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Royal Borough begins search for Maidenhead Golf Club development partner

The search for a joint venture partner to develop Maidenhead Golf Club was launched in London on Friday.

More than 20 developer teams met near Tower Bridge to hear from the Royal Borough about the multi-million pound scheme to build 2,000 homes and a school on the site in Shoppenhangers Road.

Addressing the audience, Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside), leader of the council, said: “We at RBWM get things done. We know you put your capital at risk and we know you spend money to be our partners.

“We want residents to have the first opportunity to live in the homes created because a long time ago Lord Desborough gifted this land to residents and we are not going to take it away. We are giving it back to them.”

He said 60 per cent of the 132-acre site would be developed to create ‘much-needed homes all the way through the salary spectrum’.

Barbara Richardson, managing director of RBWM Property Ltd, told developers the average house price in the borough was £550k and the population was 148,000, which was set to grow substantially.

She said there was a requirement to deliver 30 per cent affordable housing on the site and the developer had to have a real heart and commitment for what they were doing as the project may last 10 to 12 years.

She said: “The golf course is exciting, it’s a great site. I walked it and it’s beautiful, but it will be even more fantastic when it gives homes to our residents. We have a one-off opportunity to deliver a truly amazing place for people to live.

“We need someone that will be in it for the long term; it’s not an in-and-out in two to three years project.

“You are going to need relatively deep pockets and funding for infrastructure. We are expecting some bidders to form a consortium in order to deliver that forward, others will have deep enough pockets in their own right.”

Questions from the developers included site access, how soon Maidenhead Golf Club could leave the site and the greenbelt status of the land.

Responding, Cllr Dudley said the site was in the emerging Borough Local Plan and they were confident the site would be accepted if very special circumstances were applied.

He said the secretary of state had decided not to call in a new Thames hospice in Bray and Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot, which are both in the greenbelt.

How the process works:

  • Developers will be asked to fill in a selection questionnaire describing two case studies on how they have experience delivering projects.
  • A long list of seven will be drawn up in December.
  • The developers will talk to the borough about the project in one-to-one briefings and a high level submission will be required by mid February.
  • A shortlist of three will be announced by March.
  • The final three will have a series of themed dialogue sessions to discuss their proposals which will include master planning and design, sustainability features, town planning strategy and infrastructure delivery.
  • By May they will finalise the proposal and submit the tender.
  • It will be evaluated on 65 per cent quality and 35 per cent price and the bidders who scores the highest will be selected as the preferred bidder.

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