The Committee has 3 main goals:
- To maintain the roadways in a safe state, so as to protect the Private Street status (excepting for the Rushes, which has been adopted).
- To make representations to the Council and to the Environment Agency on planning applications and matters affecting the environment and nature of the Fisheries Estate.
- To encourage residents of the estate to meet socially to share views, knowledge and experiences to the benefit of the Estate.
The Association achieves these goals by collecting an annual fee from Residents (currently £225), of which £200 goes into the “roads account”, £15 into a legal reserve, insurance and social fund.
The Association carries a 3rd party liability insurance covering all owners risks associated with roads and verges (but not including verge embedded trees – see later) – note: this cover only applies to members who are up to date with their subscriptions.
On a quinquennial basis, the Association organises a survey of roadside trees, to establish their condition, and to use as a basis for recommendation works required to the trees. The cost of the survey is met by the Association, but the cost of doing the work necessary for the health and safety of the trees, is the responsibility of the verge-owning householder.
Note: If a tree has been notified as being unsafe, it is the property owner’s duty to have it treated promptly, otherwise their own insurance cover will be invalidated.
There are several definitions of the flood plain, which take into account the various levels of risk i.e. 1 in every 10 years through to 1 in 100 years. The Fisheries is considered high risk, much of it falling within the 1 in 10 year rating – Zone 3, the rest in Zone 2 . Consequently planning control guidelines are much stricter, and prevent many developments which might be allowed elsewhere.
It is in every residents interests that the Association seeks to have these restrictions applied assiduously, as damage caused by flooding increases for those affected if the flood plain footprint of buildings is allowed to increase unreasonably. Maps of the flood plain are available from the Environment Agency, or can be viewed on their web site – www.environment–agency.gov.uk/
Over the years the Fisheries Association has coordinated several different forms of social functions, ranging from a summer BBQ , a quiz night, to carol singing at Christmas. These are only arranged by popular request, and the demand has changed over the years. Any ideas are welcome, but events are clearly limited by both numbers wishing them to take place, and sufficient volunteers to help organise them.
Householders are notified by the Council of planning applications for properties in their immediate area (usually next door and opposite). Plans can cover extensions, new external facilities such as garages or swimming pools, change of use of the property, or merely tree treatment requiring approval.
The Planning Representative(s) of the FRA receive notification of all applications for the Maidenhead area for information.
Outside of the Fisheries estate, we have increasingly less interest in making representations, as the distance from the boundaries of the Estate diminishes., although we have raised strong opposition to several elements on the proposed new Borough Plan, as it has been poorly consulted upon, and has consequently been referred to an HM Inspector.
Inside the Estate itself, we use simple criteria to assess whether the FRA should make representation:-
- Is there a significant number of neighbours who wish for an objection to be made.
- Are the grounds for an objection justified against local and national planning guidelines, and local development strategies.
- Possibly in the absence of 1), does a development represent a precedent which, if repeated would change the nature of the area for the worse in an identifiable manner.
- Is the property within (or adjacent to) the Riverside Conservation Area, and does it comply with the extra criteria required.
Typical grounds for objection would be footprint size (flooding risk); proximity of building to neighbouring properties; height relative to surrounding buildings and positioning of windows/terraces; infringement of statutory angular views from windows; encroachment onto verges; impact on driving lines of sight; etc
This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully one that our residents find reasonable, given the nature of planning request conflicts that arise regularly. As a guiding principle we wish to see everyone living here having the freedom to enjoy their own property, without impinging in unacceptable ways on the rights of their neighbours to live in, and access, their propertiy.
We do participate in reviews with the police force and the neighbourhood community officers, but apart from that more formal security provisions such as: gated entry; security cameras; neighbourhood watch etc have been ruled out on rounds of : practicality, cost, and legality. We do however believe strongly in reporting suspicious activities both to neighbours and police (101 or 999 if immediate and serious).