Maidenhead Waterways
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2015    |    2014    |    2013    
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AWARD

We were delighted to nominated by the Maidenhead and District Chamber of Commerce at their Gala dinner in CIM Cookham on 4th March as their Charity of the Year. PM Theresa May was the guest speaker and warmly congratulated MW on the project's progress.

CHAPEL ARCHES HOARDINGS DOWN...

It is good to see the hoardings coming down at Shanly Homes' Chapel Arches development and the opening up of the new eastern terraces. The c1825 (now underpinned) bridge awaits a new brick face, but once the replacement Library bridge is added we expect to be able to fully reopen the public paths there.

CHAPEL ARCHES BASIN UNDERWAY

With the bridge underpinning now completed, our contractors have commenced full depth excavation and sealing with clay of the Chapel Arches basin. Shanly Group will reface the bridge and new foundations in brick after the Christmas break. In the meantime a shallow covering of water is being added to prevent the clay from drying out and cracking, as the channel works move downstream.

AMPITHEATRE OPENED

The new streamside ampitheatre next to the Library is now open and was used for the first time at the end of November as part of the Christams Lights event. The Rotary led Friends of Maidenhead group has planted 5,000 purple crocuses to further brighten up this area.

AGM 2016

The group's 2016 Annual General Meeting was held on 1st November, when members received a presentation on progress, approved the annual report and re-elected Trustee/Chairman Richard Davenport and also our Independent Examiner Richard Curry. The slides used for the meeting can be seen here... PDFs/AGM/MWGeneralMeeting01112016.pdf ../SlideShows/mwslideshow1.html">AGM Slideshow

CANOE CAVALCADE

24 canoeists, a senior RBWM councillor and a dog(..!!) joined this year's canoe cavalcade on September 10th down the overgrown but hugely attractive Bray Cut. Cllr David Evans - Lead member for Regeneration - throughly enjoyed the trip and said it had opened his eyes to the opportunity to link the restored town centre Ring to The Thames at Bray.

PRIME MINISTER'S VISIT

We were delighted to host an hour-long update visit by Theresa May - MP and now PM - to the waterway on 5th August. Theresa has been a long term supporter of the project and was pleased and impressed to see the major progress made over the last year to implement the first stages of the works.

Chapel Arches Bridge Strengthening Prior To Basin Excavation

Following agreement with RBWM and the Shanly Group, the historic c1825 Chapel Arches bridge is being reinforced ahead of full depth excavation of the basin. The new channel walls (doubling as Shanly's underground car park walls) on both sides have been brick faced as the adjoining developments top out and now have glass going in. The old bridge is being re-faced in brick and up-lit, with boat storage and a landing platform to be provided on the western side. All three large arches of the old bridge will now be visible from the basin, public terraces and the replacement Library footbridge that is presently being designed.

First Section of Channel Completed

The section of channel between York Road and the railway line was completed in March 2016, with the bed lowered to its final level and sealed with puddled clay. The banks there have been landscaped and the footpath is being resurfaced before re-opening around mid May. The next section to be worked - the narrow channel by Hines Meadow car park - has already started. The channel here is being set in a concrete trough, allowing both the channel and the path to be widened, whilst a planting ledge will allow a green edge to be included.

STAGE 2 Funding Confirmed by Full Council

RBWM's Cabinet Regeneration Sub-Committeee in December backed the next stage of the project with another £3m of funding, which has now been confirmed by the full council as part of its 2016/17 budget. The funding will allow Stage 2 of the build - the completion of the York Stream arm of the waterway, including the weir - to go directly ahead as soon as the current Stage 1 works are completed. The decision is another huge vote of confidence in the waterways project and Maidenhead's Area Action Plan, as well as in the town itself.

AGM 2015

The group's Annual General Meeting was held on 15th October, when members received a presentation on progress, approved the annual report and re-elected Trustee Alasdair Pettigrew and also our Independent Examiner Richard Curry. The slides used for the meeting can be seen here... PDFs/AGM/MWGeneralMeeting151015.pdf ../SlideShows/mwslideshow1.html">AGM Slideshow

Start of Channel Works

We are pleased to report that our contractors Greenford have fully set up on the cleared St Ives Rd site below the Library and constructed an access ramp in/out of the channel from which to work. They commenced channel works in early August on the first section of the waterway - from York Rd to the Library footbridge - and will be moving north and south thereafter to complete Stage 1. See ... http://youtu.be/kyVNEbnarsY

Sir Nicholas Winton

We are deeply saddened to report the death on 1st July 2015 of our founding Patron Sir Nicholas Winton, who for many years was a loyal suppprter of the waterway project and other initiatives to improve his home town of Maidenhead.

Chapel Arches Crane

Shanly Homes has just erected a tower crane at Chapel Arches, ready to start the frame of the new building. Click to see what was a fascinating process to watch, as it was put up .... https://youtu.be/LIvCVvBYsiE

Litter Pick

A fantastic group of over 45 volunteers cleared litter along the York Stream channel on Saturday 28th March, focussing on the areas where the cleared scrub has exposed years of neglect. We collected a staggering total of nearly 70 bags of litter, along with various ‘foreign objects’ including the odd shopping trolley, car tyre, a couple of road signs and even a garden mower…!!

Home Secretary Visit

Maidenhead MP and Home Secretary Theresa May visited on Friday 27th February for an update on the waterway project and adjoining AAP developments. MW Chair Richard Davenport, Trustee David Snelgar and Technical Group Chair John Morgan walked the route with her and were joined by Shanly Homes MD Stewart Kirk to view their Chapel Arches development, where new channel walls are now being built to create the outer edges of the water basin in our plans.

Temporary Dam and Fish Rescue

Greenford Ltd has installed a temporary coffer dam at Town Moor to divert the flow down Moor Cut, allowing York Stream to be drained when needed for the start of channel works. MEM Fisheries rescued over 19,000 fish as the flow was closed off, releasing them safely to open water further downstream.

Contractor Appointed..!!

Following a competitive tender process, specialist water and environmental contractor Greenford Ltd has been appointed to build Stage 1 of the waterway - initially the section of York Stream between the A4/St Cloud Way and the GWR. Mobilisation planning is now underway and Greenford expect to start on site in late January

Donation

We have received a generous donation from Maidenhead based catering and refrigeration equipment maintenance firm McFarlane Telfer Ltd towards the project and hope to involve some of their staff in future volunteer events. The donation is much appreciated.

Tree removals for Stage 2 underway

While contract arrangements for the Stage 1 build are concluded, Tree Removals for the next stage (Stage 2) are already underway. Tree surgeons from Legacy Habitats have already cleared the area needed for the Stafferton Way Link Road and are now working on the Stage 2 waterways route to the south of the railway tunnels on York Stream.

AGM Review

A packed AGM on 29th October heard a review of the year and next steps on the project and accepted the accounts for 2013/14. Trustees David Snelgar and Jon Reekie - standing down in rotation as required under MW's articles - were re-elected unopposed. Members and other guests then enjoyed refreshments after a lively Q and A session.

Canoe Cavalcade heads for the Widbrook

27 canoeists of all ages headed for the Widbrook on Saturday 13th September and had a fun morning exploring one of the key feeder channels to the town centre waterway that is being restored. Access has been improved by recent clearance work by MW to improve the flow rates.

Tenders Invited for Stage 1 channel works

Following RBWM Cabinet agreement to directly contract for the waterway works, enabling VAT recovery, tenders have been invited for the £2.1m Stage 1 build, with a (revised) target start on site of late October. Stage 1 is now fully scoped and targets the priority section between the A4 and GWR. Options to extend further north and south are also being invited, subject to funding headroom. 

Chapel Arches Works to start

After securing its detailed planning consent in June, the Shanly Group has now commenced site clearance and enabling works on the former cinema site at Chapel Arches.  Piling is planned to commence in August and the first phase of the redevelopment will include both sides of the [widened] York Stream channel, with new apartments, cafe/restaurants and public terraces overlooking the water.

Local groups visits welcomed

MW Trustees recently hosted guided walks for Yr 5 Claires Court Girls school and also 4th Taplow & Hitchin guides.  Everyone enjoyed walking the route to observe the current stage of the project and to understand the changes beginning to unfold in Maidenhead town centre.  Furse Platt senior school Yr 8 received a presentation from MW before spending the entire day of 14th July studying  and visiting the area.

York Stream Clearup - Sunday 27th April

Congratulations to the over 50 volunteers who joined us on 27th April to clear the accumulated litter and other debris exposed by recent tree and scrub clearance for the start of Stage 1 build. Over 70 bags of rubbbish and many foreign objects were removed. Our thanks to Rotary, 19th Maidenhead Scouts and the Mosque, who joined us, and to RBWM for the loan of equipment and rubbish removal.  

Commencement of Tree Works

Tree removals work has now started along the central York Stream area, clearing the trees that overhang the channel, or are growing in the bed, and removing the scrub that hides the banks which will be modified for the Stage 1 works due to start this summer. The tree work is being undertaken by Legacy Habitats UK and overseen by an ecologist from our detailed designers Golder Associates.

Library Event, Tree Removals and Stage 1 Build

The drop-in event on 18th January at Maidenhead Library was well attended, with c200 residents, councillors and others viewing the project update and hearing about the tree removals programme taking place in February (before the nesting season) in order to allow Stage 1 of the consented plans to begin build in mid -2014. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive. For those unable to join us, the slide set used can be viewed here Library Event Slide Show.

Trial Pit in Moor Cut
A team of engineers and specialist plant converged on Moor Cut recently to dig a trial pit to expose the twin foul mains that lie under the bed there. The aim was to confirm how deep the pipes lie and to prove the accuracy of the electronice survey techniques available. A huge suction excavator and pumps were needed to dig a c1.5m deep hole while the groundwater flooded in, but the pipes were eventually located where they have lain undisturbed for c30 years...!  
Budget Award

Following a public vote in this year's RBWM Participatory Budget we were delighted to be awarded £10,000 towards the Waterways project. Of the 769 residents who expressed a preference on how the discretionary Maidenhead budget should be allocated, 33% supported the Waterways.  We came second only to "Roads and pavements"..!! 

Funding SUCCESS

Our joint bid with RBWM for £1.6m of funding from the government's Growing Places scheme has been approved by the Thames Valley LEP, which manages the scheme in this area.  In conjunction with the Shanly Group's major plans for the Chapel Arches site, the funding is expected to enable a start on construction of the first stage of the waterway in Spring 2014 once the detailed design has been completed and our planning conditions cleared.   

Chapel Arches Plans APPROVED

The Maidenhead Development Control Panel has approved (8th August) the Shanly Group's major planning application for the Chapel Arche site through which the York Stream arm of the waterway runs.   After a set back with the aborted ING Triangle scheme, this now promises to deliver the first highly visible part of the Area Action Plan, in conjunction with the first section of the waterway itself.

We will now work with the developer to fully align our plans for the channel works and landscaping with the aim of synchronising the build to minimise abortive costs and avoid multiple channel dispruption.    

Detailed Design  Contract Placed

Following a competitive tender Golder Associates, supported by Peter Brett Associates, have been appointed to complete the Detailed Design for the consented waterway plans.  They will utilise outputs from the latest survey work to complete the channel and structures design and clear all planning conditions, to ready the project for implementation once funding allows.The current work is being funded by RBMW via earmarked S106 developer contributions.     

Growing Places Funding Decision due shortly

A full bid for £1.6m of funding from the government's Growing Places scheme has been submitted to the Thames Valley LEP, which manages the scheme in this area.  Due diligence has already been completed and we are anticipating a final decion on award in August. If approved, the funding will enable an early Stage 1 section of the waterway to commence build in 2014, acting as a catalyst for other major AAP developments.     

Chapel Arches Application Delayed

The Shanly Group's  planning application for the key Chapel Arches site has been modified and is out for re-consultation. To simplify matters with the Environment Agency it now assumes no change to the channels above or below Chapel Arches - the widening we seek is already agreed as part of our consent. The Shanly Group's application is now expected to be considered by the Developmemt Control Panel on 8th August. 

Surveys

MW has appointed Murphy SI and McNicholas Ltd to undertake Topographical and drainage surveys respectively of the Ring area. The Topo outputs will generate CAD drawings of the precise channel sections and bank designs at every point around the Ring. The Drainage surveys will map the pipe runs for the surface water outfalls that discharge into the channel, allowing these to be modelled and the necessary changes designed before the water level can be raised. The work is being funded by RBWM from S106 developer contributions earmarked for the project.

Chapel Arches

The Shanly Group's planning application for the Chapel Arches area is now likely to come before committee in  late June 2013. It seeks to complement the waterway plans, making the most of the enlarged waterside area for a range of mixed use (residential and commercial) developments, on all four corners of this historic location. We expect the developments to be a 'game-changing' step forward for the entire Area Action Plan, whilst also helping to fund the waterway project.

Area Action Plan Developers Day

AAP Developer DayHome Secretary and local MP Theresa May has fronted a major event for developers, property owners and potential AAP investors at Adobe’s new Maidenhead HQ.

Over 100 invited guests from national and local firms attended and the key role of the waterway project in the Maidenhead Area Action Plan was highlighted and endorsed by many of the speakers. MW had a stand at the event and attracted lots of interest from attendees.

View promotional video

Growing Places Funding Bid

RBWM has submitted an outline application (jointly developed with MW) to the government funded Growing Places Fund for £1.6m. The Fund is designed to facilitate wider commercial development by enabling key infrastructure improvements. The application has been well received and we have been invited to submit a full bid later in the year. If successful, the funding would enable the first part of the consented waterway Ring to be implemented in 2014, most likely in conjunction with the Shanly Group’s Chapel Arches plans, if the latter is itself consented (a decision is due in June).

Surveys Underway

Following a competitive tender process, managed for us by Golder Associates, specialist survey firm Murphy Surveys Ltd has completed a full topographical survey of the existing waterway channels. The outputs will detail the precise channel sections and bank profiles at every point of the 2.2Km long Ring, and inform the detailed design stage that follows. A contract has also been placed with McNicholas who are conducting an internal survey of the pipe runs for each of the surface water outfalls affected by our permanent raising of water levels.

A range of updated ecological surveys and enabling contracts are planned over the coming months, including for Bats, Badgers, Knotweed, Trees, Sewer modelling and the main Detailed Design contract. These are essential to clear our planning conditions and to ready the project for the possibility of a first stage implementation commencing in 2014. RBWM is again to fund this work from developer contributions held for the purpose.

PR Update

PR Update – A new Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn presence has been established and is being jointly managed by our PR group and local PR company Nobull Communications. If you are a social media user, please join the groups, become a follower and spread the word at…

 http://www.facebook.com/maidenheadwaterways      and       https://twitter.com/MheadWaterways.

A new Logo designed for us by David Boxell has now been selected and agreed by the Trustees. We are now launching the new logo as part of a wider PR initiative including this new style web site, courtesy of Nicky Luff.

Fishy Matters

The need for a fish survey at key points of York Stream, under discussion with Kings College London, has now been superseded as the Environment Agency has provided us with sufficient data of its own to support the design of the fish pass planned for Green Lane.

Cash Donation

We were delighted to be awarded £250 by Quintiles Commercial UK Ltd under this year’s QCares programme of grants for local community groups and charities. Our thanks go to member Adrienne O'Donohue who nominated MW for the award.