Stamford-based Urban Edge’s proposed £150 million redevelopment of Maidenhead town centre has been rejected by councilors due to lingering concerns over poor pedestrian and bicycle safety, highway access and parking
Outline planning submission was deferred in December, when Urban Edge and developers ING Real Estate were asked to adjust their plans to improve accessibility, highway safety, air quality and affordable housing.
Original proposals were launched March 2011 followed by the first planning application in November 2011.
Although the revised plans were then recommended for approval, on Tuesday councilors rejected the scheme by six votes to five.
The MP for Maidenhead, home secretary Theresa May, has consistently supported the Kings Triangle plans and said the council’s decision was ‘disappointing’.
‘This site is an important one for the town centre, and the Kings Triangle project would be part of the wider rejuvenation of Maidenhead that we all want to see,’ she added. ‘I am concerned at the message this sends to local residents and the business community, who want to see progress made in improving the town centre.’
The council said the changes made to the plans since December ‘did not constitute the fresh look at they application’ that members felt necessary, and highlighted remaining issues with pedestrian and cycle safety, poor parking provision, highways layout, servicing and loading access and environmental concerns.
Council chairman councillor Derek Wilson said: ‘It is very disappointing that, despite several months of reworking the application in light of members’ concerns, the majority of my panel members felt that not enough progress had been made and that Maidenhead deserves better.’
Councillor Michael-John Saunders, a member of the planning committee, said: ‘It is of critical importance for the Royal Borough to focus on how best to inspire the right development for the Kings Triangle. There may be concern and frustration caused by the panel’s decision but the council is determined to achieve high quality development and investment for Maidenhead and that commitment continues.’
The Kings Triangle masterplan was intended to revitalise three adjoining highways – King Street, Queen Street and Broadway – by creating a new network of shopping streets to attract a new mix of major retailers and boutique and specialist stores, in addition to cafés and restaurants.
Building heights ranged between two and seven storeys, with the main residential area sitting above shops on Queen Street overlooking a public space inside Kings Triangle.
Revised plans submitted in December included extra on-site parking, changes to the highway network to improve air quality and retain the bus route along Broadway and improvements to the levels of sunlight reaching street level.