Comments on Application 17/01808 - Desborough Bowling Club, York Road

Erection of 1 x 8 storey building and 2 x 7 storey buildings to provide 154 apartments with associated access, servicing, landscaping and 176 parking spaces following demolition of existing buildings.

We believe that this application is premature, in that permission is being sought within the York Road Opportunity Area (YROA). Such permissions should not be granted until the overall civic scheme has been determined. An isolated and piecemeal development (whatever its merits) will prejudice the delivery of the envisaged civic centre which will be the focus of the YROA..

Whilst we are concerned at the seven or eight storey height of the proposed blocks, it is accepted that these will become inevitable in the Town Centre if the targeted number of residential units is to be delivered. The height and design of the rear elevations are visually sensitive in that they will dominate the Maidenhead landscape when viewed from the hundreds of trains passing each day. The height of the front elevations will dominate and overshadow whatever development is forthcoming on the Town Hall Car Park on the north side of York Road. We are also concerned that the relationship of the eastern elevation does not relate to the rejuvenated York Stream. It is difficult to envisage any compatible development on the site of the Day Centre which lies in the small area in the shadow of Block 3. Furthermore, this proposed development appears to sit on the access road down the side of the Day Centre to the St John Ambulance building and Maidenhead Spiritualist Church. There should be firm proposals for the development of this western bank of York Stream before any permission is granted for the redevelopment of the Bowling Club site. Hence the importance of not making any piecemeal decisions in isolation, until the YROA proposals are finalised.

On a positive note, we applaud the provision of 176 parking spaces (including two levels underground). Whilst probably inadequate, this is a good example of what should be delivered for all new developments in the Town Centre.