Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Desborough Suite - Town Hall. View directions
Contact: Tanya Leftwich 01628 796345
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Derek Sharp and Marius Gilmore.
To receive Declarations of Interests from Members of the Forum in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.
To confirm the Part I minutes of the meeting of the Forum held on the 31 October 2016
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED: The minutes of the meeting of the Forum held on 5 June 2017 the be approved.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and informed them that it was being recorded.
Maidenhead Regeneration - Joint Venture
To receive a presentation on the Joint Venture with Countryside Partnerships South, followed by an interactive session:
The Chairman introduced the item and explained to the Forum that Maidenhead had experienced two major periods of growth. The first was in 1780 when the first bridge was built, and the second was in 1839 when the Maidenhead Bridge was built. With the coming of Crossrail, Maidenhead was due to experience its third period of growth.
When Crossrail opened in 2019, I t was going to take less time to get to Canary Wharf, Bond Street and Heathrow. The electrification of the train line, improvements to the tracks and signally will also significantly improve reliability. This was good news for residents and would increase footfall to the Town. The Royal Borough was home to the 18 top companies and was a town of thriving small and medium sized businesses. The Vitality Index which was an entrepreneurial index, listed Windsor and Maidenhead at the top spot for the second year in a row. The Chairman added that the Borough was in a very privileged position with the redevelopment of four sites which was the largest release of public land. The regeneration was about high quality architecture and design.
The Senior Development Management from Countryside, Zoe gave the Forum a brief overview of Countryside and explained that it was a family run business with two divisions. They prided themselves on their relationships with local authorities and leading on good quality design. They used new architects on each of their projects and used a tender process to keep the designs fresh.
The project in Maidenhead would be run from their West London office which already looked after projects in Slough, Hounslow, Acton, South Oxley and Maidenhead. Acton was a success story as the town was very run down with 80% of residents expressing a desire to leave the town. Following the redevelopment with the help of Countryside, 94% residents now wanted to stay.
There were four key sites within Maidenhead Town Centre that were to be developed which were West Street, St Clouds Way, Reform Road and York Road. All the sites were to be treated individually but with some cohesion in design between the sites. The redevelopment would provide waterway connections, improve cycle ways and pedestrian connectivity. There would also be new and improved public spaces such as a new civic space / Town Square; new green spaces and pocket parks and improved links to Kidwells Park. Countryside in conjunction with the Royal Borough were also investing in new work spaces with economic uplift, new living and working spaces, apprenticeship schemes and significant construction spending.
Of the new homes to be built, 30% were to be kept as affordable housing, 70% were to be private ownership and there would be an exclusivity period for Maidenhead residents. There would also be shared ownership and affordable renting schemes among the 1,200 new homes being built.
The architect was chosen from Conran and Partners as they had a great vision for the Town Centre regeneration. The architect was from a similar town to ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
Update on Retail in the Town Centre
To receive an update by Jane Wright, Nicholson’s Centre Manager
Jane Wright gave a brief presentation on the retail update for Members which included the following key points:
Ø Retail was having a tough time due to a number of factors
Ø The Town Manager carried out research within the catchment area which revealed there were 11,000 office workers within a 10 minute walk of the Town Centre as well as having quite an affluent population living nearby.
Ø Maidenhead was losing spend in the town Centre to other shopping towns.
Ø Up to 98% of the area around Maidenhead had improved while Maidenhead itself had not.
Ø The Oracle, Westfield, Eden Centre, The Lexicon in Bracknell, Handy Cross an Taplow were all shopping destinations for residents in and around Maidenhead.
Ø Steph James, the Town Manager and Jane Wright had tried to get behind the Enjoy Maidenhead campaign and that had helped increase footfall.
Ø The catchment was disillusioned with the Town.
Ø On a positive note, there were 6m visitors to the Town per year
Ø Saturday remained the strongest day of the week for send and footfall
Ø The busiest location was outside Marks and Spencer and Café Nero
Ø Maintained perception as convenient, accessible and safe
Ø Passionate stakeholders, residents and retailers
Ø There was the added benefit of click and collect and mainly free parking on a Sunday.
Ø The Area Action Plan was adopted in 2011
Ø Crossrail was arriving in 2019 with lots of area improvements
Ø Inward investment
Ø Improvement in the public realm
Ø Nicholsons Centre had a new landlord in 2015
Ø Since 2015 there was success in letting empty units
Ø The new landlords were investing in the Nicholsons Centre
Ø Kings Walk Mall was being refurbished with planning applications submitted for the entrances
Jane Wright added that it was critical to have appropriate links and for the Town Centre to be cohesive and continue to engage with customer groups. She was committed to making Maidenhead a destination of choice.
Councillor Love said Broadway was boring but, when it was rebuilt, it would be glass fronted with shopping which will attract a good retailer. Jane Wright stated the landlords used letting agents to find a top level retailer and creating the new space would give the Centre the best chance ever. She added that Top Shop, H&M and River Island all talked to each other and shared data so, that good message was going out in Maidenhead. Steph James stated free parking on a Sunday and events held in the Town Centre were all helping to increase footfall.
Jane Wright stated Argos was owned by Sainsbury’s which meant it the Argos in Maidenhead could move into Sainsbury’s when it closes. Click and collect was particularly important to the Town Centre, especially for office staff and workers. Steph James commented that consumer habits had changed dramatically and the Borough needed to look at how the Town managed its offer and embrace its independent and pop-up shops. Steph ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
Item Suggestions for Future Forums
To receive suggested items for consideration at future Forum meetings.
Ø Q&A session on the how the Neighbourhood Plan is progressing
Ø Affordable Housing in Maidenhead
Ø Infrastructure, including business and transport
Ø Area forums