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Maidenhead Civic Society says proposed York Road development lacks 'wow factor'

The Maidenhead Civic Society has described plans for the York Road Opportunity Area as lacking ‘the wow factor it deserves’.

In January the Royal Borough’s joint venture partner, Countryside, held a consultation to showcase plans for the area’s redevelopment with an exhibition in the Nicholsons Centre.

However a spokesman for the civic society said that while the plans were an improvement on earlier versions the society would like to see better integration and connectivity with sites to the West and South and examples of high quality architecture for the 21st century.

A greater variety of type, size and tenure of dwellings with reduced heights and bulk, particularly along the waterfront, with appropriate levels of public parking and serious public engagement to ascertain what kind of cultural elements people want.

Additionally the society would like see plans more closely aligned with the Town Centre Area Action Plan (AAP) that came out of the cross-party group, Partnership for the Rejuvenation of Maidenhead (PRoM), and was adopted in 2011.

The plan envisaged that the York Road Opportunity Area would provide a distinctive civic, cultural and community quarter at the heart of the town.

And despite a new home for the Heritage Centre and a Pavilion of unspecified purpose, the plans do little to meet the aspirations outlined in the AAP.

The spokesman added: “We understand that the developers involved in all the key town centre OAs are now meeting jointly. 

“We hope that together, perhaps by incorporating adjacent sites like the Bowls Club,into the overall scheme, they can explore the full potential of YROA. 

“It’s better to get it right, even if the timetable slips.”

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