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Anger over 500 space commuter parking plan

Anger at a planned commuter car park in Vicus Way has grown after councillors delayed deciding on whether to grant permission for a second time.

Residents living near to the planned site, off Stafferton Way, have spoken of the fears that the planned five-storey, 500-plus space development would have a serious impact on their lives.

They cite worries about the potential of increased anti-social behaviour, carbon dioxide emissions and its effect on their quality of life, and demonstrated with banners outside the planned development site on Saturday morning.

The Vicus Way car park will be used by commuters and open during the day. The council wants to build it on land next to the Lidl car park in Stafferton Way.

It was first sent to the Maidenhead Development Management Panel for approval in October but was deferred after councillors asked for more details about the plan.

The plans returned to the panel last month but were again delayed after some documents were sent to members just hours ahead of the meeting.

Noni Konig, who lives in the area, said she would move out of Maidenhead if the scheme is approved because she does not want her boys breathing in increased car emissions from extra traffic on Stafferton Way.

“I can’t do that to them,” she said, adding the two delayed meetings were ‘a waste of the councillors’ time’.

“It should be rejected,” she said.

Noni also has fears about anti-social behaviour spreading from one car park to another, pointing to a car meet in the Stafferton Way car park that residents called the police on last month.

Councillors were called to come down and Cllrs Asghar Majeed (Ind Con, Oldfield) and Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) arrived to look at the problem, which residents say has been recurring and will get worse if a new multi-storey is built.

Cllrs Majeed and Geoff Hill (Ind Con, Oldfield) have joined residents in opposing the development.

Another resident living near the site said the multi-storey car park would affect her living conditions.

Mandy Rai said pollution will worsen and added: “My apartment in particular will have a 50 per cent decrease in natural lighting. This is a significant reduction on our right to light. This is not something I will be sacrificing easily.”

A council spokeswoman said the borough always aims to take residents’ views on board.

Councillors have asked for safety and security to be taken into account, including by locking the proposed car park overnight.

She also pointed out that environmental protection was consulted on and that work had been done to ensure the car park would ‘not have a severe impact on the road network’.

Some residents would have their light reduced, the spokeswoman added, but it would be ‘minimal in planning terms’.

A decision on the application is due on December 17.

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