05:47PM, Tuesday 12 January 2021
Plans to demolish Hitachi Europe’s headquarters in Maidenhead have been refused by the council.
The office in Lower Cookham Road has been the European headquarters of the Japanese company for more than 30 years.
Planning documents state the offices, which provide around 9,500 sqm of floorspace, would be demolished and the site left in a ‘tidy’ condition.
It states the site would be subject to ‘ongoing management until future redevelopment takes place’.
The application does not go into further detail about any future redevelopment.
In March last year council officers refused plans to convert the offices into 97 flats.
An objection on the latest application from Maidenhead Civic Society says demolition should not be granted insolation until the ‘ultimate planned use for the site is made clear’.
Chairman Martin McNamee wrote: “ We would not be in favour of purpose built residential blocks offering even more flats than the 97 proposed in the application to convert building to residential.
“Maidenhead is oversupplied with flats, and such dwelling should be concentrated in the town centre, not on the fringe of greenbelt as is the case in this location.
“Demolition should be permitted only to provide development of mixed size and style of family homes, currently under provided in Maidenhead’s new housing stock.”
The application for demolition was refused by council officers yesterday (Monday).
Officers said the application failed to include adequate information on whether the building has been inspected for potential to host protected species and further information on tree protection measures is required.
A spokesman from Hitachi Europe said: “We respect the decision of the local council and will continue our discussions with them about the future of the Whitebrook Park site.
"The site is now too large for our requirements, and having been unable to secure interest from other businesses we believe the site should be designated for residential development, which would reduce the requirement for using greenbelt land elsewhere.”
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