01:10AM, Wednesday 06 June 2012
Sweeping plans to revamp the town centre with a navigable waterway could be given the green light by Royal Borough councillors at a special meeting on Wednesday.
Visionaries at the Maidenhead Waterways Restoration Group (MWRG) have spent six years working on a £5m scheme to create a 2km 'ring' of water around the town which can be used by small boats and canoeists.
The scheme has been recommended for approval by council officers, subject to conditions.
MWRG Chairman Richard Davenport said the councillors' decision will be 'hugely important' for the development of the town.
"We believe having a waterway in the town centre will bring huge amounts of investment," he said.
"It's a project we passionately believe in and have dedicated thousands of volunteer hours to. Everything rests on the outcome of this meeting."
A planning application was submitted to the borough in August last year and a decision was due to be delivered within 16 weeks.
But the borough said the application was delayed due to restructuring in the planning department and £1,000 compensation was awarded to the charitable trust.
The revamped waterway would extend from Town Moor, where the channel splits into York Stream and Moor Cut, and through the town centre to Green Lane.
Plans also include widening York Stream at Chapel Arches and a second arch bridge opened to create a more attractive recreational space.
If given the go-ahead, Richard said the next stage will involve working through any planning conditions before a detailed design is drawn up.
He added the group will also have to work to raise funds through private donations, public grants, lottery funding and section 106 developer contributions.
But he hopes building work will begin within two years.
The special Maidenhead development control panel meeting will be from 7pm at Maidenhead Town Hall.
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