelt Land at the edge of Cookham. This is the largest single development ever in Cookham, potentially increasing the local population by at least 10% and further eroding the green space between Cookham and Maidenhead. Despite objections from the Society and many individuals the outline plan to include this in the Borough Local Plan was unfortunately approved by RBWM. This leaves us with little chance to overturn it and an uphill battle to make any improvements.
However on detailed review of application the Society felt it necessary to lodge a strong objection. Basically the proposed development does not meet the requirements of Cookham's VDS (Village Design Statement) or the latest NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) which states that developments should "...establish...a strong sense of place. using the arrangements of streets, spaces, building types and materials to create attractive, welcoming and distinctive places to live, work and visit" and that "... a new development should be sympathetic to local character and history..." Clearly this proposal has failed dismally.
Describing the proposals as mundane, which will not provide an attractive and high quality environment, our representation to the Royal Borough covers a wide range of issues including poor site access, impractical parking, ill considered drainage, general layout issues and the impact on local traffic and amenities. In our view, the scheme will be uninspiring, crowded and designed down to the minimum without the quality the village is entitled to expect. As we say:-
Cookham Deserves Better.