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Maidenhead town centre flats given green light at council planning meeting

A set of derelict flats will be demolished and replaced with 53 new apartments after councillors backed the proposals at a planning meeting on Wednesday.

The town hall gathering saw the green light given to Shanly Homes to knock down the vacant properties at 23-33 York Road and build 23 studio flats, 25 one-bed flats and five two-bed flats.

These properties are not classified as ‘affordable’.

Representing the housebuilder, Kevin Scott said the plans would ‘provide another important part of the regeneration process’ alongside other town centre developments like The Landing.

Concerns were raised that only five parking spaces were being proposed, but Shanly told councillors that another 20 offsite spaces will be provided in its adjacent Desborough Bowling Club development.

Cllr Leo Walters (Con, Bray) said at the meeting he was not going to vote against the application, but added that we will be losing ‘another bit of old Maidenhead’.

The plans were approved, with every councillor but Cllr Josh Reynolds (Lib Dem, Furze Platt) voting for them.

Cllr Reynolds said: “We have a real need for affordable housing. We need affordable housing in Maidenhead.”

He added on Twitter after the meeting: “We cannot go on approving schemes which do not provide any affordable housing for Maidenhead, and I will continue voting against applications which attempt to do so.”

Also on the agenda at the meeting was an application from the Royal Borough to extend Boulters Lock car park in Lower Cookham Road.

The plans – which were approved – will provide 39 additional car parking spaces and 16 new cycle parking spaces.

A previous application on the site for a new Hindu Society community centre was dismissed on appeal by a planning inspector as the scheme failed to demonstrate that the proposal would not cause harm to reptiles and great crested newts.

Further ecological surveys into the presence of these newts have been undertaken, which concluded that it is ‘highly unlikely’ that they now inhabit the site.

Ward councillor Chris Targowski (Con, Riverside) said at the meeting: “I am fully supportive of this.

“I think it brings much needed car parking spaces, but also, the cycle [spaces] are very helpful.”

Cllr Targowski addressed concerns regarding anti-social behaviour in the car park, reassuring the public gallery that gates will be controlled automatically to open and close at the right times.

In March last year, we reported on ‘Hippy Crack’ laughing gas canisters found at the riverside car park.

The final item on the agenda was dismissed unanimously.

The plans involved demolition of two properties – Tudor House and Half Acre – in Waltham Road, White Waltham.

The intention was to replace them with 12 residential units comprising a mix of six flats in one building and six four-bed houses.

No ward councillors were present at the meeting but Cllr Phil Haseler (Con, Cox Green) was not happy with the scheme.

Planning officers recommended councillors refuse the plans.

“My first observation was: that is a complete overdevelopment of the site, and I have to go along with officer’s recommendations,” Cllr Haseler said.

“One side of the road we have [White Waltham] airfield, which is in an open field, but on this side of the road they are all detached houses.

“I am not happy with the overdevelopment of the site to be honest.”

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