01:10PM, Monday 22 July 2019
A pub building will be demolished and turned into housing after councillors narrowly voted to approve plans.
The Crooked Billet, in Westborough Road, will be replaced with six houses, ‘amenity space’ and parking, according to Clearview Residential’s planning application.
Potential new owners willing to take it over and continue its use believed it would face strong competition from nearby pubs and restaurants and need refurbishment, according to council officers.
But speaking at the Maidenhead Development Management Panel at the town hall on Wednesday, Cllr Stuart Carroll (Con, Boyn Hill) said he, his fellow ward councillor Gurpreet Bhangra, and nearby residents he spoke to had not been consulted.
A total of 34 people were notified about the plans.
Clearview’s application described it as a ‘former restaurant building’ but Cllr Carroll, who does not sit on the panel, said it was more accurate to have described it as a pub – and therefore more of an asset to the community.
“I know the English language is flexible but to call it a restaurant is frankly ridiculous,” he told the panel.
“Parking in Westborough Road is a big problem,” he added.
Panel member Cllr Bhangra described it as a ‘complete overdevelopment’.
But Cllr Geoff Hill (Oldfield, TBF) said he was in favour of the development, and although ‘it could be better’, he believed the housing was ‘of a sympathetic design’ to the area and the community had time to buy the pub had enough people wanted to.
Councillors voted 6-5 to approve the plans.
Cllrs John Baldwin, Hill, Joshua Reynolds, chairwoman Donna Stimson, Helen Taylor and Leo Walters voted in favour.
Cllrs Bhangra, Mandy Brar, Phil Haseler, Andrew Johnson and Chris Targowski voted against.
Gardner House, a 33-bed sheltered accommodation in Harrow Lane, will be demolished and 23 two-bed homes will be built in its place.
Two new developments will be built in Clivemont Road. A pair of four storey buildings containing 80 flats between them will be built after the panel approved plans and a 3,010sqm warehouse will be built following demolition of some units on the road.
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