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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.

May 2024

PROPOSED CREMATORIUM - THE SOCIETY RESPONDS STRONGLY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Architects Elegy Ltd have recently proposed building a crematorium at Long Lane, Cookham supposedly to serve the RBWM.

 

In a strongly worded letter to Elegy, the Society rejected the proposal, pointing out:-

  • No need for a crematorium was identified in the recent Borough Local Plan

  • Even if a need is proven, location in the furthest extremity of the Borough would be more than a little odd, encouraging yet more traffic movements in our area. We suggest a site near the new Oakley Green Cemetery between Maidenhead and Windsor would be more suitable.

  • Site access on Long Lane is inadequate especially cars using satnav from the west will use the single track with passing places.

  • The site is in a critically important part of the Green Belt where the narrow strip separating Cookham village from Maidenhead town is now under worrying pressure from nearby developments.

 

Finishing the letter, the Society requested Elegy not to waste our time and their own time in pursuing this inappropriate scheme any further

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2nd April 2024

PUBLIC ACCESS OVER ODNEY WEIR - 

YET MORE EA EXCUSES DELAY OPENING AGAIN!

You have probably followed this saga for the last four years as we have continued to press the Environment Agency to re-open the gates on Odney Weir and reinstate public access to Lock Island.

At a meeting in August 2023, senior EA staff and representatives of the Cookham Society and the Parish Council reached an agreement that the site would be opened to members of the public on weekdays for a test period from 1st March through to 30th June 2024. This was not the full re-opening we wanted but the EA insisted on a cautious approach which allowed them to finish planned tree work on the island and then re-assess safety issues.

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On the 1st March the gates did not open and there was no explanation from the EA. Eventually, at a further meeting with EA in Mid-March we found out that tree work had not been completed on schedule. The fact that the opening was delayed by a few weeks because of the extended tree work was regrettable but we could live with that. The EA then dropped the bombshell that at the beginning of 2024 there had been a freeze placed on recruitment of any replacement staff or any of their usual group of temporary summer staff. We were then told that because of recruitment and training times there was now no chance of opening Odney Weir before September 2024.

We understand that at present the EA is under financial stress, but we have been immensely disappointed by the poor or non-existent communications from them and their lack of drive to re-open this site to the public. This recent setback has only strengthened our resolve to continue fighting to get this access open again, the sooner the better.

In the meantime the Society and Parish will be working together, taking legal advice to release site risk assessments and job descriptions to identify these problems, and arranging a further meeting with the EA at the end of April.

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.

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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.

April 2023

DESIGN AWARD 2022

Last year's Design Award winner was announced at the AGM. For report and pictures see the  Design Award page.

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April 2024

AL37 - 200 DWELLINGS AT LOWER MOUNT FARM

COOKHAM DESERVES BETTER

 

URGENT - THE COOKHAM SOCIETY IS URGING ALL MEMBERS TO RESPOND TO THE AMENDED BELLWAY HOMES APPLICATION FOR 200 HOUSES IN COOKHAM

Bellway Homes have updated their planning application for the site at Lower Mount Farm, Cannondown Road, Cookham. This is being presented as a response to the many objections from the public, the Cookham Society, the Parish Council and the RBWM’s own highways department which forced Bellway to withdraw their original application.

 

Bellway Home’s latest application has not addressed our, the Parish Council’s and the public’s objections.

 

There is very little publicity about the update and there are now so many documents to compare to the original application, that there is a risk that this huge development could slip through without a full response from the local community.

 

We have noted the following:

 

  • The revised scheme is almost identical to the original with the only visible changes being a height reduction in a few cases from 2.5 storeys to two, cosmetic tinkering with porches and roofing materials, plus a couple of additional cycle and pedestrian routes. There has been a slight enlargement of gardens to the minimum required size and confirmed bin access. However, Bellway Homes are planning to build exactly the same number of houses, so the site will be even more congested.

 

  • Parking problems do not seem to have been addressed and this plan still features parking with up to three cars parked in lines between houses. There remains just one exit and entry point to Cannondown Road.

 

  • Objections to overall Layout and Design, Site Access, Parking, Foul Drainage, Surface water Drainage, Tenure, Bus Service, Speed Limits, Sustainability, Food Production and Cookham Area Traffic Overload have all been ignored.

 

Cookham Deserves Better.

 

Make your voice heard.  You can find the applications for this 200 home development on the RBWM planning website using the following link and reference numbers. Please note that for some reason, Bellway have split the development in two, so your objection should reference both, as they are similar designs.

 

https://www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/planning-and-building-control/find-planning-application

Ref. No: 23/02019 for160 houses

Ref. No: 23/02022 for 40 houses

The official deadline for comments and objections is May 2nd, although objections will be accepted up until the deciding RBWM planning meeting. 

 

Please note that if you submitted an objection to the previous scheme with RBWM, you need to submit a NEW objection to this REVISED scheme.

21st March 2024

COOKHAM ZOO CONTROVERSY

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Wildway Wildlife Ltd had applied for temporary permission to operate a ‘small mini zoo and animal education centre’ on land at Lower Mount Farm on Long Lane until New Year’s Day 2026. RBWM refused the application following representations from the Society, the Parish and individuals.

 

Not everyone agreed with the decision but unfortunately the zoo was set up without planning permission or a zoo licence being obtained. Of course we love animals but also love Cookham and its Green Belt which seems to be under constant threat from creeping urbanisation. This is frequently under the guise of seemingly inoffensive temporary buildings, often without planning permission, that within a few years develop into permanent structures.

These considerations were made in our objection letter available to view on the RBWM website. 

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.

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Sept. 2023

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.

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