11:17AM, Thursday 21 November 2013
The Royal Borough has deferred making a decision on plans to transform Maidenhead's tallest building.
Councillors discussed plans to redevelop Berkshire House at a Maidenhead development control panel meeting last night.
Developer Essential Living's plans to convert the High Street tower block into 68 homes was recommended for refusal by council officers. They had concerns regarding the quality of the design and materials.
Martin Bellinger spoke on behalf of Essential Living. He said the plans would 'provide much needed housing in the town centre'.
Mr Bellinger added the proposals had 'been through an extensive level of consultation' where 92 per cent of those surveyed liked the plans.
Cllr Asghar Majeed (Con, Oldfield) welcomed the development, saying it brings much needed rental accommodation within walking distance to the train station.
He asked that the panel approve the application subject to reaching an agreement with the developers on the design and materials.
Cllrs Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) and Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) also argued that the application should be approved.
Cllr Philip Love (Con, Belmont) wanted the application deferred, saying it was radically different from plans first revealed in Februrary.
He said: "The current design is far removed from the original drawings which were fantastic."
Cllr Paul Brimacombe (Con, Cox Green) agreed that the plans different from the concept which 92 per cent of those surveyed supportered during the consultation. He asked for the plans to be deferred.
He said: "I hope they could get closer to the original scheme that we all saw and were excited about."
After a two-hour debate, motions to approve and defer the plans were both voted against.
Eventually, after a recess, the panel agreed to defer their decision.
The Berkshire House plans will now be added to the agenda for the panel's meeting on December 11, at the Holiday Inn, Shoppenhangers Road.
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