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We're keeping tabs on CRCMH-related issues from the pages of Maidenhead's number one read - being a local paper for local people. The latest stories are at the top. Enjoy.

Peruse the News...

19th September 2003 - Have you say on hospital homes plan
6th June 2003 - Homes site 'unsafe'
28th March 2003 - Anger at Trust's double standard
7th March 2003 - Rubbish fire at hospital
28th February 2003 - Hospital blaze blamed on vandals
26th April 2002 - Nine out of ten oppose new homes
8th March 2002 - Parish gives village a say on Cliveden
8th February 2002 - SCAN - Planners face critics
25th January 2002 - SCAN - Housing plan for Cliveden
7th December 2001 - Green plans for woodland homes
30th November 2001
- Hospital choices to be unveiled
16th November 2001 - Vow to oppose hospital homes




19th September 2003

Have your say on hospital homes plan

Development essential to fund estate repairs, claim

by Hannah Satterthwaite -

RESIDENTS will have the chance to comment on details of the controversial redevelopment of the National Trust’s former Canadian Red Cross Hospital site at Cliveden.

The trust and developers Countryside Properties are inviting the public to preview and comment on proposals for 191 contemporary homes, from one-bedroom flats to three-bedroom townhouses on Thursday, October 9.

Comments will be put forward before plans are submitted to South Bucks District Council. It is proposed that 20 per cent of the homes will be earmarked for rent or shared ownership by key workers to be managed by a housing association and the scheme includes a bus service to Maidenhead, Slough, Taplow station and schools.

National Trust communications and marketing manager Jose Phillips said the development was essential to fund maintenance of Cliveden House and Estate, including re-roofing the mansion.

“When the whole estate was given to the trust the Astors intended the hospital site would generate income so they always anticipated there would be commercial income from that site,” she said. “Until 1986 the hospital was giving us income but since it closed we have not had that which has meant Cliveden has been quite stretched financially.”

Taplow villagers and parish councillors formed a campaign group in June to fight against the plans.
Parish councillor Euan Felton said the trust did not appear to be listening to their concerns and would need to provide details of any bus service and evidence of Cliveden’s finances.

He said. “We will certainly attend the meeting, but to make it a worthwhile exercise they need to go into considerable detail in terms of transport and environmental studies.”




6th June 2003

Homes site 'unsafe'

RESIDENTS and councillors gear up for planning battle

by Hannah Satterthwaite -

A BATTLE is brewing between Taplow residents and the National Trust over the future of the former Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Cliveden.

Parish councillors claim the trust’s proposal to build 192 houses on the ‘isolated and unsafe’ site would cripple the limited infrastructure in Taplow.

The trust was granted outline planning permission in 1996 to build 135 retirement homes on the site of the derelict Second World War hospital but building has never taken place.

Now the charity is proposing to build 192 homes on the site, including the statutory 20 per cent of beds for affordable housing.

Cllr Euan Felton, chairman of Taplow Parish Council planning committee, said the site was too isolated to support such a development.

“It is over two miles from the nearest credible destination, along rural roads with no streetlights or pavements,” he said.

“It is remote from transport, shops, employment, recreation and services and is entirely car dependent. And it is inaccessible and unsafe for the needs of children and deep in the greenbelt in an historic park.”

He said the previous plans for the retirement homes and care flats, plus community facilities and shops, were acceptable because they would attract an older population, with no demands on schools and less travel by car.

“The new development would mean 500 to 700 more people, 300 to 500 more cars, 1,500 to 2,000 extra car journeys and two to three more cars a minute on the roads,” he said. “We just believe it would be a development too far and should be disallowed.”

Project manager Stuart Arden, from the National Trust, said the retirement homes had not been a commercially viable option.

“The whole point of the trust undertaking this project is to provide funds for the Cliveden Estate,” he said. “The then owner Lord Astor said the hospital site should provide income for the estate. Since it closed in 1986 there has been no income so no maintenance has been done.”

He said transport, in the form of bus services, would be provided, and market research by the developers had shown older people without children would be interested in the houses.

Plans are expected to be submitted to South Bucks District Council on September 27, and a meeting for residents, developers and the trust will be held at the hospital site on Friday, June 27.

Residents are invited to join parish councillors for a public meeting about the redevelopment in Taplow Village Centre at 8pm on Friday, June 13.

UNITED STAND: Parish councillor Mary Trevallion, Professor Bernard Trevallion, parish council chairman Cllr Peter Millership, chairman of the parish planning committee Cllr Euan Felton and Annie Hanford, chairman of the Taplow and Hitcham Preservation Society.



28th March 2003

Anger at Trust's double standard

RESIDENT appaled at plan to develop hospital site.

by Lucy Rutherford

A TAPLOW resident has reacted angrily to a request from the National Trust for donations to save the countryside after the organisation's bid to develop land in Cliveden.

George Sandy, a member of the National Trust, was appalled when he received a letter from the appeals manager asking for £15 to 'protect our country's most precious places' because of their plans to build homes on the site of the old Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital.

Mr Sandy, of Rectory Road, said: "How can anyone believe the National Trust is sincere when by its own actions it totally contradicts itself.

"It is setting out to obtain planning permission to create a 200 unit development within the green belt territory at Cliveden.

"If truly concerned for the environment, surely the Trust's priority should have been to restore the grounds to their original woodland state instead of encouraging a feasting frenzy for potential developers."

Proposals for 198 houses and apartments at the site were put forward by the National Trust last year. They said it would be a sensitive development with environmentally friendly measures such as water recycling systems and wood-chip fuelled combined heat and power systems.

Fliss Coombes, spokeswoman for the National Trust, said: "We are progressing towards our planning application and will continue to hold public consultation as part of this process.

"The development of the hospital site will enable us to continue the conservation of 340 acres of grounds and woodland at Cliveden. The estate housing will be a model scheme, so the planning is entirely consistent with the aims of the National Trust."

The plans are expected to be submitted to South Bucks District Council in June.

SIGHT FOR SORE EYES: George Sandy at the site of the old Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Cliveden which could be turned into a new housing development.







7th March 2003

Rubbish fire at hospital

FIREFIGHTERS were called to the former Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Taplow for the second time in a week after a fire was deliberately started on Thursday night.

Crews from Beaconsfield and Maidenhead put out rubbish which had been set alight. The first attack at the site, which is owned by the National Trust, happened on Saturday last week.




28th February 2003

Hospital Blaze Blamed On Vandals

VANDALS are suspected of being behind a fire which partially destroyed the roof of a building on land on the Cliveden estate, Taplow.

Three fire engines had to be called out to tackle the blaze at the derelict Canadian Red Cross Hospital, in Cliveden Road, at 4.30pm on Friday.

The blaze had started on the first floor inside one of the buildings, spreading to the roof. When firecrews arrived from Beaconsfield and Maidenhead it covered an estimated 200 square metres.

Using breathing apparatus, the firefighters managed to bring the fire under control and put it out within minutes. Commander Ronnie Booth, from Beaconsfield fire station, said: “We put the fire down to arson. It was probably kids playing in there.

“With that in mind we were very concerned about people still being trapped in the building so we carried out a detailed search but there was no one there.”

Mr Booth praised his officers for carrying out a good job in trying circumstances.

He said: “We are very happy with our performance. We managed to prevent the fire from spreading even though we were restricted by water supply. We contained the fire within just two rooms.”

Graham Deans, the property manager for the National Trust, which owns the Cliveden Estate and is planning to build a number of houses on the hospital site, also said he believed vandals were to blame.

But he said: “I have not come across this sort of thing before, where they set fire to the building.

He added: “My understanding is it was a mattress that had been set alight on the first floor but there was no major damage because the hospital is derelict.”

Regular patrols were mounted to deter intruders but Mr Deans said it was almost impossible to stop everyone getting in.

Slough police said the incident was being treated as arson but no arrests had been made


Click on thumbnail to embiggen the actual article as it appeared in the newspaper. This comes to us courtesy of Robery Hurley.




26th April 2002

Nine out of 10 oppose new homes

NINETY-FOUR per cent of villagers in Taplow are totally opposed to a development at the site of the former Canadian Red Cross Hospital at Cliveden, according to a Taplow Parish Council survey.

Results from 230 questionnaires distributed to homes in the parish showed overwhelming support for the council in its bid to prevent the National Trust building 198 houses on the site which has been derelict since 1986.

Main concerns raised from comments on the questionnaires were the effect on traffic, lack of facilities, the impact on the community, closeness to the greenbelt, the size of the development and urbanisation.

Asked whether they would oppose a scheme for 135 retirement homes on the site, for which the trust already has planning permission, 67 per cent said this was preferable but not ideal.

Cllr John Pool, chairman of Taplow Parish Council, said: “This parish supported the scheme 10 years ago for 135 retirement homes because there would be fewer cars and it would not put pressure on schools.

“It is quite wrong to allow such a large development as Cliveden to go ahead. Government planning guidelines emphasise the importance of the sustainability of development locations with a particular aim to reduce car dependency.

“Existing and new planning applications should be reviewed and if necessary altered in line with the guidelines. In particular an urban capacity study should be urgently undertaken to identify sites available for housing.”

The trust, in conjunction with Countryside Properties, is proposing to build a mixed development of 198 houses and apartments on the site to help towards the running and restoration costs of the estate and provide affordable housing in a much sought after area.

Cllr Pool said: “Provision for affordable housing will mean a much more active community. people are going to be travelling to work.

“The school and play group are already beyond capacity, leisure facilities are a distance away and services and roads would be dramatically affected.”

The parish council has so far received support from the Chiltern Society, Hitcham and Taplow Preservation Society, the Dropmore Society and residents associations and has allocated £5,000 from parish funds to fight the development.

The trust has said the development would be in keeping with the area and would have a number of environmentally friendly features such as water recycling systems, triple glazing, woodchip-fuelled power-systems and a community minibus.

A planning application has not yet been submitted to South Bucks District Council but is expected by late summer.



8th March 2002

Parish gives village a say on Cliveden

VILLAGERS in Taplow are being offered the chance to have their say on proposed development at Cliveden in a questionnaire from Taplow Parish Council.

Last month The National Trust announced developers Countryside Properties would be detailing plans for the site of the old Canadian Red Cross Hospital which could include up to 198 homes.

In a letter to residents, John Pool, chairman of the parish council, said: “The Government encourages greater local input into the determination of major planning issues.

“If permitted this project would increase the parish population by about one third and forever change this part of our greenbelt environment.

“The parish council believes the isolated position of the site makes it remote from public transport provision and access to services and employment and is quite unsuitable for general housing development.

“The development would substantially add to existing traffic problems and further threaten road safety along routes already suffering acute pressure.”

The questionnaire asks residents whether they agree with the plan to build 198 homes on the site, if they agreed with the original proposal of 135 retirement homes. or have other suggestions for the future of the site.

But not all residents were happy with the format of the consultation. One, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The questions present a biased attitude of the council and are formulated to achieve the response it desires.

“I believe the council should not involve itself in a process which is very adequately controlled by the district council inspectorate and court systems. It is morally wrong of locals to object to developments on approved sites as a growing population needs additional housing."

Plans by Countryside Properties are not expected until the summer and the parish council intends to use comments from the questionnaire to judge its response.

Keith Hurford, from Countryside Properties, said: “We are hoping to have the planning application finalised by the summer and planning consent by the end of the year.”

Confidential questionnaires have been distributed to all homes in the parish and the deadline for their return is Wednesday, March 20.





8th February 2002

25th January 2002

Click on thumbnails to embiggen. Note: The image on the right is only a partial scan of the story, but contains the bits relevant to this website.





7th December 2001

Green plans for woodland homes

Eco-friendly themes for former Taplow hospital site

ARCHITECTS' plans and tabletop models of designs for an ecologically friendly housing development on the National Trust's historic Cliveden estate drew a steady stream of visitors at the weekend.

They are the four which have been short-listed after the trust's nationwide hunt for the best design for a model village on the site of the derelict Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Taplow.

The hospital stands on an isolated site in the wooded grounds of the great house.

Taplow residents and National Trust members have already registered their opposition to the plans for a 'housing estate' in unspoilt woodland.

Among objections are that it is contrary to the ideals of the trust and to the spirit in which the Astor family presented it with Cliveden.

But a trust panel will attempt to choose the finalist on Wednesday and hopes to press ahead early in the New Year with an application to South Bucks District Council for planning permission to 'recycle' the land.

Nigel Bennett, a partner in a firm of international property consultants and a member of the panel, said matters will not necessarily be finalised on Wednesday.

"We may well want some adjustments and reappraisal done," he said.

The panel will also consider a report on the comments made by people who saw the plans at the weekend.

"It is an impossible task to satisfy everybody. We want to reach the right decision," said Mr Bennett.

If the district council gives the scheme the green light, there are to be 200 homes, ranging from three-storey developments of flats to four-bedroom houses in the village with approximately 500 residents.

The display at Taplow village hall on Saturday, and in the orangery restaurant at Cliveden on Sunday, showed four contrasting, yet similar, approaches.

To cut down on the traffic the development will generate, minibus services, car-pooling and car-share strategies are advocated by designers and there are communal facilities for storing bicycles, as shops, schools and workplaces are all several miles away.

The only communal buildings shown are a village hall and a doctor's surgery.

But one layout includes a 'community eco-centre' with a roof 'grassed' over and planted with sedum and walls made from rammed earth. Inside, power and central heating is generated using woodchip which is a carbon neutral fuel.

South-facing conservatories attached to the larger flats, as well as the houses, are another means of trapping heat created by sunlight.

Ponds and lakes are also shown on the plans, not just because they are picturesque features, but because they could be employed as a means of handling sewage or run-off water.

'Grey water' from washing machines, dishwashers and bathtubs could also be recycled for flushing toilets, washing cars and watering gardens.

Recycling and composting facilities are to be supplied on site to reduce the amount of waste sent for landfill. At present, at a mere 11 per cent, the UK recycles the lowest percentage of waste in Europe.

There are individual architectural flourishes from the four entrants, such as balconies and a pergola and even an overall layout which echoes the shape of the great 18th century parterre in the gardens below the magnificent terrace at Cliveden.

The short-listed designs have been put in by Linden and Banner Homes, the Cliveden Partnership, Countryside Properties and a consortium consisting of Gleeson Homes, Bewley Homes and the English Courtyard Association.


UNDER SCRUTINY: Residents from Taplow village, Esther and John Willmore (left) and Keith Paskins (right), study plans for the development. Ref:76248/4

Sorry, couldn't find the original pictures.
I trust that the above replacements will suffice...

Only kidding - that was just a stab at what we think of the new development.
Here's the real ones - "quaint aren't they."


30th November 2001

Hospital choices to be unveiled

Top developers submit plans for village on Canadian Red Cross site

FOUR different plans for developing the former Canadian Red Cross Hospital site at Cliveden in Taplow are to go on display tomorrow (Saturday).

They are being prepared by four teams, shortlisted by the National Trust, to work on proposals for a sustainable village development of 200 homes in the grounds of the great house.

It is to be a prestige project. The trust announced earlier this year it was notifying leading architects and firms of developers that it was holding a competition to secure the development package.

The plans will go on show from 10am to 4pm in Taplow Village Hall and on Sunday in the Orangery Restaurant at Cliveden from 11am to 4pm.

A National Trust selection panel intends to choose between the four designs during December. In advance it is inviting the local community to comment on them. The panel's decision will not be made known until January.

"The shortlisted developers were selected as their initial proposals seemed best to meet the trust's criteria, including creating sustainable housing that enhances the site's contribution to the Cliveden estate and the surrounding area," said Julia Simpson, the National Trust's area manager.

The hospital buildings at Cliveden have been empty for 15 years and are derelict and vandalised. They were built originally by Lord Astor during the First World War to give medical treatment to troops from Canada who were wounded in the fighting.

The hospital was used again in the Second World War for the same purpose. Afterwards it became a popular NHS general hospital which provided for the population of Maidenhead and the surrounding area. Thousands of children were born in its busy maternity unit.

Since the hospital was shut down in 1986, the trust has lost at least £400,000 per annum in income from renting it to the NHS. The cash was used to fund major works throughout the Cliveden site, where the great house is leased out as a luxury hotel with an international reputation.

Miss Simpson says the income realised from the sustainable village will help with ambitious projects like relaying the magnificent terrace at Cliveden and creating a sculpture gallery in the former ferneries, where the most important statues can be preserved from erosion. The trust also wants to restore mosaics in the chapel and repair estate buildings.

At first there were plans for a smaller retirement village on the land, which the trust did not proceed with. The presence of asbestos in hospital buildings was one hiccup.

There is also strong opposition from Taplow residents and from National Trust members to development of a 'housing estate' in the middle of a large greenbelt area.

But Government planning policies favour proposals for much denser housing than previously and the hospital land is classed as a major developed site in need of recycling.

South Bucks, the local authority in control of the Cliveden area, has ruled the spread of buildings should be reduced, there must be landscaping and any new buildings must not be higher than the existing structures.


NOW DERELICT (left): Designs for a sustainable village (right) on the Canadian Red Cross Hospital site are going on show.


16th November 2001

Vow to oppose hospital homes

Residents' concerns over traffic, security and schools

RESIDENTS in Taplow have agreed to a three-stage offensive, including legal action, against the proposed housing development at the site of the former Red Cross hospital at Cliveden.

Members of the Hitcham and Taplow Preservation Society met at the village hall on Monday to discuss the plan to build 200 homes on the National Trust site and decide what action should be taken to prevent it going ahead.

Chairman of the society, Valerie Boakes, said: "The main issues we are concerned about are security, visibility, highways, traffic problems, schools and facilities.

"There is a distinct lack of clarity at the moment.

"No planning application has been put to South Bucks District Council and there are lots of grey areas."

Residents decided to appeal to MP Dominic Grieve and the director-general of The National Trust, and implement a publicity campaign to keep residents up to date with the proposals. They agreed to set up a committee and fighting fund in case of legal action.

Karl Lawrence of Cedar Chase, Taplow, said: "The trust betrays its founding purpose to develop the Canadian Memorial Hospital site to become an urban scar in the centre of a rural green treasure.

"They are looking for more money to do capital developments like the lake.

"It could be the first of many and I was pleasantly surprised at the meeting that everyone was unanimous in their opposition.

" Cliveden is detailed in the South Bucks local plan as a 'major developed site in the Green Belt' and meets national policy objectives to develop brown field sites.

The original scheme included 135 houses but last year it was decided there was scope for higher density and the development should be socially mixed, not geared solely at the elderly.

Julia Simpson, National Trust area manager for Thames Valley and Oxfordshire, said: "There are four developer groups who will be holding a presentation for local people and parish councils on December 1 and the plans will be on open display in Taplow village hall and at Cliveden on Sunday December 2.

"The developers will be on hand to answer questions."



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