08:00AM, Thursday 19 November 2020
'Moffat Street', part of the 'Nicholson Quarter' development
Regeneration proposals set to transform Maidenhead town centre have been altered as the scheme approaches a date with the planning committee.
Nicholson Quarter is a £400million development of the Nicholsons Centre which has been dubbed one of the first ‘shopping centre to town centre’ projects in the country.
A planning application was initially submitted to the council by developer Areli Real Estate in June, to develop the 50-year-old shopping complex into hundreds of new homes, office space, shops and restaurants and acres of public realm.
Plans involve the centre being broken up into a number of different zones and streets.
But after feedback from the community and the council, Areli partner Rob Tincknell has outlined some key changes made to the planning application before it is presented to the committee.
Mr Tincknell hopes that councillors will cast their eyes over the plans early in the new year.
The main changes include: a reduction in the car park height by three storeys; revised heights to three zones in the scheme;improved daylight access to the ground; more active retail frontages, and better sustainability.
Areli says the application will contain 800 bicycle spaces and 125 electrical charging points, as well as the planting of 173 new trees throughout, an increase of 169 on top of what is there.
Asked why some building heights had been lowered, Mr Tincknell said Areli has been working with the council at workshops, which raised some key points over improvements that could be made.
He added: “I think we have got a great scheme now. This is the most sustainable scheme that has ever been proposed in Maidenhead.
“I am really proud of this. I think it is brilliant. It needs to be great, and it is great.”
He added: "Following the planning application submission earlier in the year, we have been busy responding to all the feedback from consultees and local residents.
"We remain committed to delivering this exciting new town centre project for the community, which will make a major contribution to the vibrancy and vitality of Maidenhead. "
Mr Tincknell said that the retail fronts will champion small and independent businesses, with ‘turnover rents’ available for tenants.
“The rents that tenants pay will be a proportion of the turnover they enjoy. If they are not trading particularly well, they do not pay much rent,” he said.
The Areli partner added that in terms of the stores already in the existing Nicholsons Centre, many are looking to leave before building work starts, while others could be moved to units in the high street.
“There will be a major construction project happening but that is the price you have to pay to turn this into a shopping centre that will work for traders in the future,” Mr Tincknell said.
“Something has got to change. This is definitely the right thing to do, the town centre will be buzzing and alive. It seems like Maidenhead has been robbed of that over the years.”
The developer says that since the application submission in the summer, it has written to 27,000 households and businesses, with 82 per cent of survey responses indicating support for the proposals.
Areli will be hosting a public webinar on the plans on Tuesday, December 1 at 6pm.
Information on how to register and a more detailed look at the plans can be found at nicholsonquarter.co.uk
There will be displays at Windsor Racecourse and Legoland, local fireworks in Burnham and Twyford and smaller displays at schools in the Royal Borough.