A FORMER leisure centre and a footbridge are set to disappear as construction of 434 homes is soon to start.
The ruling Conservatives sitting on the Maidenhead development management panel approved a scheme to redevelop the Magnet Leisure centre site near the town centre despite the buildings being described as “prison blocks”.
The area, which also compromises the former Ten Pin Bowling site, is known as St Cloud Way and the scheme is a partnership between developer Countryside and the council.
Countryside has announced it will soon build 434 flats, maisonettes, and homes, including 33 affordable homes and 54 shared ownerships.
The first phase of the development includes demolishing the former Magnet and removal of the footbridge over St Cloud Way, which is now closed to the public and will be gone by the end of the month, and constructing 351 homes, 87 of which are affordable.
The footbridge will be replaced with a pedestrian crossing along with new cycle and walking routes and improvements to the existing subway.
After that, the second phase involves redeveloping the former Ten Pin Bowling site, which was used for temporary parking, to build 83 market homes. Demolition and site clearance is expected to take three months.
The developer will put forward over £1m of financial contributions, which will fund wider community improvements, enhancements to local play spaces and transport and access improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.
Council leader Andrew Johnson (Con: Hurley & Walthams) hailed the development as an “exciting investment” for Maidenhead. This is despite a leaked document detailing that the former leisure centre site’s land value has decreased significantly from £26.2m to £15.75m within two years.
He said: “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 and this start of on-site activity is a huge milestone, heralding the start of demolition and clearance, making way for this much-anticipated and much-needed new development that people will see rise behind the hoardings.”