Thames Riviera plans: Civic society raises River Thames 'privatisation' fears

James Harrison

‘Unrestrained residential development’ risks privatising the River Thames, it has been warned.

The caution has come in response to plans to transform an historic hotel in the Riverside area of Maidenhead into flats.

Under the scheme, the Thames Riviera Hotel, in Bridge Road, next to Maidenhead Bridge, would be partially demolished, extended and rebuilt to provide 29 apartments.

According to the application submitted by Arena Racing Company/Galleon Hotels in November, the existing site needs ‘considerable renovation’, expected to cost up to £4.5m.

However, in response, the Maidenhead Civic Society has claimed the loss of another leisure facility from the area, which was also once home to the famous Skindles Hotel, risks long term damage to the town.

In a letter submitted to the Royal Borough’s planning department, the group said further home building at the expense of bars, restaurants and hotels could lead to the effective ‘privatisation’ of the River Thames by restricting access to visitors.

However, it also adds that if development is given the green light provision should be made for a ground floor cafe, or other business, similar to Shanly Homes’s Chapel Arches project in the town centre.

A decision on the scheme is expected by mid-February.

The reference number for the plans is 16/03297


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