RBWM explains 2020 slowdown of completed new dwellings

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

The Royal Borough has answered questions on its completed housing figures in 2020, following a recent release of a report and criticism from Maidenhead Civic Society.

Recently the civic society raised questions about the drop in completed dwellings, including the number of conversions from offices to residential units.

One of the criticisms was the number of completed dwellings, which was 40 per cent below the target of 712 units per year.

In a statement, the Royal Borough said: “The council has historically had high build out rates as demonstrated at the Borough Local Plan Examination last year, with fewer than 5 per cent planning permissions lapsing.

“Inevitably, the number of homes completed each year varies, with fewer flatted schemes/conversions completed last year.”

The council added that the coronavirus pandemic may have had an impact on completion numbers at the end of the 2019/20 monitoring year.

“This is expected to rise with more new homes being built particularly in Maidenhead town centre,” a borough spokesman said.

“In the longer term, once the Borough Local Plan is adopted, the number of completions is expected to increase considerably.”

Another point of criticism was the number of dwellings generated by changing offices into residential units. This fell from 216 to 45.

“The majority of permitted developments came forward when changes to planning regulations were made to encourage more conversions from office blocks to flats about eight years ago,” said the spokesman.

“However, more conversion schemes are underway and are expected to contribute further in the coming years as windfall sites.”

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