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Civic society and waterways group criticise York Road plans

Plans to rejuvenate the York Road area with 229 new homes have come under fire from two prominent groups in the town.

The application for the new mixed-use development, which includes 88 affordable homes and open community spaces, was accepted for consideration last month.

Both Maidenhead Waterways and Maidenhead Civic Society have been critical of the plans.

Martin McNamee, chairman of Maidenhead Civic Society’s planning committee, said: “This generation-defining opportunity falls short of what would be expected – especially in architectural style and use of materials.

“The wharf/warehouse architectural elevations facing York Stream are an attractive feature.

“Elsewhere, the design is poor, lacking in imagination and variety of style.

“There is too much use of brick throughout the scheme.”

Meanwhile, the main concern of Maidenhead Waterways was its plans for the bridge over the stream in York Road.

Richard Davenport, chairman of the group’s trustees, said: “Maidenhead Waterways has long proposed replacing the rather ‘bland’ York Road bridge with an attractive feature bridge that would have greater headroom for boats to pass under and act as a visual ‘gateway’ to the new cultural quarter.

“Rather than a feature bridge over the waterway, an eight-storey block of flats is now proposed as the gateway that Maidenhead Waterways had argued for.

“This will doubtless have enhanced the viability of the development but only at the expense of its amenity value and attractiveness.”

The new plans, which are part of a joint venture between the Royal Borough and developer Countryside, include 20,000 sq ft of commercial space for food and drink outlets, and new pedestrian and cycle paths connecting York Road to the Nicholsons Centre.

If the application is approved, work will start on site in next spring, with the first homes completed in the autumn of 2020.

A decision will be made by September 5.

The council has been contacted for comment.

A spokesman on behalf of Countryside, the joint developer, said: “We have consulted with the community and worked closely with our partners to put together a design which is distinctive to Maidenhead.

"The proposals will rejuvenate this part of the town centre delivering much-needed new homes, modern community facilities, cafes and restaurants as well as new public spaces.

“The heart of Maidenhead is set to become a truly welcoming, attractive and accessible hub, providing a strong economic focus and sense of wellbeing for the wider community.”

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