Amended Application 21/00502-Magnet Leisure Centre and Car Park

Comments:  Amended Application 21/00502-Magnet Leisure Centre and Car Park

Construction of 5 buildings to create 434 homes with car and cycle parking, pedestrian and vehicular access, landscaping works and boundary treatments following demolition of existing.

The amended plans for this application were made available on the Planning Portal on 14th / 15th October. The closing date of 27th October for comments / objections does not allow adequate time for stakeholders and residents to submit comments, especially on such a major development.

We objected to many aspects of the proposals in mid-March this year. Regretfully, it does not appear that these amendments address our concerns. The positive points appear to be: One block (C2) has been reduced in height from 8 to 7 storeys - with the consequential loss of 5 flats which reduces the total dwellings from 439 to 434. Some floor levels have been raised to alleviate flood risk. East / west access has been improved and car and cycle parking arrangements have been adjusted. 5 parking spaces have been designated for use by Maidenhead Mosque and Islamic Centre.

These modifications are minor in terms of a development of this scale. However, the most significant amendment is the proposed reduction in the number of affordable dwellings to 87 from 130. One of the positive aspects of the original scheme was the delivery of the desired proportion of affordable homes, which most recent developments have failed to achieve. This reduced number of affordable dwellings is unacceptable.

Our further objections remain as stated in our letter dated 15th March:

  • The height of the blocks up to 11 storeys is unacceptable.
  • The density, bulk and mass of the scheme is excessive.
  • The visual impact of the high rise blocks on St Cloud Way is overbearing.
  • The blocks are poorly designed with unattractive elevations.
  • There should be more variety of housing type with low/mid rise dwellings.
  • There is a lack of amenity space within the development.
  • Parking provision is inadequate, with none for visitors to doctors' surgeries.
  • The development adversely impacts the setting of the listed Wilderness Centre.
  • There is poor pedestrian accessibility over the ring road.
  • The proposal adds yet more flats to Maidenhead's housing stock.
  • Surely it is time to move away from gas central heating.