Plans to demolish a shopping center and redevelop the area have now been delayed. Indeed, a public inquiry must now take place.
Councilors already approved developer Areli Real Estate’s £500million plans to demolish Maidenhead’s Nicholsons shopping center and build a new complex more than a year ago. This includes buildings up to 25 stories, new parking lots, retail, offices, apartments and retirement homes.
But the regeneration work has not yet started. However, the council has sought Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers, which compel landlords to sell if their property stands in the way of a regeneration project, to acquire the leasehold interests of the mall’s retail units existing, businesses in the Broadway parking lot and 39-51 King Street.
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Ian Dubber-Brazier, managing director of RBWM Property Company, in which the board is a shareholder, said the aim was to bring the whole site together into one development and allow the two-year building program to begin. But it will lead to a public inquiry scheduled for October where a town planning inspector, to be appointed by Secretary of State Michael Gove, will examine the CPO.
Council, developer and interested parties will testify at the inquest. If the CPO is approved and compensation is paid to the lessees/franchisors, construction can begin. Mr Dubber-Brazier admitted to members sitting on the Disability and Inclusion Forum that as a result of this process, the planned construction which was due to take place in November has “slipped slightly” and could start from the middle of the year. summer next year.
When asked if he thought the two-year work program could still be deliverable, he said it would be “tight”, but believes the major parts of the development will be delivered within that time frame. Mr Dubber-Brazier also revealed that Areli would start redeveloping the parking lot and building some of the residential housing and retail units first once the green light is given.
Meanwhile, Maidenhead Senior Member Cllr David Coppinger (Con:Bray) assured members they were working to retain the Post Office, which is currently in the existing Nicholsons Shopping Center in the town centre. He said: ‘There must be a post office in Maidenhead. There is no choice. It is absolutely certain.
The forum took place on Monday, June 20.