Save Alexandra Gardens 20 Campaign
Over the past year the Liberal Democrats in Windsor launched "Save Alexandra Gardens 20" our campaign to stop excessive development at the Alexandra Gardens Coach and Car Parks. The third campaign to stop inappropriate development at Alexandra Gardensin the last two decades.
As part of the Campaign we have:
- created print at home posters for your window
- issued several press releases picked up by most local media (see below)
- started a petition to have decisions made in public
- made multiple Freedom of Information Act Requests to try to obtain information (see below)
Why is this happening now?
Under the current Conservative Administration the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead's council have got into significant debt. To pay off the debt large amounts of our (residents') public assets are being sold off in what local Lib Dems are calling the "Fire Sale Flog Off".
Why don't we know the details?
Plans for development along Windsor Riverside, including at Alexandra Gardens appear to have been in development for over a year. Two years ago an argument on social media between two prominent local Conservatives led to us asking for information on the plans by means of a Freedom of Information Act request. The council refused the request citing an exemption for decisions still in the process of being taken, however the refusal notice effectively confirmed that plans were being developed in secret.
More recently we issued a Press Release which was used as the basis for stories in local media. The Conservative response to this press release provided further confirmation that the secret plans existed. In parallel we have renewed our FOI request to have the plans made public.
What's the Lib Dem View?
We've established our 7 principles (below) for how decisions about development in this area should be decided. We believe decisions about Windsor and the wider Royal Borough should be made democratically in consultation with residents, rather than in secret with developers.
- Local Lib Dems don't believe in taking big decisions like this in secret, we believe the council should work for residents, not keep secrets from them.
- Local Lib Dems believe the public should be involved from the start of the process, not presented with a fait accompli near the end of the process.
- Local Lib Dems believe that decisions should be taken with a strategic view of what is best for Windsor, not as a quick-fix to pay off Conservative debts.
- Local Lib Dems believe more Windsor Councillors should be involved in the decision. The Council Cabinet is made up almost entirely by Maidenhead Councillors.
- Local Lib Dems believe any plan for Windsor riverside should take a clear overview of all of the undeveloped land along the Windsor riverside.
- Local Lib Dems believe any plans should emphasise public green open space, pedestrians and cyclists.
- Local Lib Dems believe any plans should try to create a motor traffic free space alongside the river.
Article: Sep 21, 2021By Windsor Liberal Democrats in www.windsorlibdems.org.uk
The site, which has for many years been a controversial privately run car park, renowned for its strict enforcement of its parking conditions, would benefit from aesthetic improvement, however given the sensitive position of the site, next to the Thames riverscape and close to Windsor Castle and other historic buildings any development would need to be extremely sensitively done.
Page: Jun 7, 2021
Freedom of Information (FOI) Act Request 7th May 2021 - Summary
1. GL Hearn Plans for Development at / around Alexandra Gardens
In 2017 the Conservative Council commissioned planning consultants GL Hearn (part of the Capita Group) to produce plans for development at Alexandra Gardens. Gl Hearn had previously been commissioned by the Conservatives to produce plans for Maidenhead Town Centre. The plans produced have remained secret ever since, despite the Conservative Council press release their initial decision to commission the plans.
Article: May 7, 2021By Windsor Liberal Democrats in www.windsorlibdems.org.uk
Liberal Democrats in Windsor have been running our Windsor Riverside Development Consultation since last year online survey since last year and have just over 600 respondents at the time of writing. Results so far show no support of any kind for the Conservative proposals to develop at Alexandra Gardens Car Park, Alexandra Gardens Coach Park or on Baths Island in the River Thames.
Save Alexandra Gardens 2020 in the Media
- Windsor Express - Planning consultants given 'blank page' to plan potential Windsor riverside development - 27 October 2017
- Windsor Express - Campaign to save Alexandra Gardens Coach and Car Park from development - 27 March 2020
- Royal Borough Observer - Windsor campaign group calls to save Alexandra Gardens - 28 March 2020
- Royal Borough Observer - Conservatives under-fire from Windsor Liberal Democrats - 10 June 2020
- Royal Borough Observer - Windsor Lib Dems launch Alexandra Gardens consultation - 1 July 2020
- Windsor Express - Confusion as Windsor Coach Park Plans Revealed at Maidenhead Meeting - 1 April 2021
- Royal Borough Observer - Councillors question why Windsor plans revealed at Maidenhead forum - 2 April 2021
Save Alexandra Gardens 2020 Freedom of Information Act Requests
- 20th March 2019 - Request for current Alexandra Gardens development plans
- 14th March 2020 - Request for 2020 and 2008 Alexandra Gardens development plans
- 30th March 2020 - Ownership of Alex Gdns Coach & Car Park - Revenues - Accountability & Transparency of RBWM Property Company
- 7th May 2021 - Request for Copies of the 2017 GL Hearn plans for development at / around Alexandra Gardens
Save Alexandra Gardens 2020 in our literature
- Report Back - pending
- Windsor, Eton & Castle Focus - July 2021
- SAG20-21 Leaflet - April 2021
- Windsor & Eton News Lib Dem Newspaper - April 2021
- Windsor, Eton & Castle Focus - April 2020