12:53PM, Monday 13 December 2021
Five years after its relocation from Maidenhead High Street to WH Smiths, concerns have been raised over the future of the town’s Post Office.
The comments came during a Royal Borough meeting regarding the Nicholsons Centre redevelopment on Monday morning.
At the disability and inclusion forum, residents and councillors heard an update from Ian Brazier-Dubber – managing director of RBWM Property Company - regarding the town’s regeneration.
Mr Brazier-Dubber was in attendance to provide an update to forum members on work ongoing throughout the town, including the St Clouds Way, York Road and proposed Maidenhead Golf Course developments.
However, forum members had concerns regarding the future of existing shops in the Nicholsons Centre, which was approved for redevelopment in March.
Speaking at Monday’s virtual meeting, Mr Brazier-Dubber said ‘some businesses’ had already been relocated away from the Nicholson’s Centre into empty units on the High Street.
Furthermore, a number of businesses had also been moved into the redeveloped area near to York Stream.
Mr Brazier-Dubber added: “There’s a management programme out there. Obviously, there’s some significant-sized stores, particularly WH Smiths and Hennes [H&M], for who there isn’t the actual [similar] size of shop on the High Street available.
“It’s a bit of a difficult balance between making sure there’s enough choice for those shops who wish to carry on trading but then also provide Areli to achieve vacant possession so they can redevelop.”
He continued to say that although there were discussions ongoing with the town centre’s management team, there will be a ‘period of time with the redevelopment coming forward’ where some businesses would leave the town.
Chair of the meeting, Angela Clark, asked: “So having lost the Post Office from the High Street, it’s possible that the Post Office would be lost again?”
Mr Brazier-Dubber responded to say that he ‘couldn’t possibly comment’ and said he would have to speak to Areli regarding negotiations with WH Smiths and the Post Office.
He added he would bring the outcome of any discussions with Areli to a future forum meeting.