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The Alma Road Terrace

Plans for a New
Alma Road Car Park
are scrapped

No further threat to Sir Sydney Camm's home

2005 - House Reoccupied
Threat Over!!!

Earlier Reports
are on this Page

 Archive Pages

Sir Sydney's home saved?
December 2001 Report

Park and Ride - A help to Camm House?

Empty Homes - Why???
May 2001

Camm Plaque -
Missing again!

Demolition Threat Resurfaces -
November 2000

The Situation as at March 1999

News from 1999

W S Atkins Report
"Parking in Windsor"

A Short History of
Sir Sydney Camm

Fred Camm - A Book of his Achievements

Letter from Ted Shepherd, published in the Daily Mail,
Feb 2000
Unitary Authorities -
Absolute power corrupts absolutely
Letter from Harry Alderman, nephew of Sir Sydney Camm.
Feb 2000

Press Release 1999

Local Government Act 1972

December 2001 - Sir Sydney's home - Safe Now?

The Observer newspaper, in their edition dated 14th December 2001, (p.1.) have reported that The Royal Borough are planning to return the terraced homes in Alma Road and Arthur Road to residential use after being left empty for several years. The threat to demolish Camm's house along with adjacent properties now seems to have been scrapped along with plans for a large car park in the same area.

The Observer reports that the area will now be developed for housing and that a second deck is planned over the Alexandra Gardens Car Park to provide additional parking in that part of the town.

July 2001 - Park and Ride - Will it save Camm's House?

A report in The Observer dated Friday 13th July suggests that rush-hour jams between Windsor and Slough could eventually be history! Apparently Windsor Borough and Slough Borough councils have been discussing a Park and Ride Scheme at Junction 6 of the M4 motorway, with a "medium term plan to look at ways of re-arranging parking and access in the Alma Road and Windsor Riverside area, and this Park and Ride Scheme is for the longer term" said Cllr. Spooner lead cabinet member for Windsor parking.

Judging by the traffic in Windsor at 6.00pm last Thursday, when queues of stationery traffic stretched from the Relief Road to Home Park, in both directions, any 'medium term solution' of increasing parking in the town centre by around 500 spaces would be totally unacceptable. If permanently scrapping the proposed increase of 'in town' parking provision means the return of a dozen or so homes to residential use, and the Camm household saved into the bargain, Windsor residents would be well pleased.

May 2001 - Why are these homes still empty??

It is now over two years since Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council shelved plans to demolish 10 homes at the junction of Alma Road and Arthur Road to make way for access to a new multi-storey car park on the site of the old gas works. This car park is thought to have been promised as part of the development of the Central Station as a shopping area and precinct.

One can only assume that the homes remain empty because the council are keeping the plan on the 'back burner', in the hope that an opportunity will eventually arise, permitting the redevelopment.

Let us state right now, therefore, that the plan will never be accepted by local residents because the congestion in Arthur Road is now so severe that tail-backs to the relief road and even the M4 are now commonplace. Any addition to the number of car parking spaces in the town centre will further exacerbate the situation to an intolerable level. RBWM accept this, as stated in The Town Plan, Page 6.11, para 6.6.18, "At present, most traffic entering Windsor does so via Arthur Road, Clarence Road or Alma Road from the Windsor and Eton Relief Road. In terms of environmental capacity, all these routes are reaching saturation. In order to relieve these roads and also the central area from long-stay traffic, an alternative to parking provision within the town needs to be considered."

If the spaces are required by local retailers for the benefit of customers, then let them release existing spaces used by their staff. We have already suggested (See November 2000, below) that they support an expanded Park and Ride scheme and encourage their staff to park away from the town centre.

In the meantime it is shameful that these houses are left empty. The Empty Homes Agency (EHA) will publish in mid-May a list of some 750,000 properties that are unnecessarily left empty throughout the country and it is likely that Windsor will feature prominently in this report with this and other examples of housing waste.

The Windsor and Eton Observer, in their edition dated May 11th, 2001, features this story in depth on their front page. It is to be hoped therefore that this matter can now be permanently resolved.

The Camm Plaque goes missing - again!

For the second time the above plaque, unveiled on Sir Sydney Camm's house in Alma Road in March 1986, has gone missing. Local residents assumed that Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council had taken it into safe keeping after the original theft and subsequent recovery, but it seems that the plaque was insecurely refitted and so promptly stolen again. Naturally we hope that the plaque will be recovered once again.

Car Park News in November 2000

In their edition dated 24th November 2000, The Observer reported that a plan has been resurrected to demolish Sir Sydney Camm's birthplace (also that of his brother 'Practical' magazine Editor, Fred Camm) in order to provide access to a planned multi-storey Car Park. Local residents have long opposed these plans as congestion into Windsor on the adjacent approach roads, Maidenhead Road and Arthur Road, is already way past acceptable levels.

At many times of day, long queues build up that stretch as far back as the Relief Road. At the end of the day the situation is reversed with extensive stationary and slow moving traffic trying to leave the town. Increasing car parking in the town centre will only add to these existing problems.

Many of the parking places that already exist in Windsor are occupied by cars belonging to staff of local shops and offices. These valuable spaces could be released by more than the capacity of the proposed Car Park - some 500 spaces - by encouraging use of an expanded Park and Ride schemes. This point is expanded in the article 'Absolute Power...'

In March 1999, WMBC councillors agreed to withdraw the application for the Car Park. It seems, according to para 3.32 p. 45 of the Supporting Information, that WMBC were legally required to refer the application for a Car Park to GOSE (Government Office for the South East at Guildford) for consideration by the Secretary of State as it departs from the existing "Borough Plan". (also known as 'Development Plan', 'Local Plan' and 'Transport Plan'). See below for more about this Planning Meeting.

In March 2000, GOSE confirmed that the application to demolish the terraced houses had been withdrawn. The implication is that the houses are safe until such time as Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council come up with a different scheme and file a new Planning Application.

Letters against the scheme have been published in the national press from time to time, including one from Germany, praising Camm's aircraft and stating that "...Luftwaffe pilots ... will rise in support of this cause". The letter in full

See below for typical letters from a local resident and a relative of Sir Sydney.

For information published
in March 1999 please see the following:

Archived News

 Press Release

 Historical information
about the site

The Situation as at March 1999

Planning and Environment Board
Monday 22nd March 1999
Maidenhead Town Hall

The following is based on notes provided at the above meeting for public use, and on a conversation the following morning with the Government Office for the South East at Guildford.

During the meeting, the council were asked to consider the Officer's Recommendation for the following:
That new Pay and Display parking schemes be provided, 3 in Windsor and two in Maidenhead.
That revised Parking charges be agreed
That Privilege cards be discontinued with other connected aspects
That the need for a new multi-storey car park be re-evaluated as part of the Local Transport Plan, and that the Application be withdrawn

In summary, WMBC councillors have agreed to withdraw the application for the Car Park. It seems, according to para 3.32 p. 45 of the Supporting Information, that WMBC are legally required to refer the application for a Car Park to GOSE for consideration by the Secretary of State as it departs from the existing the "Borough Plan". (aka 'Development Plan', Local Plan, Transport Plan').
Information from GOSE subsequently was that WMBC are legally required to do so. In addition two members of the public have recently made a similar request to GOSE to "call in" the plan for consideration by the Secretary of State. It is likely that the papers will be submitted within the next week or so by WMBC as the Town Planning meeting has now taken place.
The Secretary of State has 21 days to consider whether the application should be called in. This 21 day period will commence after the papers have been received.
In para 3.32 page 45 the Officer in Charge implies that a delay of a year or more is possible as a Public Enquiry will be required.

Other information

During the Planning Meeting Roger Tuffley (Director of Planning) stated that:
22 petitions had been received in support of the Car Park, from retail sector. This included 913 signatories. At 5.00pm that evening an additional 500+ signatories had been received in petition form.
Objections received by letter amounted to some 104. The reasons stated included 'traffic chaos', 'demolition of house' (Camm), 'contrary to Local Plan'', 'Park & Ride preferred' and 'loss of local amenity for adjacent residents'.

Published Letters

The following letter was published in the Daily Mail on 24th February 2000. It comes from Ted Shepherd who was closely involved with historian Gordon Cullingham during a number of campaigns in Windsor to right the wrongs that Maidenhead Council were attempting to foist upon our town. The letter was noticed by Harry Alderman of Huddersfield, a nephew of the late Sir Sydney Camm. His letter is also reproduced below.

Windsor's Shame

From Ted Shepherd, Windsor, Berkshire

Sir Sydney Camm, designer of the Hawker Hurricane which bore the brunt of the fighting in the Battle of Britain, was born and brought up at 10 Alma Road, Windsor.

The house has a slate plaque to this effect, but s boarded up, along with the rest of the terrace, because the local council wanted to demolish it to build a car park.

After much protest, the council backed down.

I find the council's attitude towards the birthplace of one of the town's most famous sons lamentable. This is one of the most historic towns in Britain but our council doesn't care about our history: we haven't even got a museum.

Ted Shepherd

From Harry Alderman, Huddersfield
Nephew of Sir Sydney Camm

I was shocked to hear the sad news of the death of Gordon Cullingham. If it had not been for his insistence and determination, I am confident that 10, Alma Road would have been demolished by now. I would not have been aware of the problem and it enabled me to write many letters to the Council at Windsor and Maidenhead, and the government including Blair and Prescott.

As one of the few surviving nephews of Sir Sydney, I wish to make every effort now and in the future to ensure this becomes a listed building. If Captain Cook's cottage at Whitby and the Beatles birthplace in Liverpool can be saved, 10 Alma Road is far more important.

Doubtless the Hurricane won the Battle of Britain despite the fact that the Spitfire gets all the glory.

If you hear of any future developments, please let me know and I will take action.

Harry Alderman

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