10:51AM, Tuesday 08 June 2021
A temporary car park in Maidenhead town centre will remain until 2024 after the council gave the green light to the plans.
The car park, which is located on the triangle of Broadway, Queen Street and King Street, has been in place since 2019, when plans were approved to build it for a period of 21 months.
The site forms part of the long-awaited development known as The Landing, being built by developers HUB and Smedvig.
Developers applied to the Windsor and Maidenhead council to continue the use of this car park for another three years, until March 2024, and this request was granted on May 25.
The car park contains 35 spaces and five accessible spaces, and will eventually be home to a building known as 'Building E' as part of the Landing development.
In the planning officer's report, it states that the car park would not raise 'any highways, design or environmental issues' and its continued temporary use would provide benefits to the area, such as 'temporary visual improvement' on the site as it will remain 'clear of rubble and construction materials'.
Plans for the Landing were approved in November 2018 and will see a seven-storey office block and three residential blocks up to 16 storeys high built, containing 344 homes.
Reserved matters for 'Building E' - which will be constructed in place of the car park - are still under consideration by the council's planning team.
These plans, if approved, will see a further 87 apartments built on the upper floors of the building, with commercial space on the ground level.
The extension of the car park agreement comes ahead of a crunch public enquiry with the planning inspectorate on the week commencing June 28, in which agreements are sought with existing building owners on the Landing development site.
At a Maidenhead Town Forum meeting in March, councillors heard how the development had been hit with some 'land assembly issues' - with two building owners on site not able to meet a suitable exit agreement with developers.
A virtual CPO (compulsory purchase order) enquiry will now take place later this month, via Microsoft Teams, to resolve the land issues in Queen Street and Cullern's Passage.
The purpose of the enquiry is to get the planning inspectorate to confirm the CPO order issued by the Windsor and Maidenhead council, which would authorise them to purchase the land for development.
The hearing will start at 10am on the Monday and is expected to last several days.
A Windsor and Maidenhead council spokesman said: “The Compulsory Purchase Order enquiry is due to begin on Monday, June 28.
“We are not able to comment further at this stage in the process.”
HUB’s managing director, Damien Sharkey, added in a statement: “We are firmly on track to start construction at The Landing site this summer.
"We are currently mobilising our teams and looking forward to delivering this important new part of Maidenhead town centre.”
Police were called to the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End yesterday at about 3pm, to reports that a teenage boy had entered the water but hadn’t been seen to leave.