Public updated on Maidenhead regeneration at town forum

Public updated on Maidenhead regeneration at town forum

Katherine Denham

Public updated on Maidenhead regeneration at town forum

About 30 members of the public were in attendance to hear about Maidenhead's regeneration at a Maidenhead Town Forum meeting last night.

The meeting, at Maidenhead Town Hall, began with town forum chairman, Cllr Philip Love (Con, Belmont), who spoke optimistically about Maidenhead’s future after being listed on the Daily Telegraph’s ‘Best Places to Invest’.

The council’s planning infrastructure and regeneration manager Gail Kenyon emphasised the need for a “firm but flexible framework” in order to increase investment with a mix of town centre homes and space for commercial growth.

The updates regarding the regeneration included:

  • An announcement was made that the Crossrail service will be extended to Reading.
  • It was confirmed a recent proposal to create a one-way access into Moorbridge Road from the dual-carriageway in Bridge Road looks set to go ahead. Cllr Love said he believed the plans would make the town look more inviting to visitors.
  • Plans to extend the life of the Broadway car park and increase the number of parking spaces will be drawn up in the coming months.
  • The number of vacant shops in Maidenhead has improved since last year. However, with 41 per cent of leases in the South East up for renewal in 2015, Maidenhead town manager Steph James said the situation may get worse before it gets better.
  • Ms Kenyon said that until the market changes it is unlikely that a department store will come to Maidenhead.
  • Councillors highlighted their vision of Maidenhead’s streets becoming 'Marlow-esque' or similar to the Brighton Lanes.

Councillors addressed concerns that GP surgeries may not be able to cope with the number of new houses proposed.

Cllr MJ Saunders, cabinet member for planning and property, said that decisions about the health service will be made by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and not the council.

Cllr Saunders also added: “We don’t want developers who only want to do it for the money, but developers who are thinking about what they are adding to the town.”

The meeting was rounded up by the councillors encouraging people to bring their ideas to future forums which can then be assessed to see if they are feasible.

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