Maidenhead Waterways - Future Plans
Maidenhead Waterways
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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 - were completed in 2015. RBMW then tendered, has funded and contracted the bulk of the work to date.  Greenford Ltd undertook this stage of the build, with the central Stage 1 area completed in mid 2016 and Stage 2 during 2017. Flow was temporarily diverted into Moor Cut to allow the channel works, but returned to the York Stream in January 2018. The weir has been tendered and just awaits an impoundment licence from the Environment Agency before work can get underway to fill the already enlaregd channels and raise water levels throughout the town centre.  The Moor Cut channel is now 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 into and around the town centre 'ring'.

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 £10-12m 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 setting.

We have been liaising with the Shanly Group since it acquired the old cinema site from CBRE. The Group bought three other sites adjoining the Chapel Arches section of the waterway and are implementing in phases a residential led development to embrace and complement the restored waterway. Construction of their first two phases is complete and Phase 3 - Chapel Arches north - has also commenced.   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 this stage of works has also now been completed.

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 in the emerging Borough 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 are also 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.