Windsor & Maidenhead council leader defends plan for 434 apartments
THE head of the Royal Borough Council has defended the redevelopment of the Magnet Leisure Center as a “milestone” amid claims it looks like a “prison village”.
Earlier this month, the ruling Tories on the Maidenhead Development Management Committee approved plans to demolish the empty center of Holmanleaze into 434 apartments.
The project, known as the Saint Cloud Way, involves constructing five buildings ranging from four stories to 11 stories that will contain a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments.
It also compromises 87 affordable housing units, 346 parking spaces and developer Countryside contributing £ 1million to improve play areas and pedestrian and cyclist access.
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However, during the meeting, opposing Liberal Democrats and Independents strongly criticized the site’s design, saying the buildings were “too tall” for a downtown location and described the buildings as a “prison village. “.
A petition of 1,700 people against the plans also called on councilors to reject the project.
Council chief Andrew Johnson (Con: Hurley & Walthams) said the development of St Cloud Way is a “milestone” for the regeneration of Maidenhead town center.
He said: “Council is moving the regeneration of Maidenhead town center forward, and the committee’s decision to decide to grant a building permit for this major project is an important step in this much-needed work and our partnership with Countryside.
“With recreation facilities now provided at our state-of-the-art Braywick Recreation Center, this key redevelopment site will help meet the local housing needs of our community.
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“One of the council’s priorities is to provide affordable housing on our sites. Of the 434 new homes on this site, I’m happy to say that it will offer 87 of the 122 affordable homes that will be offered in the borough as a result of planning decisions made this year alone – a 74% increase from affordable housing completed in 2019/20.
“This major investment will also support improvements benefiting the entire area, including a new ground-level pedestrian and cycle crossing on the A4 facilitating access to the city center and a sustainable Missing Links transport route through the site, as well as financial contributions, including improvements to Maidenhead. library. I can’t wait for construction to begin.