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East Berks College
Redevelopment News

Information and pictures updated Oct 2001 A Short History of East Berks College
1947 - 1980s
A Panorama of Windsor showing East Berks College and Trinity Church

March 19th 2004

Appeal Lost by Protestors

The Appeal held in January concerning the demolition of a stretch of Victorian properties in St Leonards Road has found in favour of East Berks College and so it looks as though the development will now proceed.

College - Main Entrance 01

The new look St Leonards Road (although the flat roof has since been altered)

St Leonards Road/Trinity Place 2

The area due for demolition


January 11th 2004

Summary of Hearing prepared by Gareth Butler

The Appeal finished last Friday with the summing up from both sides & a site visit.
The bottom line is, it could go either way - the odds are evens, as they say & we'll hear most likely in March.

The keystone application - to demolish the Victorian properties on St Leonard's Road, and build a modern building (of dubious aesthetic attribute) in it's place - was refused on two main grounds
(a) Policy S2 of the local plan, which categorically states that the St Leonard's Road buildings are earmarked for retail use
(b) Conservation Area - that it would spoil the views of Holy Trinity Church (Listed landmark building) & would not 'preserve or enhance' the conservation area (because the proposed building is an ugly great lump).

The College's QC tried to redefine the local plan policy, trying to argue that the point of the policy was to ensure the 'vitality' of the area, and how more vital than 'several hundred students coming & going each day' can you get. They also tried to say that the viewpoint in the Inner Windsor Conservation Area Statement was not clearly defined - was it just the axial view down Trinity Place or was it actually the whole arrow marked on the map'? As you can tell, all rivetting stuff.

The residents had their say - a stirling job followed by all concerned...

Gordon Franklin (Windsor & Eton Society) Intro - We need a new college but this isn't it.

Mike Sullivan (on behalf of myself) - This is not the forum to redefine local plan policies (S2) and the Planning Panel could have over-ridden S2, IF the proposed building was superb and it isn't. Pictures of impact of the proposals on views of HTC & the conservation area handed out.

David Emmerson - (Resident Trinity Place) St Leonard's Road Trader's & personal viewpoint on S2 & conservation issues - negative impact of proposals on amenity of area.

Richard Russell - (Resident Trinity Place) Personal viewpoint - aesthetics of the proposals.

Karin Lohr - (ex-councillor) Concern about loss of community educational facilities.

Susy Shearer - (Windsor & Eton Society) Personal viewpoint - no matter what you think of the building itself, it's in the wrong place!

I [GB] also managed to speak briefly on Friday - Plea to retain buildings on St Leonard's Rd & build new college on present site.

During the last couple of days, a lot of the debate centred around what English Heritage REALLY thought of the proposals. It's a shame that Graham Steaggles couldn't be there to resolve it himself, but I'm not sure whether he was even asked to attend.

All I can say is, Mr Griffith (the Inspector) couldn't have been more pleasant and gave everyone all the time they needed to present their point of view. Everyone I have spoken to has faith in his even-handedness in this tribunal and, even if it doesn't go our way, we all feel that we've done all we can & have been heard fairly.

Note of thanks

Thanks are due to all those who took part in the hearing, and to Gareth Butler for his substantial work regarding this planning application. Doubtless others have sacrificed much of their time too and to all we extend our thanks.

Previous updates about the EBC Plannning Application

December 2003
From an email received from
Gareth Butler

The East Berks College Planning Appeal is to be held at the Windsor Lawn Tennis Club and NOT in Maidenhead! However it will still be starting on Tuesday, 6 January 2004 at 10.00am and may last until Friday 9th Jan.

It's near Cannon's Health Club, although the address is Maidenhead Road, entrance to the club is from the slip road adjacent to the A332 flyover.

Here's the relevant web links...

Windsor Tennis Club

Street Map

Apparently the way we locals will have a chance to say our piece is that, within the first hour or so of the hearing, the Inspector will ask if any members of the public will want to speak. Unless the person is there, or can have a proxy who will nominate them, you'll lose your chance - so we'll have to get our act together in advance.

If you want to speak, please email me Gareth Butler

Computer generated images are here

October 2003
From an email received from
Gareth Butler

A notice outside the College (next to the pay & display box on Claremont Road), advertises an application by East Berks College (EBC) to have the restricted covenants lifted that limit the use of the land. The implications are:

Without the restrictions of the covenant lifted, EBC can only use that land to build a new college - no houses - and therefore the move to St Leonards Road would not be possible.

If the restrictions are lifted, EBC will be able to say to any future planning panel, 'unless you let us build on St Leonards Rd, we'll just pull out of Windsor altogether & sell it off for housing'. This would put immense pressure on the Panel to accept whatever the College wants to do.

What is really strange is why are they asking for these restrictions to be removed NOW, when they don't even know the result of the appeal on the St Leonards Rd site? In other words, they are asking to have the restrictions removed before they even know if they can rebuild the College on the Windsor site at all!
  The restricted covenants are on land that was allegedly never registered (at the Land Registry) by the college when it was transferred to them (for free) by the Royal Borough. Apparently such registrations are required by law.
  The residents of Windsor are all beneficiaries of the covenant, which was made between the Borough and the College. It is suggested that we get together with other residents' associations to form a 'class action' against this.
  The main problem is that we only have 2 weeks today (27/10/03) to get our objections in!

If you want details of how to object, then e-mail me asap. Gareth Butler

June 2003. The East Berks Further Education Corporation have appealed to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister against the Local Planning Authority's decision to refuse conservation area consent to demolish number 34 - 52 (evens) in St Leonards Road as part of the redevlopment proposed by EBFEC This appeal will be determined by a Public Inquiry. For more information please contact the Planning Unit at York House, Sheet Street, Windsor. (01628 683584. A appeal has also been lodged regarding the use of a cleared area of land, following part demolition of the existing college building, to be used as a temporary car park.

In October 2001 we were kindly provided with computer generated images of the proposed development at the corner of Trinity Place and St Leonards Road.

Information and pictures updated Oct 2001 A Short History of East Berks College
1947 - 1980s
A Panorama of Windsor showing East Berks College and Trinity Church

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