Application 21/02414 - Hanson House, 14 Castle Hill

Comments on Application 21/02414 - Hanson House, 14 Castle Hill

Change of use from offices to 20 x residential units comprising 15 x studios and 5 x 1-bed units.

We regret that a prominent landmark office block such as Hanson House is proposed for change of use to residential. There is an oversupply of small flats in Maidenhead town centre and this redevelopment will contribute to that imbalance in the housing stock. It appears illogical to apply for change of use to residential, when a newly constructed office block is situated immediately next door. Continued employment use is preferable, but it is an easy option to capitalise on the trend to convert offices to flats.

The sizes of the proposed dwellings appear to exceed the relevant Nationally Described Space Standards. However, the provision of only 10 parking spaces is unsatisfactory. The allocation of 0.5 spaces per dwelling may be in line with RBWM parking standards for developments in the town centre, but as always fails to address the reality of car ownership. More spaces were provided when the building was used as offices. Having lost a degree of parking provision, the situation is compounded by the lack of outside amenity space provided for the residential occupants. Although in close proximity to Kidwells Park there is a need for designated amenity space for such developments.