08:45AM, Thursday 21 February 2013
A developer who had to fight through the courts to get the go-ahead to build a 25,000 sq m office development in Windsor says it could be 2016 before the work is complete.
Miff Chichester, whose company St Congar Properties plans to build the offices on the site of the old Imperial House before Alma Road, was initially refused permission by Royal Borough councillors.
They feared the development would overwhelm the surrounding Victorian streets.
A government inspector overturned the borough's decision on appeal. But angry residents fought the plan all the way to the Court of Appeal in London, finally losing the struggle last July.
Since then all has been quiet - leading some opponents of the plan to hope it had been abandoned.
This week though Mr Chichester confirmed that the offices would definitely go ahead, although he admitted things were 'in limbo' at the moment due to the many conditions he had to adhere to.
He said: "An archaeological dig has to be carried out to check the development is not destroying any historic relics. Then there have to be changes made to the road system.
"The reality is that work will not start until the end of this year or the first quarter of next. We are talking about a two-and-a-half year programme before we have four large office blocks full of tenants - providing jobs for people across the area."
He added: "I bought this site in 2007 to 2008 and it may be 10 years from then before I'll finally see the result. But I don't regret it."
David Eglise, one of the residents who fought the scheme, said: "We have got to face reality now. But I do fear the underlying social fabric of the town will be put under great pressure."
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