05:12AM, Tuesday 15 January 2013
Demolition work has finally taken place on the old Castle Hill Youth and Community Centre in Maidenhead.
The work comes after proposals from Shanly Homes were accepted in August last year to build 14 new four-bed houses at the site.
Construction will soon start on Victoria Place, the new development in High Town Road, in the heart of the Castle Hill Conservation Area.
The site has been out of use since the new Marlow Road community centre opened in 2009.
Cllr Christian Harris (Con, Boyn Hill) said: "I am so pleased that work is about to start on the new houses.
"It is great to see that new mid-range family size homes that Maidenhead so badly needs will be built.
"It is what the community wants and what the community needs."
Developers had faced opposition from English Heritage over destruction of a Victorian villa which formed part of the site.
The buildings had some local historical significance, and efforts were made to see if they could be renovated.
However, the building was so run down that it would have been difficult to bring it back to life and the planning officer's report found that the demolition was justified.
It was decided that there were a lack of alternative uses for the villa and it could not be redeveloped into a hotel or restaurant.
The new development has been designed to match the Edwardian and Victorian character of the buildings surrounding it.
Cllr Harris said: "We were glad we got English Heritage to submit their views because in the end it led to the development being very low density and in keeping with the style of the other properties on the street."
Work on the new family homes is due to be completed by early 2014, and show homes are due to be launched in the autumn.
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