Maidenhead Waterways
Home       |       Our Aims       |     Trustees & Officers       |       Patron & Sponsors       |     Membership    |     Contact Us

Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   MWRG Newsletter  
Current Flow Newsletter

Future Plans/Progress to date

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 after securing plannig consent in 2012. RBMW then tendered, funded and has 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 was then tendered and built in 2020 after approval of an impoundment licence by the Environment Agency. Completion of the weir in February 2020 has lifted and stabilised water levels throughout the town centre, filling the already enlarged upstream channels. With the flow returned to York Stream, the unchanged Moor Cut now has no regular flow but is partly backfilled from the weir pool.

 The Moor Stage 3 of the plans is currently on hold, pending funding, but when implemented will deepen the already wide Moor Cut channel, add a footpath along its length and remove a low weir at Town Moor that today blocks the flow .   When both arms have been completed, all 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'.


FoMW’s planning consent for Phase 1 was valid for five years, with a further five years allowed to complete the consented works. Work on site commenced in July 2015, so our inital consent was valid until June 2020. Implementtaion of further stages will now require additional consents. Funding the £10-12m total build 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 is 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 - well advanced. A second water basin, the centre piece of the Phase 3 development, is already complete and was filled and was reopened in Februray 2021. It joins up with the already completed up and downstream arms of the York Stream channel to complete this part of the restored waterway.   The walls of the development's  North and South underground car parks on either side of the enlarged channel double as channel walls of the waterway.   .

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 - including the weir - has also now been completed, with further enhancements also added.

Next Steps

With the Chapel Arches and York Stream plans largely complete FoMW'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 FoMW’s agreed priorities, we are also seeking opportunities to open up 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. The Jubilee River has replaced its former flood role, allowing it to focus on amenity use and as a haven for wildlife. Bray Cut 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, with sensitive handling from an environmental perspective.