Working with the Community

Over the last 12 months, the design of Nicholson Quarter has been informed and evolved through consultation with local community and stakeholders including a Community Planning Weekend, meetings, presentations and exhibitions. 

The design has developed significantly taking on board comments raised along the way. The scheme seeks to improve the quality of life and accommodation provided by creating buildings focused around public and communal amenity space. This will engender a strong sense of community throughout the scheme and integrate it within the area.

“We want to understand from the people of Maidenhead what they want.”

(Rob Tincknell, Areli Real Estate)

A Community Planning Weekend (CPW) was held in March 2019, where the Vision masterplan was developed through a collaborative design process. A set of principles were captured by the public which have continuously informed design decisions throughout the iterative process.

Over 500 people took part in the CPW, which provided an opportunity for local people to share local knowledge and help shape the future plans for the area through workshops, walkabouts and hands-on planning (HoP) groups. Then in October 2019, over 1,000 people took part in the Community Update Exhibition.

One-off opportunity to “uplift” the town centre

Transform the town centre into a vibrant, mixed use destination.

“How often do you get a chance to change the entire town centre? This is a once in a century opportunity.”

“Make it a one stop shop - work, live, shop, enjoy.”

Mixed uses

Include a broad range of housing,
workspace, creative, cultural and
community uses.

Be bold and create a new heart

A new town centre “quarter” with a rich mix
of uses, with a new public square creating a
new heart for the town and re-establishing a
thriving day and evening economy.

“We need something thought-provoking and architecturally controversial to put Maidenhead on the map.”

“A critical mass of interesting shops will attract more customers.”

Create a new town centre retail experience

Varied and independent shops and other
complementary uses that offer “an
experience”.

Provide for arts, culture and leisure

There are limited spaces for classes, studios
and exhibitions and new facilities should be
provided in the town centre.

“Draw in arts and culture, make it a place where small groups can hire a space, join an art class, display their work, have a coffee, be inspired!”

“I appreciate the neediest members of our society are not seen as ‘glamorous’ but providing services for them is essential to a healthy town.”

Community focus and inclusivity

Design around accessibility, empowerment
and equity with affordable places to
socialise within the new development.

Spaces for young people

Create ‘a reason’ to come into the centre of
Maidenhead with safe spaces to “hang out”
and spaces for young people to make their own.

“Don’t stereotype young people - we want to be part of the community.”

“We are sitting in an opportunity area – we must connect things up.”

Connectivity and parking

Improved pedestrian and cycle connections
should be explored, together with sustainable
modes of travel. Relocate existing parking
provision to a less visually dominant part of the
site with the Broadway made two way.

Blue and Green Maidenhead

Protect the rural hinterland by providing
higher density buildings in the centre.
Encourage biodiversity, provide vertical
greening and respond to the town’s
proximity to existing waterways.

“A leafy space would be nice, a place where we are proud to spend time.”

“There must be a fair process - where all groups can have their say.”

Next steps

Ensure ongoing consultation with all sections of
the community. Early wins, “meanwhile uses”
and temporary installations should be
encouraged.