02:00PM, Monday 30 December 2019
A seven-storey block of flats will be built by Shanly Homes in the town centre after councillors approved a planning application last week.
The 53-home apartment block is set to be built on the former St John Ambulance site in York Road, and will face the 229-home Watermark development site being built by Countryside along the Maidenhead waterway.
The development, approved by councillors on the Maidenhead Area Development Management Panel last Wednesday, includes two affordable homes and 27 car parking spaces.
Cllr Joshua Reynolds (Lib Dem, Furze Platt) criticised the application, and was one of two councillors to vote against it.
He said: “We need more housing but I am disappointed by the affordable housing contribution on the site.
“It’s not good enough at all and all of the developers seem to think it's not viable. They should be designed to be viable within council policy.”
On the number of car parking spaces, he added: “There are 0.5 spaces per home. How do you do the weekly shop at Tesco without a car?”
The application seeks to build one studio apartment, 22 one-bed flats and 30 two-beds within the seven-storey block.
Cllr Donna Stimson (Con, St Mary’s) said she was a fan of the development.
She said: “I think it’s a great design, it looks ‘warehousey’, it’s cool and I like it very much.”
Addressing Cllr Reynolds’ concerns on parking, she added that she hoped ‘share-a-car’ schemes would be set up in the
development so people would have access to vehicles when they needed them.
Cllr Gurch Singh (Con, St Mary’s) also liked the scheme but put forward a motion asking the developer to contribute £80,000 to the council’s affordable housing fund.
A viability assessment of the development stated that the scheme could bear a contribution of £400,000 towards affordable housing, but as the valuation of the two shared use units in the plans was £320,000, Cllr Singh requested that £80,000 be contributed to make up the difference.
Cllr Singh’s motion was passed, with all members of the panel besides Cllr Reynolds and Cllr Mandy Brar (Lib Dem, Bisham and Cookham) voting to approve the development.
Robin Dorran, Shanly Homes, group development director, said: “We are pleased that consent was approved which secures the ongoing rejuvenation of Maidenhead town centre.
“This site will come to fruition in the next couple of years as it is not in the imminent pipeline for development.”
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