Magnet development could create 'huge problems' for patients

Shay Bottomley

Limited spaces for parking during the St Cloud Way development could be ‘a huge problem’ for patients with mobility issues, a forum has said.

It comes as managing director of RBWM Property Company Ian Brazier-Dubber told members of the disability and inclusion forum that they were ‘hopeful’ demolition of the Magnet Leisure Centre could begin next month.

As well as an update on the Nicholsons Centre, Mr Brazier-Dubber told members that the St Cloud Way development would see 50 ‘temporary’ parking spaces during construction.

The 343-home development is likely to take two- to two-and-a-half years, with the first homes appearing on the site towards the end of 2024.

However, with the size of the existing adjacent car park set to be greatly reduced, concerns were raised over access to the nearby healthcare provisions including The Cedars Surgery.

Although there are an additional 20 spaces north of the surgeries, these spots are reserved for staff only.

At the meeting, MR Brazier-Dubber confirmed that free parking would be offered to staff and patients on the former Tenpin Bowling site.

However, the issue of temporary parking remained a concern for chair of the forum Angela Clark.

“I reiterate, that is only going to be temporary,” she said.

“Indeed,” replied the managing director, “so we will continue to look at other solutions that could be provided.”

In response, Ms Clark said: “I think that would be very helpful, otherwise I see a huge problem developing.”

Councillors present also raised concerns, with Cllr Carole da Costa (WWRA, Clewer & Dedworth East) highlighting the distance between the Tenpin site and the doctors’ surgeries.

“That’s going to make it very difficult for people who have mobility impairment to walk that distance,” said Cllr da Costa.

“I know, for one, I would struggle with that distance – if you actively try to walk places yourself but have impairment you need to be able to park closer.

“I just really wondered if we could look at this issue, and make sure that there’s disabled parking close to the surgeries, and that parking is not restricted.”

Mr Brazier-Dubber confirmed he would look into the issue, and ensure that people with mobility issues have access to the ‘closest point they can’ to the surgeries.

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