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Maidonians to get 'first dibs' on new houses

Grace Witherden

Reporter:

Grace Witherden

3

Born and bred Maidonians are set to have ‘first dibs’ in a multi-million pound scheme which will see more than 1,000 new homes created in the town centre, the council has said.

On Tuesday, the Royal Borough announced housing developer Countryside has been selected to become its joint venture partner for four key town centre sites.

The developer will deliver 1,200 homes, restaurants and retail and office space across sites in York Road, West Street, Reform Road and St Cloud Way.

Countryside says it will make sure Maidenhead residents get a six-week exclusive buying period before the homes go on general sale.

Leader of the council Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) said once the development is finished in 2024, it will help Maidenhead become the ‘jewel of the Thames’.

He said: “It’s a great day for Maidenhead and we’ve found the right partner. Countryside were the clear winners by far.

“We will be giving people who were born here and live here that priority.

“These are the people we want to buy in Maidenhead so let's give them first dibs.”

The sites cover 6.3 hectares and construction could start on St Cloud Way and West Street as early as next year.

Countryside was selected over Shanly Homes, Berkeley Homes, Grainger Plc and Pinnacle Group following a points-based exercise to select the joint venture partner.

The developer, which has delivered housing schemes with local authorities in London, Cardiff and Greater Manchester, says on average it would expect 150 homes to go on sale per year.

Simon Jeffery, associate director of Partnerships at Countryside, said: “For a period of six weeks before general sale, we would prioritise sales for people who have a significant connection to the borough.

“Each of the four sites will have 30 per cent affordable housing, and these homes will run through the scheme.”

Neither the borough nor the developer have defined 'affordable' at this stage.

Countryside said it wanted planning applications submitted by the end of the year and the applications will be worked on concurrently.

When asked how disruption would be minimised for residents while building takes place, Cllr Dudley said: “The Stafferton Way Link road was built for things like this. It takes traffic out of the town centre.”

Michael Hill, business strategy director at Countryside, said there would be conditions in place to limit when contractors could work, and they would forewarn residents.

Key decisions will be made by a Joint Venture board which will be made up five council representatives and five people from Countryside.

Cllr Dudley, Cllr MJ Saunders (Con, Bisham and Cookham) cabinet member for finance, Cllr Jack Rankin (Con, Castle Without) cabinet member for economic development, Cllr David Evans (Con, Hurley and Walthams) cabinet member for Maidenhead regeneration and council executive director Russell O’Keefe will sit on the board from the Royal Borough.

However Cllr Dudley said the borough representatives were based on their roles rather than the individual and could change in the event of a cabinet reshuffle.

 


Reform Road

Reform Road: Retail and offices for ‘start-up businesses’

Simon Jeffery, associate director for partnerships at Countryside, said: “We see this as a place for workspace incubator hubs and start up businesses.

Key features:

  • Approximately 1.71 hectares (4.23 acres)
  • Comprises three buildings: Clyde House, Waldeck House, Adult Training Centre and adjoining parking
  • Property is owned freehold subject to some short term tenancies
  • The council also owns freehold interests in the wider Reform Road area, subject to 125-year ground leases and says it would consider ‘comprehensive redevelopment proposals of the area subject to suitable relocation of existing occupiers’.

York Road

Simon Jeffery, associate director for partnerships at Countryside said the York Road redevelopment could feature restaurants and retail which could increase Maidenhead's night-time economy.

Countryside said it was open to discussions with the Shanly Group, which has developments near Maidenhead Library and owns the site of the bowls club.

Key features:

  • Approximately 1.53 hectares (3.77 acres)
  • Comprises four parcels of council-owned land: former St Ives Road offices, Town Hall car park, Grove Road car park, King George VI Club
  • Eastern boundary is formed by York Stream, with Maidenhead Library to the north
  • Town Hall car park (111 spaces)
  • Grove Road car park (82 spaces)
  • King George VI Club – council owns the freehold to the day centre
  • Site also includes Maidenhead Heritage Centre, in Park Street, which could have new premises
  • The site is part of the York Road Opportunity Area identified in the Area Action Plan (AAP) for residential and office-led mixed use development
  • Draft Development Framework has indicated a  capacity for the four sites of about 212 dwellings

West Street

West Street: Offices and residential

Countryside said the area has great links to the rest of the town centre but is cut off by the ring road making it most suitable for offices.

A bridge would be built connecting West Street to Kidwells Park providing more access to the town.

Key features:

  • Approximately 0.21 hectares (0.53 acres)
  • Triangular site, currently comprises a 59-space car park
  • Sits at the western tip of the West Street Opportunity Area (WSOA)
  • Car park site identified as having potential for a tall, landmark building for either office or residential. Residential capacity estimated at up to 100 homes.

St Cloud Way

Countryside said work could start on part of the site next year, but demolition of the Magnet Lesiure Centre will not take place until after a new leisure centre has been built in Braywick Park, expected to open in June 2019.

Key features:

  • Approximately 2.5 hectares (6.18 acres)
  • Comprises three parcels of council-owned land: Magnet Leisure Centre, Tenpin Indoor Bowling Club, Ivy Leaf Club
  • A draft Development Framework prepared by the council indicates the site has potential for the development of more than 500 dwellings.

 

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  • Pursuer

    14:02, 21 April 2017

    Perhaps Cllr Dudley has not noticed that short term parking, i.e. brief street parking is nigh on impossible now, due in no small measure to construction site vehicles, hogging by taxi drivers & etc. Grove Road is a small haven of easily accessed cheap parking. Once we have umpteen new homes on every nano-metre of ground there will be nowhere to park for quick visits to, say, the bank,Town Hall, or make a quick purchase from the few stores in Maidenhead. Result the town will become more dead than it is now. As for leisure facilities- well OK if you are able to drive out of town- and for shopping, well it will be out of town shopping Malls with free car parking, trade will die off and the few remaining stores in Maidenhead will become no-viable, so close.. What thought has been given to the need for increased supply of utilities & sewage, none I suspect. Systems barely cope now. No doubt when occupants of 'Loftings' move into their 'luxury' apartments, they will start campaigning for closure of the sewage & refuse sites over which many will have commanding views, and of course the opportunity to enjoy the local atmosphere.

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  • DebbieMc

    22:10, 20 April 2017

    So we are loosing the bowling alley as well as the Magnet! The council are removing accessible facilities for Maidenheads teenagers!

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  • ben_jaz14

    13:01, 20 April 2017

    It great making "Maidenhead a jewel of the Thames" with all this shops and housed, but am I missing something. There seemed to be no mention of Schools or Surgery’s. Do we not need these?

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