02:30AM, Thursday 02 August 2012
Restoration plans for Maidenhead's waterways are continuing to make positive steps forward.
Richard Davenport, chairman of trustees for the charity behind the project, gave an update on its progress this week and said everything is 'falling into place' with the plans.
He was speaking following the announcement that Peter Prior, whose company Summerleaze is a founding sponsor of the project, plans to step down as chairman of Maidenhead Waterways Restoration Group's management committee.
"We are disappointed that he has decided to withdraw from supporting the group," Mr Davenport said.
"We're sad to lose his personal knowledge and expertise."
Mr Prior made the decision after his company's joint scheme with Furze Platt Senior School was halted by a Royal Borough ruling on the greenbelt.
It was a completely separate project from the waterways.
Mr Davenport acknowleged the contributions Summerleaze has made to the project since its inception.
But he added: "I don't see Peter's decision in any way impacting on the waterways project's chances of success."
The scheme, which aims to create a navigable 'ring of water' around the town centre, was granted planning permission in principle by the council on June 13.
But it was agreed certain conditions would need to be met before permission could be fully signed off.
These included a legal agreement over the long-term management and maintenance of the development.
Mr Davenport said the charity had met twice with council planning officers and had agreed to set up a joint strategic project board with the borough to facilitate further progress.
"It's a positive move," he said.
"The waterways project carries on going forward. We are ticking off the planning conditions, exploring funding possibilities and hoping that we will not lose momentum."
The group expects full permission will be agreed in September.
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