DEVELOPMENT rumours have triggered council chiefs to clarify they have “no plans” to develop Alexandra Gardens and Baths Island.

Whispers began spreading after Barbara Richardson, managing director of RBWM’s Property Company, revealed small details of plans on regenerating the Alexandra Garden’s coach and car park along with Baths Island in Windsor at a Maidenhead Town Forum.

Following development fears on the open spaces, this triggered the chief executive Duncan Sharkey and the leader of the council Andrew Johnson (Con: Hurley & Walthams) to ease worries by revealing they currently have “no plans” to redevelop the coach, park, and the nearby Alma car park.

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Alexandra Gardens and Baths Island are also safe from development beyond enhancements to the open space areas, such as new litter bins or planting.

Cllr Johnson categorically said, as long as he is leader, there will be no developments at all at Baths Island.

He said: “The only way there would be development on Baths Island is if literally the good folk of Windsor were banging on my door begging me to do it.

“Apart from those circumstances, which I concede would be very, very rare I think, there will be no development on Baths Island.”

On the redevelopment of the coach and car park and Alma car park, Mr Sharkey said the project has been ‘paused’ and has nothing to do with Alexandra Gardens.

Duncan Sharkey

Duncan Sharkey

The chief executive said the coach and car parks have been identified in an asset management plan where the council could get “more value” from those sites providing they can relocate or better use the existing site.

The council did commission consultants to undertake a low-level key stakeholder consultation in 2018/19 – but cabinet at that time decided to engage with a partner to see what was possible for the site and then consult with residents to see what was needed for the long-term in Windsor to bring forward a scheme.

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Cllr Amy Tisi (Lib Dem: Clewer East) asked if important announcements or information on Windsor can be told at a Windsor Town Forum rather than in a Maidenhead one, saying this was briefed at the “wrong forum”.

Mr Sharkey agreed to this, saying Windsor issues or plans should be discussed at the Windsor Town Forum.

The meeting took place at a Windsor Town Forum on Wednesday, May 26.