05:05PM, Thursday 14 June 2018
A property developer’s plans to build 217 apartments in Windsor have been likened to a ‘downtown Singapore development’.
Salmon Harvester Properties (SHP) want to turn the unused former Imperial House site, in Alma Road, into a seven-storey apartment complex with a five-storey office building.
But residents fear the high-rise flats will cause Windsor to lose its ‘charm and identity’ and flood the surrounding streets with cars.
David Eglise, of Alma Road, said: “Everyone would love to see homes built there rather than high-rise flats.
“The developer wants built-to-rent apartments and is looking to cram in close to 220. That’s equivalent to what you’d see in an Inner London borough or even downtown Singapore and that’s not what you’d expect in Windsor.”
The application is due to be discussed by members of the Windsor Urban Development Management Panel at Windsor Guildhall on Wednesday (Jun20).
But the developer has already lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate after the council failed to make a decision on the plans before its target date of April 13.
A borough spokesman said any decision made at next week’s meeting will inform the council’s case at appeal.
David, who has lived in the town for more than 30 years, also questioned the development’s lack of affordable housing.
A target of 30 per cent affordable housing has been set by the Royal Borough for new developments, with SHP’s plans only offering 2.3 per cent.
He added: “Windsor has an acute shortage of homes for people to buy and become part of the community.
“The business model is for rent only and most often that means that the people living there will be transient.”
Douglas Stewart, chief operating officer at SHP, said: “It has been tested with various perspective views which we completed at vast expense to show how it would fit in and our view is it’s not out of context and an appropriate scale.”
He added that the 361 car parking spaces proposed for the site was the maximum amount allowed by the council and a £915,000 affordable housing contribution had been made as a ‘gesture of goodwill’.
The race to get as many people vaccinated against coronavirus has ramped up in the Royal Borough and Slough amidst an ongoing rise in cases across the country.