10:16AM, Thursday 22 November 2018
Massive changes to the town centre will get underway next year after councillors voted through plans for the Landing.
Members of the Maidenhead Development Management Panel yesterday approved the construction of one roughly seven-storey office block and three residential blocks up to 16 storeys high, containing 344 homes.
The development, which is being managed by the HUB group, will be built on the land surrounded by Queen Street, Broadway and King Street, following demolition of existing buildings, despite council officers recommending it for refusal.
Cllr Claire Stretton (TBF, Boyn Hill) said the council’s head of planning, Jenifer Jackson, had suggested ahead of the Maidenhead Town Hall meeting that ‘we could, if we approve this application, be building the slums of the future’.
She added that council officers were ‘extremely concerned about the quality of life of people living in these apartments’.
Cllr Derek Sharp (Con, Furze Platt) said: “It is a nice production but it is too tall.
“I do not think this is what most of the residents of Maidenhead want.”
Both councillors voted against, while Cllr Maureen Hunt (Con, Hurley and Walthams) abstained. All other members approved it.
The scheme won praise from Cllr Richard Kellaway (Con, Bisham and Cookham), who said: “Don’t forget we are going tall in Maidenhead to protect the green belt.”
Remarking about opponents who pine for Maidenhead as it was in the 1950s, he said critics needed to ‘face the economic reality’ and added: “This scheme is really pretty good.”
Cllr Leo Walters (Con, Bray) followed suit and said: “I do not think this is so bad.
“We have got to move forward.”
Earlier, council leader Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) said members had ‘the opportunity to take the town forward’ and added that work will begin ‘in early 2019’.
An outline application to build two buildings in Queen Street between six and 10 storeys of height for office and residential use was approved as part of the scheme.
An council application for a multi-storey car park in Vicus Way was delayed again after panel members complained they had not been able to adequately digest a report that had been put up just hours ahead of the meeting.
It was delayed at a previous panel because councillors believed they did not have sufficient information. It is set to return on December 17.
Plans for six blocks containing 46 two bedroom flats and 15 one bedroom flats at the site of Clean Linen Services in Furze Platt Road were approved and an application for flats in Grenfell Road was turned down.
Two detached homes planned for Hills Lane in Cookham were refused permission, while a change of use of land west of Coningsby Lane to joint agricultural and equestrian use was approved.
The installation of a replacement pole supporting antennas was also approved.