Community figures demand Baths Island is spared from council's redevelopment plans

A group of community figures from across Windsor are calling on the council to leave Baths Island out of any potential redevelopment near Alexandra Gardens.

The council revealed at the latest meeting of Maidenhead Town Forum that it is looking to replace Windsor Coach Park and the nearby car park in Alma Road with a mixed-use development.

But Baths Island, a popular area of open green space among residents, has also been earmarked as part of the scheme.

A selection of independent and Liberal Democrat borough councillors, parish councillors and representatives from community groups have now signed an open letter to the council’s managing director Duncan Sharkey announcing their objection to the inclusion of Baths Island.

Councillor Lynne Jones, leader of the local independents, said: “We know Alexandra Gardens itself isn’t being built on but anything that’s built in that historic area will affect the views of the castle, the views across the river and the whole aspect of that area.

“It (Baths Island) is not somewhere that tourists know about and these places that are for the community are not found very often.

“It’s very important to keep these little green areas for Windsor residents.”

The group has previously criticised the council for releasing details of the scheme ‘hot off the press’ at a meeting of Maidenhead Town Forum rather than a forum in Windsor.

Councillor Jones told the Express that residents need to be fully consulted about how densely the coach park will be redeveloped and Baths Island must be removed from the scheme.

A spokesman for the Royal Borough said: “We are surprised that there has been concern over the ideas for the improvement of the car park and coach park in Windsor as this has been in the public domain previously including low level stakeholder consultation in 2018.

“This piece of work was postponed last year due to COVID-19.

“The update at the meeting on March 31was a general update and included comment that this work had been paused.

“The council is looking at what development might support economic growth and deliver affordable housing need and be to the general benefit of Windsor. We are sensitive to the historic fabric and landscape of Windsor and before any decisions are made our partners will be consulting widely on what is needed locally.”

The council is in the process of seeking a joint-venture partner for the scheme with a decision expected to be made later this year on who it will work alongside.

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