PEDESTRIANS will have to use an underpass for a little bit longer before a new A4 crossing will be added near a busy supermarket.
Countryside, in partnership with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, has started demolishing the former Magnet Leisure Centre in Holmanleaze to build over 351 apartments, including 87 affordable homes, as part of the first phase.
The developer was granted planning permission in 2021 to construct 434 flats in total at the site, known as St Cloud Way. This also involved demolishing the footbridge that allowed pedestrians to safely cross the A4 from Sainsbury’s to the ex-leisure site.
But as part of an agreement with the council, Countryside had to pay for a new crossing to be implemented.
Ian Brazier-Dubber, managing director of the council’s arms-length property company, told councillors sitting on the Maidenhead town forum those works should start by Easter.
Cllr Gurch Singh (Lib Dem: St Mary’s) asked at the meeting on Thursday, January 12, why the new crossing wasn’t built before the demolition, saying it would have “made sense” to do so.
Residents wanting to cross over the A4 to get to St Cloud Way have to use the underpass.
Mr Brazier-Dubber said Countryside, which is paying for the crossing as part of a section 106 agreement, timetabled its delivery for Easter. He added he didn’t know if the council had received the money yet.
Cllr Singh said: “It seems to me ridiculous that when planning applications are approved, generally section 106 monies most of the time before development commences, we get the money in our pockets.
“So, we should, especially because it’s public land and given that it’s been reported that the developers knocked the purchase price down millions of pounds, have squeezed out that one million pounds off them for that walkway.”
Mr Brazier-Dubber revealed the housing association that will provide the low-cost housing is Abri, which is the provider of Sawyers Close in Windsor.
He also provided an update on the parking at the two neighbouring doctor surgeries at the site following complaints of the limited parking.
The 20 spaces right by the surgeries were originally meant to be for patients but the closure of the leisure centre’s car park meant disabled patients had to share with staff.
The property manager said patients can use the 87-spaced at the former Ten Pin Bowling site, which is part of the St Cloud Way development, about 20 metres away.
When asked when the Ten Pin Bowling site goes by Cllr Greg Jones (Con: Riverside), Mr Brazier-Dubber said future arrangements will be made when Countryside begins phase two.