Maidenhead Waterways
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Current Flow Newsletter

Future Plans

Detailed Design

All the necessary surveys and detailed design work for Stages 1 and 2 of the build - the complete York Stream arm, including the weir - have now been completed and contracts tendered for the bulk of the work.  Greenford Ltd are undertaking this stage of the build, with the central Stage 1 area due to complete in Spring 2016 and Stage 2 by late 2017. On completion of the weir, the currently diverted flow will be returned to the York Stream and water levels raised throughout the town centre.  The Moor Cut channel will then empty again, allowing it in turn to be enlarged under Stage 3 of the build, once funding is in place for this.  When both arms have been completed, the restrictions at the top (diffluence) and  bottom (confluence) of the 'Ring' will be removed to allow continuous navigation by small boats around the town centre.

Implementation

MW’s planning consent for Phase 1 is valid for five years, with a further five years allowed to complete the consented works. Work on site commenced in July 2015, so our consent is valid until June 2020. Funding the c£10m total implementation costs of the ‘Ring’ poses a major challenge and the build is planned in stages, in conjunction with the streamside Area Action Plan developments which stand to benefit from gaining an enhanced waterside outlook.

We have been liaising with the Shanly Group since it acquired the old cinema site from CBRE. The Group has also bought three other sites adjoining the Chapel Arches section of the waterway. Their plans for a residential led development to embrace and complement the restored waterway have been approved and construction of their first two phases are well underway.  The walls of the development's  underground car parks on either side of the enlarged channel double as our channel walls and further substantial contributions to the cost of the waterway have also been committed by the  Shanly Group via a developer agreement.

Stages 1 and 2

With the benefit of a £1.6m interest free LEP Growing Places loan and with the Shanly plans also proceeding, tree clearance for implementation of the waterways consent commenced in 2014, with work on site for the £2m Stage 1 - the  highly visible A4/St Cloud to Great Western Railway section of York Stream - starting in July 2015. Funding for the £3m Stage 2 of the build was agreed in December 2015 and the works are now expected to continue on directly after completion of Stage 1.

Next Steps

With the Chapel Arches plans and Stages 1 and 2 of the waterway build proceeding together as planned, MW's attention is turning to Stage 3 of the build - Moor Cut - and how the waterway can best interact with other Area Action Plan developments in the pipeline or envisaged oin the emerging Local Plan.  The RBWM owned land on the west of York Stream near the Library and also in the Reform Road estate adjoining Moor Cut both have the potential to help fund implementation of  further stages of the waterway.

Bray Cut

Per MW’s agreed priorities, we will also be seeking funding to improve the southern channel which already links the ‘Ring’ to The Thames at Bray Marina. This channel was enlarged in the 1960s as part of the town’s flood defences, but has silted up since and is very overgrown. It continues to have a Public Right of Navigation, which cannot be extinguished by lack of use, and remains popular with canoeists. Restoring this southern section of the overall waterway route for larger boats is more complicated and may need further planning permission, but will also need significant tree work and the channel bed dredged, plus sensitive handling from an environmental perspective.