Application 20/03365 - Hitachi, Whitebrook Park, Lr. Cookham Rd.

Comments on Application 20/03365 - Hitachi, Whitebrook Park, Lr. Cookham Rd.

Prior notification for the demolition of the main office building.

More than a year ago there was an application - 19/03511 - for the change of use of the Hitachi building from the existing  offices to 97 residential units. We noted that this whilst this was not a good location for more flats, the proposal was a good use of redundant office space and offered adequately sized dwellings and parking provision.

We do not believe that this current application seeking permission to demolish should be granted until the ultimate planned use for the site is made clear. We would not be in favour of purpose built residential blocks offering even more flats than the 97 proposed in the application to convert the building to residential. Maidenhead is oversupplied with flats, and such dwellings should be concentrated in the town centre - not on the fringe of Green Belt as is the case in this location. Demolition should be permitted only to provide a development of mixed size and style of family homes, which are currently under-provided in Maidenhead's new housing stock. It should be noted that in 2016 there was an application to demolish the office block to the east and rear of the Hitachi block - 34 family houses were proposed on the site of Stiefel Labs. At the time we welcomed the proposal for houses rather than flats on the Stiefel site.

Permission to demolish this office block should not be granted in isolation, and prior agreement of the use of the site should be required.