09:00AM, Thursday 20 April 2017
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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