Comments on Application 22/00542 - Culpeppers, 53 Lower Cookham Road
Construction of 5 x dwellings (1 with new access off The Avenue) following demolition of the existing dwelling and annexe.
The existing dwelling is a bungalow and a rear garden detached annexe occupying a substantial site. Whilst clearly a candidate for redevelopment, it is important that any new scheme reflects the character of the neighbourhood and setting. It is accepted that to the south of the site is located a two storey development of flats at No 51. It is also noted that more than 15 years ago there were two applications for the construction of 14 x 2 bed flats on this site - but these were withdrawn.
We welcome the introduction of a scheme for family homes rather than flats. However, there are certain aspects of the application that give cause for objection. The main block of four linked dwellings extends across the entire width of the site (from north to south) and will introduce a street scene and style of dwelling which is out of character with the area. This combined with the introduction of bedrooms into the roof space create a height, bulk and mass that is unacceptable. Rather than a terrace of four town houses, three separate dwellings would be preferable on the Lower Cookham Road frontage.
Access to the location of the additional dwelling proposed on The Avenue appears to have been the subject of historical dispute. The proposed detached dwelling might be acceptable if the main block to the east was less dominant. In reality the site is suitable for four dwellings rather than five as proposed. If the block of four is retained fronting Lower Cookham Road, then the additional dwelling to the rear should be removed to increase amenity space for each plot. If the dwelling to the rear is retained, then the block of four town houses should be reduced to three detached dwellings.
The site lies within Flood Zone 3, and whilst a Flood Risk Assessment is included with the application, there is clearly a significant increase in developed footprint and the number of residents occupying the site in the event of any flood.
It is evident from the submitted block plans, aerial representations and elevations that this proposal will result in a density of development that is out of character with the surrounding properties. With the number of similar large plots that exist in Maidenhead Riverside it is important that an acceptable level is established to protect the character of the area from potential future overdevelopment.