Sunningdale Park Redevelopment

5 min read
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead granted the Sunningdale Park Redevelopment project permission in November 2019 and, given that the development is literally on our doorstep, we provide the most current information received from the developers, variously Berkeley Homes and Audley Retirement, concerning this planned work.

What are the claimed benefits of the development?
Plans to build property on land which was previously undeveloped, particularly in green belt areas, are always contentious, with local populations reasonably objecting not only to the ensuing disruption involved but also likely considerable increases in local populations which follow house building in general, not least because of added the pressure on local infrastructure.

The Sunningdale Park Redevelopment is no exception, however that said, both Berkeley Homes and Audley Retirement have claimed the following benefits which will result, once the work has finished:
  • The restoration of Grade II listed Northcote House.
  • Opening up an restoring a previously private Grade II Registered Park and Garden to provide public access and improve pedestrian connectivity within the area.
  • This new parkland will serve as a bespoke Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) of 42 acres to mitigate the impact of the development on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.
  • Delivery of a range of high quality new homes and a new retirement village.
  • Delivery of 38 affordable homes.

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What Sunningdale locals say
Developers, knowing that local resistance is likely, not only highlight and amplify any claimed benefits but even the order in which these are presented and what is left out can be very telling.
  • The restoration of a listed building is always likely to be greeted positively, however this is not likely to be the priority of the development given how little economic return to the developers this is likely to produce.
  • Although opening up a previously private park and restoring it is also likely to be received positively, the people who will likely mainly benefit from this are the new residents who will be sold dwellings by the developers and less so the pre-existing population.
  • Although the new parkland opened up might mitigate the impact the development has on a 'Special Protection Area', it is unlikely to mitigate this fully - the project's main focus is not about developing park land but building new properties.
  • The delivery of high quality new homes and a new retirement village is something which will benefit the buyers of the properties involved. That said, there is a nationwide housing shortage, although this is best served by the building of affordable properties.
  • The claim of the intended delivery of 38 affordable homes is telling in that, although as per the previous point affordable homes are desirable on a nationwide level, there are actually no details on the total number of properties which the developers intend to build and which might alarm the local populace. In fact, according to a number of local sources and media reports, there are likely to be around 220 properties built, or possibly more, in total.
  • Silwood Road in particular is likely to be more congested than it already is with bulldozers and large land developing vehicles; this could make it unsustainable as a vital local thoroughfare.

Map of the planned Sunningdale Park Redevelopment
Berkeley Homes and Audley Retirement provided a map of the redevelopment project which we reproduce here. Among other things, it marks out the boundaries of each firm's portion of the planned construction area.

Sunningdale-Park-Redevelopment Map

When is work likely to commence? How much disruption is it likely to cause?
The missive we received did not specify an exact date when the work would start; it merely said 'shortly'. The developers stated that there would be disruption but also that not only would it be carried out with 'the greatest respect for the local community' but also that they were members of something called the Considerate Construction Scheme which we think actually means the Considerate Constructors Scheme (click to find out more).

The missive additionally noted that the initial work would involve 'minor enabling works including initial trees work'. It remains to be seen whether disruption will truly be kept to a minimum but it is normal for developers to underplay this factor greatly.

If you have questions or concerns about this development, please email and/or who were the stated contacts in the missive for each of the firms.

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