09:00AM, Thursday 15 December 2016
Jobs could be lost in Maidenhead if a number of engineering and manufacturing businesses have to relocate due to council proposals to replace their offices with houses instead.
Reform Road is set to be redeveloped, along with York Road, West Street and Saint Cloud Way, and the Royal Borough is in the process of looking for a 'joint venture' partner for these sites.
But Glenn Turner, who owns Kontax Engineering in Waldeck House, just off Reform Road, said he feels the council has kept them ‘in the dark’ about their future in Maidenhead.
Glenn, who has run his business at the unit for more than 20 years, says he has received no correspondence from the council about the redevelopment.
He said: “We only found out about it after reading it in the paper. We’ve been told there is no way we can stay here, and the buildings are definitely going to be demolished.
"We've had no official communication from the council.
“We have 20 machines here, and we would need to hire a crane to move, this would cost £20k. That could be the difference between us making a sensible profit next year or a loss, that’s someone’s wages.
“The council say they are pro business but it’s not what they say it’s their actions.
"We’re being kept in the dark.”
There are more than 20 businesses in the road which will all have to relocate once the development partner submits plans.
Olu Odeniyi, president of Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce, said: "It's a difficult situation. When you've got redevelopment you've got to displace the current tenants
"The council should be doing all it can to communicate with the businesses.
"Manufacturing is important for this area and the country. That manufacturing hub is essential we keep alive, with minimal disruption."
In September, the borough shortlisted five developers for the sites: Berkeley Homes, Countryside Properties, Grainger Plc, Pinnacle Group and Shanly Homes.
The chosen development partner is set to be announced in March.
Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the council said: “We will work with the businesses to keep them in Maidenhead.
“The timetable is really quite drawn out, and there will be phasing on what goes on.
“Regeneration is going to take 10 years, and it’s not all going to be done at once. The council is going to have significant input about what’s going on, we’re not just selling sites, it’s a joint venture."
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