Civic Society document aims to make Maidenhead a 'better place'

Shay Bottomley

Maidenhead Civic Society (MCS) has published a ‘living vision’ for the town’s future – the second revision of its Making Maidenhead a Better Place document.

MCS, which has been ‘a respected voice on planning issues since 1960’, has unveiled the document only weeks before the Borough Local Plan is voted on by councillors.

In the 16-page document the civic society outlines five key areas – planning, town centre, travel and transport, environment and leisure and culture – calling for ‘serious improvements’ in some areas.

A town that ‘better reflects the requirements and aspirations of its residents’ is called for from a planning perspective, with MCS arguing for a more ‘holistic’ approach than the BLP’s ‘primary focus’ on housing numbers.

It also called for ‘an uncomfortable debate on the use of some green field sites’ to reach a realistic and sustainable strategy for the future of the town.

On Maidenhead town centre, the civic society has called for a plan which creates a ‘unique identity’ and makes Maidenhead ‘the place to go’, while praising the ‘remarkable improvements’ at Chapel Arches and York Stream.

‘Serious’ improvements have been called for on Maidenhead’s travel and transport systems. MCS said the ‘admirable efforts’ on active travel in the town would engage a minority, with consideration needed for further enhancements such as a bus terminus at Maidenhead Railway Station,” MCS says.

Furthermore, the civic society praised Riverside, adding the area should be used for events while the town centre is unavailable during regeneration.

Bob Dulson, chairman of Maidenhead Civic Society, said: “Our document calls for a holistic vision of the town that can be truly recognised as the heart of the community by the whole of the community.

“To do that, we feel, it should more properly reflect Maidenhead’s enviable Thames Valley setting and the town’s success, and it should include an appropriate range of facilities, services and leisure opportunities to revive Maidenhead’s reputation as a ‘place to go’.

“With a few exceptions, as we say in the document, the latest proposals show we’re still suffering the legacy of years of speculative piecemeal planning in the absence of a town plan.

“Our fear is that without a collaborative effort, future generations will look back and say, ‘that’s when the damage was done’.”

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