02:24AM, Wednesday 28 November 2012
A difficult economic climate and uncertainty about future developments have been blamed for the increasing number of vacant shops in Maidenhead town centre.
Figures from the Local Data Company show 18.1 per cent of the town's shop units are empty, up from 15.5 per cent last year, giving it one of the highest proportions of vacant units in Berkshire.
But hopes are high the situation will improve when Crossrail reaches the town and decisions on the Kings Triangle and Chapel Arches developments are made.
Town centre manager Steph James said: "Maidenhead is not in a unique position in having vacancy rates that are quite high but we have got lots of regeneration coming along so there's lots of discussion about the future of the town.
"There's a bit of wait and see what happens with developments at the moment but it's also still a very difficult climate out there."
Royal Borough councillor MJ Saunders, cabinet member for Maidenhead, added: "There will be a large number of retail organisations who will be pausing at this stage as there are a number of extremely exciting and attractive projects which are now coming to the boil."
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Police raided addresses in Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green, and in Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, at about 7.15am.