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Planning appeal to determine future of Maidenhead landmark

Plans to convert a Maidenhead landmark into flats that were rejected by the council in 2018 will be revisited at a planning appeal next month.

An application to convert the Thames Riviera Hotel, in Bridge Road, into 15 apartments, and demolish an annex to build 11 more, was rejected by the council two years ago, following a campaign by residents who wanted to keep the hotel as it was.

However, on Wednesday, April 1, the plans will be revisited after the applicants, Arena Racing Company and Galleon Hotels, appealed the decision.

A planning inspector will now have the final say on whether the plans can go ahead.

Some of the residents who initially campaigned to keep the hotel as it was have expressed frustration that the appeal is going ahead.

Sharon Bunce, member of the Thames Reach Residents Association (TRRA), said: “It’s about keeping it as a public amenity for all residents in Maidenhead and beyond for everyone to enjoy, rather than an exclusive block of flats going up that would prevent people from enjoying a riverside location.”

Harry Bodenhofer, also of TRRA, added: “Now we are required to look through hundreds of pages of documents and have again been requested to object.

“It’s a lot of work. We have responded (to the application) three times now. How many times do they want us to ask the same questions?”

Ahead of the refusal in 2018, a petition started by the now St Mary’s ward Conservative councillor Gurch Singh in opposition to the plans garnered 781 signatures.

Ahead of the appeal hearing, which will start at 10am in Maidenhead Town Hall, St Ives Road, the residents had again hoped to start a petition through the council to oppose it.

However, the council declined to host the petition on its website because it was asking the Royal Borough to do something outside its power. The inspectorate alone has the power to uphold or overturn the decision.

A council spokeswoman added that those against the plans have been advised that they can make personal representation directly to the inspector.

A spokeswoman from Galleon Hotels declined to comment on the appeal.

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  • Stranger

    14:19, 14 March 2020

    It's a travesty. Sadly, this will probably be allowed. Everything developers want to do seems to be allowed.

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  • Pursuer

    15:33, 13 March 2020

    So called 'developers' will knock anything down and replace with soulless concrete slabs described as luxury apartments. These rapacious philistines are a disgrace. As for Appeal - they know the Borough won't want to spend money arguing so they lob in for Appeals. The Department of Environment seem to approve anything- even as in the national press last week, overruled a local council,and allowed building on a river edge & flood plain, less than 2 years later most of the garden washed away & the house teetering on the edge of the river.

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