PLANS to squeeze in an additional flat on a previous Maidenhead scheme has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

An application to demolish 17 Castle Hill and erect ten apartments made up of nine two-beds and one one-bed were approved on Wednesday’s (September 16) Royal Borough Development Management Panel.

The proposal – which is in a conservation area – also adds 11 car parking spaces and landscaping.

A previous planning scheme for nine flats was approved in May 2019 – but the developers decided to split the second floor into two flats and added a dormer window on the western elevation of the building.

READ MORE: Windsor and Maidenhead council tax support ruled 'unlawful'

The ‘castle-like’ gatehouse building – which dates back to 1890 – will be retained.

Royal Borough Observer:

A consultation was carried where seven out of the 35 occupiers objected to the plans on the grounds of ‘unacceptable’ harm to Castle Hill’s conservation area, loss of privacy, design is out of keeping with the area, no affordable housing, and insufficient parking.

The planning consultant, Tom Rumble, argued the architectural design remains consistent with the area and the council’s planning officers concluded the development will not harm the conservation area and the plans comply with the ‘borough’s design guide’ that privacy is maintained for neighbours.

Councillor Joshua Reynolds (Liberal Democrats: Furze Platt) protested the application as he believed the plans were ‘salami-sliced’ when previous schemes were approved – which he says goes against the borough’s policy.

READ MORE: New grand Slough hotel and apartments ahead of schedule

He said: “Why was this historic scheme not done? Did it ever intend to be developed or is it evidence that we are only acting as a steppingstone in these developments?

“The next application in the future might be 11 flats and the next one 12 and we’ll slowly build ourselves up – but because we’ve granted permission before, we’ll just do it again and again.

“I really don’t think that’s appropriate and it really annoys me how we’re looking at this.”

However, some panel members didn’t see that as a threat and believed the plans were a ‘worthy application’ with no or minimal negative impacts and creates spacious homes and amenity space for residents.

Seven councillors were for approval while two were against.