Application 22/01391 - Mattel House, Vanwall Business Park

Comments on Application 22/01391 - Mattel House, Vanwall Business Park

Construction of 91 x residential units with associated landscaping, car parking and infrastructure following demolition of the existing building.

Permission has already been obtained under application 21/02067 for change of use from offices to residential in the form of 28 flats. Office conversions may not generate the same quality of accommodation as purpose built blocks, but they are more ecologically acceptable and generate a smaller carbon footprint per dwelling - especially as they do not involve wasteful demolition. The permitted conversion maintained the building height to the existing two storeys and provided adequate parking provision for the proposed 28 flats.

This new application is to replace the existing with four residential blocks up to 5 storeys in height - albeit with the top floor set back to reduce the visual impact. There is an inadequate parking provision of 91 spaces - one per flat. The location is well removed from the town centre and a further 52 spaces are required to meet RBWM parking policy for the number of  dwellings  of 2 bed/4 persons or larger. There is currently an over provision of flats currently being added to Maidenhead's housing stock - primarily in the town centre. Such outlying locations should ideally be providing family homes. Flats more than a mile from the town centre should be discouraged. This location is in a non residential setting, surrounded by commercial / office buildings and subject to motorway noise.

There are some positive aspects to the proposal. 30% of the units will be "affordable", all flats would have a living area that meets the minimum Nationally Described Space Standard and a significant area of communal garden / amenity space is proposed.

The Design and Access Statement suggests that in the event of the new application not being permitted the developers will revert to the permitted scheme to convert the existing building to 28 flats. We object to this latest proposal because the proposed 91 flats in blocks of 5 storeys will create an excessive development in terms of height, bulk and mass. In addition there is an under-provision of  parking spaces.