Magnet development to start this summer as car park set to close

Magnet redevelopment to start this summer as car park set to close

The redevelopment of the former Magnet Leisure Centre into 434 homes will start this summer, with the car park set to close from Friday. 

The Royal Borough and developer Countryside are delivering the regeneration scheme at St Clouds Way after planning approval was granted at a planning meeting in December. 

Five buildings containing 434 homes will be built in place of the former leisure centre, with a mixture of houses, apartments and maisonettes included in the proposals, along with 87 affordable homes. 

The council also said that every home will contain private outdoor space through either a garden, balcony or terrace, with more than 8,500 sq ft of outdoor amenity space planned. 

There will also be electric vehicle charging points, 455 cycle parking spaces and an on-site car club scheme to help lower the development's carbon footprint.

However the look of the proposals was questioned at last year's planning meeting, with one councillor likening the scheme to a 'prison village'. 

Developers have promised a new 'missing links' cycle route through the site; improvements to the existing subway and a new pedestrian crossing across the A4.

Hoardings will start to go up at the development site 'over the coming weeks', the council said, as Countryside takes possession of the area, with demolition of the old leisure centre planned from August.  

Site clearance, including removal of the footbridge over St Cloud Way, will take about three months to complete, it added.

Construction works will start afterwards and are programmed to complete within six years, with the first phase developed within three years.

The council added that access to properties adjacent to the leisure centre car park will be maintained and alternative public car parking is available at Hines Meadow multi-storey car park.

While the leisure centre car park will close permanently, most of the former Tenpin bowling car park will remain for use by permit holders and The Wilderness Medical Centre, with access from St Cloud Way and exit on Cookham Road maintained.

Tickets for visitors to the medical centre will be issued by reception, however a council disability forum heard concerns last week regarding the placement of temporary parking away from the medical facilities. 

Councillor Andrew Johnson, Royal Borough leader, said: “The council in partnership with Countryside is driving forward the exciting regeneration of Maidenhead town centre, supporting new homes, jobs, investment and facilities that are benefitting the community and boosting the area’s vibrancy.

“St Cloud Way is the next exciting milestone in that much-needed work, and the closure of the car park and formal granting of planning permission herald the start of on-site redevelopment after significant planning and project development work.

“With leisure facilities now provided at our state-of-the-art Braywick Leisure Centre, St Cloud Way will help meet local housing needs for our community.

"I’m sure many residents look forward to seeing the tired redundant centre come down and this major new scheme taking shape behind the hoardings.

“This major investment will also support improvements benefitting the wider area, including contribution to a new ground-level pedestrian and cycle crossing over the A4 supporting access to the town centre and a Missing Links sustainable travel route through the site, alongside financial contributions including enhancements to Maidenhead Library, local play facilities and transport.”

Daniel King, managing director for Countryside in the Thames Valley, added: “We look forward to beginning the initial construction works at St Cloud Way in partnership with the Royal Borough, with this milestone paving the way for our regeneration scheme that will deliver 434 high-quality new homes and revitalise this area of Maidenhead town centre.

“With our Watermark regeneration scheme on York Road coming to life with new residents and retailers, we’re looking forward to also delivering the exciting vision for this area of Maidenhead.”

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