RESIDENTS fear developers may return to converting a well-loved hotel into flats after fresh refurbishment plans were submitted.

Wingrove Properties Limited wants to give the Thames Riviera Hotel, in Bridge Road, Maidenhead, a ‘much-needed’ makeover to make it a ‘gem on the Thames’.

The site is situated along the banks of the River Thames, next to the Grade I-listed Maidenhead Bridge.

Some of the works include replacing a few of the ground-floor windows with bi-fold doors, removing tinder spindles and replacing with a new glazed balustrade, new doors, and more.

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While some welcomed the new refurbishment plans, others were suspicious that the developers could be revisiting previous plans to convert the hotel into flats following a quashed appeal.

Residents had a taste of victory last September when an appeal by developers to convert the hotel into 15 apartments – and demolishing an annexe to build 11 more – was thrown out by an inspector.

Where the hotel is located

Where the hotel is located

Councillor Gurch Singh (Lib Dem: St Mary’s), who campaigned against the flats, told the Observer he’s received emails and calls from concerned residents about the plans.

He said he has spoken to the general manager and was reassured they have no plans to convert the Thames Riviera Hotel into apartments.

According to Cllr Singh, the owners, Galleon Hotels, are looking at investing around £2 million to revamp the well-loved hotel and are hoping to reopen the refurbished establishment around November.

He said: “They started with the Waterside Lodge at the back and started stripping that out. They want to turn it into its former glory and a real gem on the Thames.”

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The eastern elevation

The eastern elevation

Cllr Singh added: “This is going to be hugely positive for Maidenhead because there’s going to be wedding venues and conferencing.

“It’s going to be a fantastic venue on the riverside and we haven’t got one in Maidenhead at the moment and I’m fully supportive of it.”

A webinar or an online consultation could be launched with the hotel to hear residents’ concerns and dispel any misconceptions on the refurbishment plans.