Criticism for number of completed dwellings in Maidenhead and Windsor last year

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Maidenhead Civic Society has criticised the Royal Borough for reaching under its target for total number of completed dwellings last year.

A report analysing the statistics on dwellings completed from April 2019 to March 2020 was released this April, after a delay to publication.

The number of completed dwellings fell from 705 in 2019 to 404 in 2020 – which is 40 per cent below the target of 712 units per year.

Of these, 276 of the completed dwellings were flats, and the proportion of these which are one-bedroom flats fell from 41 per cent down to 23 per cent of the total number.

Maidenhead Civic Society said the move away from one-bedroom flats was ‘a positive trend’ but criticised the overall drop in completed developments.

“It is hard to credit that, with the current level of planning applications and building activity in the town, the reported number of new dwellings is so low,” said planning group chair Martin McNamee.

There were 1,800 dwellings under construction at end March 2020, while 1,175 new dwellings were granted planning permission.

The report also shows a proportional increase in affordable housing. The percentage for last year was 17 per cent (70 dwellings), an increase from 7.2 per cent in 2019.

Despite this, Mr McNamee said the borough has ‘consistently underachieved’ on this score.

“The issue is the swathes of town centre developments where affordable housing is deemed to be unviable,” he said.

The number of dwellings generated by changing offices into residential units fell from 216 to 45 – a drop of 30 per cent down to 11 per cent of total units.

Of the total 404 new dwellings, 280 were in unparished Maidenhead.

Dwellings completed on the green belt totalled 33 units, in stark contrast to the 2018 peak of 140 units (26 per cent of total number of dwellings built for that year.)

Garden infilling is also down to 35 units in the latest report, having peaked in 2016 with 238 units.

The Royal Borough had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to print.

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