02:19PM, Tuesday 25 September 2018
A push to stop a Maidenhead ‘landmark’ from being transformed into housing was underway this week ahead of a council planning meeting.
A Conservative candidate for May’s local election, Gurch Singh, set up a Facebook page to garner support to stop the planned development at Thames Riviera Hotel, in Bridge Road.
The planning application, submitted by Arena Racing Company/Galleon Hotels wants to change its use to create 15 apartments, and demolish an annex to make way for a further 11.
It is due to be considered by members of the Maidenhead Development Management Panel tomorrow (Wednesday).
The Guards House, also in Bridge Road, will be converted to provide a pair of two-bed homes.
Officers have recommended the plans be approved subject to conditions.
But Mr Singh, who was announced last week as the Tory candidate for the new town centre St Mary’s ward, believes the development is unsympathetic to the area.
He also worried that it would lead to loss of public amenity, which he does not want to happen to the banks of the Thames, a popular part of Maidenhead for residents and visitors.
“I just felt that something has to be done about losing the landmark,” Mr Singh, who is planning to speak at the panel meeting, said.
“I am not against development, I am actually in favour of development (but) not at the cost of public amenities.”
His Facebook group, Save the Thames Riviera Hotel Maidenhead, was started on Wednesday, September 19.
But with little time left to save it, he denied that it was a bid to boost his profile as the local election campaign takes off and said he was acting ‘as a resident living in Maidenhead’.
“This is something that I have been approached about by members of the community,” he added.
The Thames Reach Residents Association also opposes the plans.
Arena Racing Company has been contacted for comment.
Galleon Hotels told the Advertiser that enquiries about the application needed to be directed to Arena. The two are part of the same group.
Use 16/03297/FULL to search for the application on the council website.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/274531406500598/ to look at the Facebook group and survey launched by Mr Singh.
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