The Cookham Society Spring 2017 Newsletter
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Registered Charity No. 257224  |  |
Spring 2017 Newsletter


If you are reading this online, we have been successful with our first digital newsletter. Like many other organisations, The Cookham Society has to move with the times.  

The cost of paper, administration and postage means that we can no longer afford to do a hard copy newsletter.  We will still aim to send out four newsletters each year, it’s just that they will be emailed instead of posted.  

We appreciate that some of our members are not online and we will mail a hard copy to those we can’t reach by email this time around.

We will also leave hard copies at Elizabeth House. In the meantime, we would like to thank our distributors who have helped us get the newsletter out in the past.

Please keep us abreast of any changes to your email address so that we can stay in touch.  Send any change of address to
• The Cookham Society  Goes Digital

• Poundfield Latest

• Tough Year For The Planning Sub-Committee

• Cookham Society Design Award 

• Environment Committee
Header photograph by Mick Vogel Photography


Opposition Campaign

The Cookham Society and the Save Poundfield campaign have fought a tireless battle to represent the views of local people opposed to the development of Poundfield. 533 letters opposing the Oakford Homes (Pony Field) application were sent to RBWM, and 603 were sent in opposition to the Berkeley Homes one.

The Society and the Save Poundfield campaign commissioned expert consultant and legal advice in support of the case.  Indeed, the strength of the case was backed by RBWM’s own planning officer. Major representatives of key national art institutions like the Royal Academy, have also been unanimous in their opposition to development in an area where the heritage of Sir Stanley Spencer is considered to be of both national and international importance.  


Planning Applications Heard at Maidenhead Development Control Panel

The planning applications for the Pony Field (Oakford Homes) and the remainder of Poundfield (Berkeley Homes) were heard by Maidenhead Development Management Panel councillors on 19th December. Submissions against the development were made by The Cookham Society, the Parish Council and the Save Poundfield group. Neither of the applicants chose to speak to support their applications. The Development Management Panel unanimously rejected both.

Outcome and Possible Appeals

Oakford Homes have already submitted an appeal and it remains to be seen whether Berkeley Homes will do the same.  We will continue to oppose these proposals.


A huge amount of effort has  gone into our response to the two Poundfield applications during 2016, but there have been other challenges.

Borough Local Plan

The proposed new Borough Local Plan was released in draft form and includes a proposal to designate Poundfield as Local Green Space. The consultation ended on 13th January and The Society gave its unanimous support to the Local Green Space proposal.  The Save Poundfield campaign are aware of over 300 letters written in support of that designation.  

The Society has also submitted its wider response to the Royal Borough’s consultation on the draft Local Plan. We have made recommendations to tighten up the wording on what is allowed in the Green Belt - in particular chicken farms and changes to the policies concerning development of houses on farmsteads. We have also made comments on the undesirability of developing two of the Cookham sites proposed for inclusion in the Plan for building (at Strande Park and beside Lower Mount Farm). 

Our observations have been shared with the Parish Council and while we oppose the proposals, we have suggested that if the Borough is obliged to include the sites in its draft plan, there are stringent 

requirements which should be met first, including the provision of improved green space, better sewerage and enhanced health facilities. The Society considers the level of density to be far too high.

Planning applications

More than 150 planning applications were scrutinized during 2016 of which, the vast majority were deemed acceptable (fewer than 20 applications warranted our objections). Considerable work was done on our response to the Poundfield applications and support was given to the Chicken farm objections.

There is still much to do as the Poundfield applications have been or will be appealed and there are several more rounds of consultation on the Local Plan expected in 2017. In addition, there are many farms or former farms in the area where the owners are taking advantage of relaxations in the planning legislation to apply for conversion of buildings or development in the Green Belt.  Where we can raise legitimate planning objections, we will oppose any of the applications that we think will degrade the precious countryside of the Green Belt. 


This committee has looked at a large number of environmental issues affecting Cookham, from the plans for the branch lines after the opening of Crossrail to safety measures at Rock the Moor. Flooding resilience continues to be an area of concern.

Lightlands Lane Pumping Station

The Thames Water pumping station in Lightlands Lane transfers all of Cookham’s sewage to Maidenhead for treatment. One of the most unpleasant effects of the flooding in 2014 was the complete failure of this pumping station due to water getting into the electrical controls. Some properties and businesses in the Village and Rise had severe problems with backed up sewage.

Our Environment Committee has been very concerned to ensure that this does not happen again. After research in the Borough planning archive, we suspected that when the Environment Agency built the

present floodwall round the pumping station no provision was made for the drainage of surface water or groundwater seepage from inside the floodwall. This suspicion has proved correct and the picture shows Thames Water’s remedial work now in progress. This is a small, but significant step in improving the flood resilience of the village.


Nominations for this year’s Award (for projects completed in 2016) are open until the end of January with the winner announced in March. 

Previous winners include a wide range of projects from an imaginative school garden, a striking building on Odney Common to a charming house in School Lane.  The Cookham Society is delighted to mark new developments that make a positive contribution to Cookham.
Nomination forms are available from Pablo Dubois: 
Email: or call on 01628 521002


To help save us administrative time, please pay your subs straight into our bank account using your first and surname as a reference.
Bank Account: The Cookham Society
Account Number: 64226026
Sort code: 60 13 35

The Cookham Society

Registered Charity No. 257224
NOTICE is hereby given that the Fiftieth Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at The Chartered Institute of Marketing, Moor Hall, Cookham on Thursday 2nd March 2017 at 7.30 p.m.
Prior to the formal business of the meeting 

  Councillor M J Saunders
(Bisham and Cookham ward, Cabinet member RBWM)
 Will give a talk.
“Can Cookham Protect Itself from Developers”

The President will then present the Society’s Design Award for 2017


1.    Notice convening the meeting
2.    Apologies for absence
3.    Minutes of the 49th Annual General Meeting
4.    Matters arising therefrom
5.    To receive the Reports of the Officers for 2016
6.    To receive the Trustees’ Report and the Accounts for 2016
7.    To elect the Officers and Committee for the ensuing year (see Notes (a) and (b)
8.    To elect a President for the Society for the coming year
9.    To transact any business approved for discussion under Rule 13.8.9 (see Note (c)
10.    Any other business       
Evert Groeneweg (Chairman)

(a) The present Officers and Committee Members are: Chairman: Mr E. Groeneweg.  Vice-Chairman: Mrs L. Penston.  Secretary: Vacant. Treasurer: Mr N Singeisen. Committee Members: Mr D. Ashwanden, Mr P. Dubois, Mr. J. Kitching, Mrs E. Peters, Mr R. Scarff,  Mr L. West, Mr P Munday, Mrs T Suleiman, Mr C Lewis President: Mr J. Bowley
(b) Rule 13.4 states: “Nominations for election of a member as an Officer or ordinary member of the Committee must be made by two members of the Charity in writing, consent having been given by the nominee, and must be in the hands of the Secretary of the Committee at least 7 days before the meeting [i.e. by 22nd February].  Nominees must declare any financial or political interest which is likely to be of concern to the Charity and such information shall be made available to the meeting”.  Nomination forms can be obtained from Lysette Penston Tel: 01628-473862; e-mail:
(c) Members wishing to raise any matter are requested to notify Mrs L Penston not later than 22nd February 2017.
Refreshments will be available after the meeting
Copyright © 2017 The Cookham Society, All rights reserved.

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The Cookham Society
Grubwood Lane
Cookham Dean

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The Cookham Society · Gayfield, Grubwood Lane · Cookham Dean · Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 9UB · United Kingdom

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