The firm behind one of the showpieces of Maidenhead’s regeneration has issued fresh assurances the project remains on track – but warned there is still work to be done in order to make it viable.
Although work on the Landing, the major retail, office and residential complex planned for the centre of the town is yet to begin, developers are still hopeful of being ready to open the doors in time for Crossrail’s arrival in 2019.
Bill Higgins, chairman of the Burchetts Green-based London and Aberdeen Group which is delivering the scheme, said land purchases were continuing, with between 85 and 90 per cent of the final site now consolidated.
And while he conceded that a difficult property market, particularly in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the EU, was hampering progress slightly, he was confident that ‘it will be a reasonable market by the time we start’ – probably in about a year.
The £250million project, which was granted outline planning permission in September, represents a large piece of a regeneration of Maidenhead.
However, speaking about the current status of plans, he suggested Maidenhead is facing parking and transport issues which ‘could deter investors generally’.
“Our major concern is where [the Royal Borough of] Windsor and Maidenhead are,” he said. “What we’ve been pressing for two to four years is that the A4 into Maidenhead at rush hour is at capacity and the A308 is also at capacity.
“We all know there’s going to be thousands more cars in the town centre from the golf club and Shanly’s projects and development at West Street and it will lead to a huge increase in traffic.”
Mr Higgins’s preferred solution is a series of ‘park and ride’ facilities, which would serve the dual purpose of providing an increase in parking supply for the town, as well as easing congestion in the town centre.
For its part, the Royal Borough is yet to commit to a parking strategy, but is currently in the middle of a strategic parking review.
This is in addition to plans to remodel the existing Nicholsons Centre car park, expected to provide ‘in excess of 1,000 spaces’ over the coming years.
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Police officers can be seen at Ten Pin Bowling in Maidenhead tonight following an incident earlier today.