Maidenhead Golf Course: What plans are there to help the environment?

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Rushington Copse, MaidenheadAn ancient woodland by the golf courseResidents have raised concerns it won’t be protected in the golf course development

The Borough has put together a document that goes into more detail about what is expected on the Maidenhead Golf Course site and surrounding areas, where thousands of homes are planned.

The area is known as the South West Maidenhead Strategic Placemaking Area (SWMSPA) or South West Maidenhead.

The council has put together a draft of what’s known as a supplementary planning document (SPD) – which provides more detailed advice or guidance on policies in an adopted local plan.

The Advertiser dove into the Borough Local Plan SPD below to find answers to your questions.

In this section, we’re covering road, walkway and cycling path improvements, public transport traffic, biodiversity and air quality.

Click here to read more about housing, amenity space, community facilities, the industrial area known and the Triangle, and costs and funding.


In brief, what is the South West Maidenhead development area and what is planned for it?

The SWMSPA is a large area of land to the south-west of Maidenhead railway station, extending towards the M4.

A large part of the northern and central part of the site comprises Maidenhead Golf Course. There is planned to be schools and a local centre on this site.

This is known as the AL13 housing site, with Harvest Hill Road running through it. It ends at the A404(M) and A308(M) roads to the south.

The AL14 employment site is south of the housing site and the A308(M). It is also known as The Triangle.


What changes and improvements to roads may come about?

The roads surrounding the area act as ‘barriers to connectivity’, as well as ‘limiting access’ to open space at Ockwells Park and Braywick Park. There is currently ‘poor connectivity’, particularly for pedestrians.

The junction on Braywick Road at the Braywick Leisure Centre entrance, and the footbridge over the A404(M) providing a route to Ockwells Park, should both be improved to provide easier access to the green spaces.

All vehicular access from Harvest Hill Road should be designed in a way that ‘does not hinder pedestrian and cycle connectivity’.

It is ‘important’ that Harvest Hill Road does not form a barrier between parts of the new community north and south of the road.

As part of mitigating the impact on the wider road network, there should be improvements made to the following junctions:

• Braywick Road roundabout

• Shoppenhangers Road/Norreys Drive

• Holyport Road/Windsor Road

• A4/A404(M) Thicket Roundabout and Cannon Lane/Henley Road/Bath Road (A4) roundabout

• M4 J8/9 (a contribution)

• Improvements to Harvest Hill Road/Braywick Road – to be explored further and linked to improved pedestrian/cycle crossing


What improvements may be made for walking and cycling?

It is ‘essential’ that high quality, segregated walking and cycling routes are provided to connect to key destinations outside the main development sites. These routes will also need to connect to the wider walking and cycling network.

Harvest Hill’s green spine should be the ‘primary route’ through the development, with side streets creating direct routes to it. It should be the first choice for movement by pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

North of Harvest Hill Road, the spine connects people to the core facilities of the Harvest Hill neighbourhood at the local centre and the school, as well as access to public transport.

A principle of the green spine is that will vary within each neighbourhood, the draft SPD says.

It must prioritise pedestrian and cycle movement and facilitate people making easy choices in favour of sustainable movement options.

Some aims include forming:

•  A new cycling and pedestrian crossing across Braywick Road to the leisure centre for the current footpath across the golf course

• New means of crossing Braywick Road at the east end of Harvest Hill Road, to link with the new segregated walking/cycling route along the north side (potentially as part of a wider junction improvement)

• A series of walking and cycling measures to/from the Triangle site and improved connections to the town centre and the AL13 site

• Creation of direct links to the railway station and beyond to the town centre

• Provision of secure, accessible cycle parking facilities at key destinations (e.g., school, local centre, employment development) and for all dwellings.

Another aim is for the site is to deliver high quality segregated walking and cycling infrastructure:

• Along the north/south green spine

• East/west along the north side of Harvest Hill Road, extending beyond the site in either direction

• The existing footpath across golf course land

• East/west connectivity across the parcels of land to the south of Harvest Hill Road

• Within the Triangle site

The draft says there should be a refurbishment to the existing footbridge over the A404(M) which provides a key link to Ockwells Park – and an improvement to the environment either side of the bridge.


What could be the public transport options?

There are aims to provide:

• Improved frequency of buses

• Trialling cheaper fares for the route through the site over an extended period of time to encourage greater patronage

• Provision of additional bus stops with real time passenger information

• Incorporation of bus priority measures

• Consideration should be given to conversion of buses to electric buses at the earliest opportunity.

Further consideration should be given to the location of a bus stop adjacent to the site along Ascot Road, which leads off the Triangle.

The main routes should be tree-lined and include convenient bike parking close to building entrances.

One consideration is the diversion of an existing bus route or ‘new sub-route’, initially along Harvest Hill Road to serve early housing development there.

Later on, the route could go through the residential area to the north of the road, including the local centre and the school.


What will be the impact on trees, wildlife and biodiversity?

The size of the area will ‘likely require higher densities, with pressure on green space, trees and environmental impacts that will need to be mitigated.’

There are 'opportunities for innovation' in green buildings, walkable neighbourhoods, pedestrian and cycle priority and biodiversity net gain.

There are Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) in place across the SWMSPA, including along the western boundary near Shoppenhangers Road.

Towards the south of the site, there are several large TPO areas that cover most of the land within AL13 that lies to the south of Harvest Hill Road.

In the Triangle, planting could be used to screen large buildings. New planting along the rear of neighbouring properties can contribute to connectivity for wildlife benefit.

Individual areas of ecological value across the South West Maidenhead area, such as Rushington Copse, are ‘very valuable’ in ensuring the biodiversity and should be linked together.

On the AL13 housing site there are aims to:

• Retain Rushington Copse

• Retain other mature trees and hedgerows wherever possible

• Retain and enhance boundary trees and landscape buffers

• Protect trees from the impact of development.


Will there be more traffic, and will noise pollution or air quality get worse?

It ‘may be the case’ that those parts of the site closest to the A404(M) and A308(M) may be ‘adversely affected’ by noise and air quality issues. ‘Appropriate noise mitigation measures’ may be needed at the planning application stage.

The northern part of the SWMSPA adjoins the Maidenhead Town Centre Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) – an area where air quality is of concern and is being monitored.

As development in such proximity to the AQMA ‘may worsen emissions in the area’, mitigations such as designing for greater walking and cycling and enhanced public transport ‘should be maximised’ to reduce negative impacts on air quality.

There is ‘likely to be scope’ to ensure new residents are situated away from major sources of air pollution, using careful road design and the green infrastructure buffers.


Click here to read more about housing, amenity space, community facilities, the industrial area known and the Triangle, and costs and funding.


The Borough's cabinet is set to discuss the SPD at its meeting on June 23.

To see the full Draft South West Maidenhead Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document, click here.


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