AN EIGHT-STOREY apartment block could replace a former spiritualist church in Maidenhead town centre.

Developer Shanley Homes are set to have its outline plans to demolish the vacant church in York Road and build 49 flats heard at a Maidenhead development management panel this week.

The applicant is only asking the council to consider the scheme’s access, appearance, layout, and scale where a full and final planning application will be submitted at another stage.

It is proposed for the site to have 17 one-bedroom and 32 two-bedroom apartments as well as provide 26 car parking spaces. It also provides bicycle parking and electric vehicle charging points.

Royal Borough Observer: Layout of the siteLayout of the site

The site is earmarked within the adopted borough local plan as part of the York Road development (AL14). The local plan requires a provision of 30 per cent affordable housing.

However, none are proposed, which planning officers say is ‘unfortunate,’ as Shanley said it won’t be able to make a large enough profit. Planning officers attached a condition for the developer to review its development finances to see if affordable housing can be secured in the future.

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The proposed building would be an eight-storey flat roof structure of red brick with the upper floor being inset and of light-coloured render. Each of the units would be provided with its own terrace or balcony.

Planning officers recommended to councillors to defer and delegate the application to the head of planning to approve the scheme subject to conditions.

The site is within a very high chance of flooding and the Environment Agency (EA), which is a statutory consultee, has lodged an objection to the plans.

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The EA said the scheme is ‘unacceptable’ as it will be built within close proximity to the York Road Stream main river and is contrary to planning policy, which seeks to conserve and enhance the natural environment. They also said it was ‘unlikely’ for the site to receive a flood risk activity permit.

If approved and the EA’s objection is still outstanding, the plans will go to the Secretary of State and could possibly call the application in to be determined by ministers.

The Maidenhead development management panel will take place on Wednesday, June 15.