Camm's house renovated
New windows, renovated
roof, redecorated throughout, new paling fence. A comfortable
home once more! Forum comment and more pictures here
to be lived in once more
The terrace of
houses left empty for six years
Royal Borough Press Release
Saved In New Affordable Housing Scheme
27 February 2004
Nine empty Victorian houses in Windsor
- including the former home of aviation inventor and designer
Sir Sidney Camm - are set for a new lease of life, thanks to
a Royal Borough partnership initiative with Airways Housing Group.
The houses at Arthur Road and Alma Road
will be transformed into much-needed affordable homes which will
be let to people nominated by the council.
The initiative, agreed by a recent cabinet
meeting, means that the council-owned properties at 83 - 87 Arthur
Road and 2 - 12 Alma Road will be leased to Airways Housing Society,
who will carry out the renovation works.
Cllr Mary Rose Gliksten, lead member for
Windsor town centre, said she was delighted by this very positive
She said: "The future of these
houses has been the subject of much debate over the past few
years and I feel this initiative will be good for everyone concerned.
It will mean a new source of affordable housing available for
local people and it retains 10 Alma Road, which was the home
of Sir Sidney Camm and which many residents want to see retained
as a significant part of Windsor's heritage."
Steve Coggins, development director for
Airways Housing Group, said: "We are delighted to be working
in partnership with the Royal Borough on this exciting project.
Not only are we able to provide much-needed housing for the local
community we are also preserving an important part of Windsor's
local history. We are hoping to start the refurbishment
during April this year and anticipate completing the work by
late summer 2004."
See The Windsor Forum for
the latest comment
Lib Dem Council
Scrap Car Park Development Plans
The area that would
have been affected by the proposed three storey car park
The newly elected Liberal
Democrat Borough council have announced that they will scrap
plans to extend parking at Alexandra Gardens by adding two decks
to the existing surface car park. The prime reason for this was
that the only access would have been at the junction of Alma
Road and Arthur Road. This was unacceptable. The plans also included
the closure of Barry Avenue, the removal of the current parking
spaces there, and the transformation of that entire length of
roadway to a pedestrian area.
Major Changes after Consultation
Anger Local Residents
Single storey and 100
car parking spaces becomes 540 spaces and three storeys
In January 2002 The Royal
Borough published a Draft Development Brief for the area around
Alma Road and Alexandra Gardens following a vociferous and successful
public campaign against a 502 space multi-storey car park to
the rear of 51-87 Arthur Road, and the destruction of a row of
terraced houses that included Sydney and Fred Camm's boyhood
home. These plans were withdrawn on 31st March 1999
In the subsequently
published colour leaflet on the subject in March 2002, (the snappily
the Riverside Alexandra Gardens and Alma Road for Windsor"), the proposed parking changes
were described as being a "new parking deck
over part of the surface car park at Alexandra
Gardens". Note the description, 'deck' and 'part'. The current
car park area was highlighted in pink and captioned "Indicative zone of replacement
'replacement parking' NOT "substantially increased
parking". The leaflet went on to say "Great care will
be taken to retain the railway arches, to ensure that the design
is totally in keeping with the distinctive character of the area
and does not exceed the height of the viaduct... Government guidelines
currently indicate that the council cannot increase parking in
It was this document,
and these reassurances, that local residents were invited to
comment upon and, claim the Borough, supported. It is patently
obvious to us that this was a total misrepresentation of the
plans that the borough actually had, or, major changes to the
plan have been made since, and no consultation of any kind has
" Congestion in Arthur
Road is now so severe that tail-backs to the relief road and
even the M4 are now commonplace. Any addition to the number of
car parking spaces in the town centre will further exacerbate
the situation to an intolerable level. RBWM accept this, as stated
in The Town Plan, Page 6.11, para 6.6.18, "At present, most traffic entering Windsor
does so via Arthur Road, Clarence Road or Alma Road from the
Windsor and Eton Relief Road. In terms of environmental capacity,
all these routes are reaching saturation. In order to relieve
these roads and also the central area from long-stay traffic,
an alternative to parking provision within the town needs to
Yet in January 2003 a three
storey car park is in the offing using precisely the same access
roads that were previously dismissed as being at saturation point.
January 24th 2003
Local papers report claims
The Observer this week
has reported that a three-tier, 540 space, multi-storey car park
is planned to replace the spaces currently available at Alma
Road/Alexandra Gardens. Tory councillor Peter Spooner presented
the proposals at a recent planning meeting as part of plans for
the area around Alexandra Gardens, which includes the pedestrianisation
of Barry Avenue, the removal of parking there, and the closure
of the access road to the present car park. The effect will be
to force all traffic to use the Alma Road, Arthur Road junction
which is already heavily overloaded by traffic to and from Windsor
Dials, King Edward Court and Victoria Street car parks and the
adjacent coach park. Cllr. Spooner claims that "major consultation
has been carried out."
We would like to
make it clear that NO CONSULTATION was undertaken for this aspect
of the scheme, and any claims that the local residents would
support Cllr. Spooner's proposals is a total distortion of the
Back to Top
"...no mention of the fact that ...
they would be getting a huge 540 space three-storey car park"
With reference to your ongoing feature on this topic, I wish
to express my concern and dismay at the inevitability of the
Alexander Gardens/Alma Road development in Windsor. I have seen
the council's recent statement outlining the final development
package submitted for Cabinet approval and I think all Windsor
residents should reflect on what is being proposed and how its
If one studies the responses to the Alexander/Alma
Road consultation, one will find that nearly everyone wanted
improvements to Alexandra Gardens but when it came to a new car
park and the building of flats on Alma Road, concerns were raised
from all sides of the community. This key factor seems to have
been conveniently overlooked in formulating the final proposal.
There appears to be a dangerous culture creeping into the Council
which implies "We've done a consultation so everything is
I believe that people have been misled, with this
innocent type of the preliminary consultation. It made no mention
of the fact that by going along with signing up to the improvements
to Alexander Gardens, they would be getting a huge 540 space
three-storey car park, plus 64 housing units with residents parking.
I think this exposes the consultation as a sham.
It is important to ensure that the residents of Windsor
know exactly what is being proposed - apart from the modifications
to Alexander Gardens, the Council plan to build a massive multi-storey
car park, situated so close to the Brunel Arches it will spoil
their architectural presence. Access to and from the new car
park will be through the single archway in the railway viaduct
on Alma Road/Arthur Road, which is shared with coaches, using
the coach park. As for the 64 flats, they present the highest
density possible in an area which is already probably the most
densely populated in the Royal Borough - again with its on-site
resident parking area which will also add more traffic movements
in and out of the same access junction. With all this added traffic,
the existing road system will not cope - it cannot cope as it
is! There are genuine fears that Windsor will become gridlocked.
Another unacceptable attitude of the Council is its
refusal to involve our elected Ward Councillors when significant
changes are being proposed in their Ward. I have tried to seek
further information from my Ward Councillor, only to be told
that they do not know - they only kept abreast of the situation
when it suits the council!
The Alexander Garden plan as proposed, is neither
viable nor a practical solution for the town. If the council
persist with the cavalier approach to planning by ignoring essential
facts and the underlying concerns of residents then this development,
like others in Windsor will inevitably have a detrimental effect
on the town's ability to address the needs of the local community.
Alma Road Resident
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An exchange of emails
with Cllr. Keith Evans
From Keith Evans
I see the proposed multi-storey
car park in Alexandra Gardens is causing concern amongst residents.
I understand the confusion as to the size and capacity of the
structure and the fear of congestion this will bring.
However, nothing has yet been decided as to the detail,
only a schematic drawing, produced for a parking forum meeting
at the end of last year, which showed the maximum capacity the
car park could be, a 3 storey, 540 space facility.
In actual fact the eventual design, by law,
must not provide a net gain in parking, simply replace the spaces
lost in the closure of Barry Avenue and the existing surface
car park in Alma Road. That is why the previous multi-storey
car park in Alma Road, proposed by the Lib. Dems. fell through,
it was intended to provide some 500 spaces.
This means it can only have a maximum overall capacity
of 350 spaces, which includes the existing 150 spaces in Alexandra
Gardens at the present time. The net increase of 200 spaces come
from 80 in Barry Avenue and 120 on the surface car park.
The height of the structure itself will not be above
the railway viaduct, even if 3 storey, so views of it will not
The proposal, once it is finalised, will have to
go through the normal planning process and therefore, as required
by law, will have to allow additional local comment.
In the meantime, the Borough will be sending out
a detailed consultation document to get feedback from local
residents. The original consultation, amongst other things, was
for opinion in principle to building additional decks and gave
reason as replacing the surface car park and Barry Avenue spaces,
no actual detail was offered.
I hope that helps alleviate any fears residents may
have, at least people should know the idea is not a "done
deal" and is still very much open to public opinion.
From Editor, Thamesweb
Many thanks for the clarification.
I assume that cars, when parked on the top level of the car park,
will be below the level of the arches as the track descends towards
the river crossing. Also, I hear rumours that Barry Avenue could
be reopened through the arches to provide access to the car park.
A lot of us would also like to know where we are at with Park
From Keith Evans
I am told the only visible
part will be the lift tower. It will be situated more towards
the town end of the arches so there will be the advantage of
Barry Avenue could be a possible entrance. It is
part of the ongoing discussion with the Borough engineers now.
The Park and Ride is still planned and more work
has been done on this in the last 2 years than ever before.
Problem is that it will be situated on Slough Council
land meaning there has had to be a lengthy round of discussions,
they had an election last year which stalled things.
There is no chance that the Alexandra Gardens car
park will exclude the option for a Park and Ride scheme as all
that is happening is a combining of three different areas of
existing spaces into one, no net gain. Anyone suggesting otherwise
is up for election in 2 months, and as I said more has been done
in 2 years, than 10 of a previous Council body, who now seem
to think it is a good idea!
From Editor, Thamesweb
I personally do not consider
the Park and Ride Scheme to be much of a solution, motorists
being what they are. I was going to check how well used the Legoland
scheme was - but then it got suspended until the end of March!
For office and shop workers, the concept of parking some distance
from their destination and waiting for a bus to take them into
town and back again, whilst marooning them from their cars throughout
the day, is not appealing, especially as the waiting and travel
time could add 40 minutes (20 minutes each way, each day) or
For shoppers the facility is probably a total non-starter too,
unless they are going into town to buy a pencil sharpener! The
prospect of struggling on and off a bus, plus additional walking
and waiting, with their various bags and boxes precludes the
use of the service, except by the most hardy. If I want to go
to Waitrose, I use Sunningdale (or is it Sunninghill - never
could remember) because I can park outside their door! Dragging
loads of bags on and off a bus, after a lengthy wait in all weathers
just does not appeal to me.
Tourists could possibly be tempted to use Park and Ride if the
'ride' element into the town centre was enticing, Walt Disney
style, where visitors seem perfectly happy to be parked in the
next state, when given a 'fun ride' into Disneyland.
Park and Ride will not solve the problem caused by those who
seek free parking in the Green Lane, York Avenue, York Road area
and elsewhere on the outskirts, even parking on both sides of
a sharp bend, and on double yellow lines. I am aware that the
police have one or two other things on their minds at the moment,
but surely the odd blitz on illegal parking could be arranged
just once or twice??
I trust that the consideration of opening up Barry Avenue does
not include the wrecking of the existing arches a la Alma Road.
That would be vandalism! Access to Barry Avenue via Vansittart
Road is certainly a non-starter, so that leaves the circuitous
route past the Leisure Centre - and anyway the route does nothing
to alleviate traffic in Arthur Road.
There is nothing for it... Ma'am is going to have to give permission
for a discrete parking area in Frogmore!
On the subject of the local elections, we are planning a section
devoted to it. I see we will have mobile voting booths outside
train stations, etc... I must do a cartoon of a frustrated voter
running down the street waving his pencil having just missed
From Keith Evans
Park and Ride will have
a novel method of getting into town, by train. Not quite Disney
but certainly not Mickey Mouse!
My belief is that this will only be attractive to
day visitors who come by car, and a few workers, (as the train
will bring them right into the centre of town and be more reliable
than a bus in traffic), and that's it. Not a waste of time and
money but only a part of the whole solution. That is why the
effort to improve the parking has been done in 3 stages.
Park and Ride at Legoland is a useless facility for
workers not just because of the hassle it brings but simply because
it doesn't have a bus service until 10am and finishes at something
like 5pm! Ridiculous and it appears to be out of the borough's
Our thanks to Cllr. Keith
Evans for his time in putting his point of view and clarifications.
Back to Top
New Plans announced
for Sir Sydney Camm's House,
Car Parks, Barry Avenue and Alexandra Gardens
In March 2002 Windsor and Maidenhead Borough
Council announced plans to improve the area around the northern
end of Alma Road and the adjacent car parks together with improvements
to Alexandra Gardens, Barry Avenue and the riverside promenade.
The plans stem from a successful campaign mounted by local residents
in the summer of 1999 to halt the proposals being put forward
at the time. These plans included the demolition of the terraced
houses pictured above, which included the birthplace and childhood
home of one of our most innovative aircraft engineers, Sir Sydney
Camm, designer of the Hurricane aircraft amongst a number of
others. The plans provided for the construction of a large roundabout
and access roads plus a car park for some 500 vehicles. For local
residents the project was totally unacceptable and a campaign
was launched to oppose them. The matter caught the attention
of the national press and even generated a letter from an amazed
former Luftwaffe pilot in Austria! The full story is available
The revised plans retain the terraced homes
in the immediate area, with additional parking provision and
low-cost housing, plus a major refurbishment of the riverside
in this part of Windsor. Car parking provision is retained at
a similar level although the plans include the pedestrianisation
of Barry Avenue with the loss of approximately 100 parking spaces.
These spaces are to be replaced by additional parking on a new,
second parking deck above the existing car park adjacent to Alexandra
Form was published by Windsor and Maidenhead
Borough Council outlining the plans and inviting comment. These
leaflets are available from York House, Sheet Street, Windsor.
This leaflet, plus a draft development brief may also be downloaded
from The Royal Borough Consultation Area
An Exhibition featuring the proposed changes was held at the
following locations around Windsor.
|14th - 17th
Centre, Stovell Road
|18th - 22nd
|25th - 28th
|2nd - 5th
The consultation report showing support
for the plan was published by the Royal Borough in May 2002 and
is reproduced below.
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Consultation Backs Windsor
and Alma Road Schemes
Tuesday, 21 May 2002
Windsor people have given their overall backing to the Royal
Borough's plans to improve the important Riverside area of the
town and for an innovative housing scheme at Alma Road.
A report to cabinet, meeting on
Thursday evening (May 23), highlights the results of the recent
six-week public consultation, which Cllr. Peter Spooner described
as "welcome and far-sighted approval" for the innovative
and ambitious initiative.
The lead member for capital assets
and strategic infrastructure said: "These plans will enable
us to make the most of one of Windsor's most popular assets
the riverside area of the Thames. At the same time they give
us a unique opportunity to provide much-needed
town centre housing, including affordable housing, at Alma Road.
Historians are also happy that we have been able to retain the
former home of Sir Sidney Camm.
"The consultation attracted
considerable local interest and I am delighted that so many people
have given their approval for these far-sighted and exciting
223 responses received
Riverside 63% of respondents in favour
of closing Barry Avenue to traffic to enable the riverside gardens
to be extended to the river's edge, with improvements and landscaping;
77% agreed to proposed safety improvements.
Alma Road 81% in favour of refurbishing the existing properties
at Alma Road, including the Sir Sidney Camm house; 58% in favour
of using the car park for new homes.
Alexandra car park 62% agreed with the proposal for appropriately
designed decked parking to replace the space lost at Alma Road.
The consultation also showed that, while
54% of respondents agree a modified Alma Road/Arthur Road junction
will provide adequate access to the new homes and the car park,
there is still some local concern.
Cllr Spooner said: "We appreciate
some people are worried that the junction will not have the capacity
to cope with additional traffic they feel will be generated by
the new homes - so we will be carrying out further work on this
aspect of the project to minimise any potential
effects on the roads in the area."
Following the consultation, cabinet
will now be asked to approve the development brief for Alma Road,
maintaining parking for residents and access to the Windsor Dials
car park, which is used by members of the public at weekends.
Members will also be asked to
agree that detailed designs and estimates be prepared for Windsor
Riverside and Alexandra Gardens car park, with a further report
to cabinet before a planning application is submitted later in
Back to Top
Progress and Next Steps
on Agenda for User Forum
Monday, 18 November 2002
Progress on the Royal Borough's Windsor
parking strategy - and what happens next - are on the agenda
for next week's user forum (Monday November 25).
Chaired by lead member Cllr Peter Spooner, the meeting
will give an up-date on the recently-introduced on-street parking
arrangements and council enforcement, and look forward to the
introduction of variable message signs which will give drivers
real time information about the availability of car park spaces.
Also on the agenda are the plans for extending
Alexandra Gardens car park, in conjunction with improvements
to Windsor Riverside, and the creation of additional spaces at
the Home Park park and ride facility. There will also be a progress
report on the council's long-term plans for a park and ride at
junction 6 of the M4 motorway.
Cllr Spooner issued a warm welcome to local
people to come along and hear the discussions about these important
He said: "The aim of the forum is to look
at the issues, initiate discussion and generate ideas which we
can investigate to see if they are feasible and then bring forward
formal proposals for consultation.
"Finding solutions to Windsor's congestion
and parking problems is a council priority and, with constructive
help from the local community, we have made a great deal of progress
so far. The variable message signs will be another important
step forward when they are introduced in January and now we want
to look further ahead to make even more improvements which will
be of benefit to the entire community.
"The council remains firmly committed
to our long-term plan for a park and ride at junction 6 and we
are having on-going discussions with Slough Borough Council to
The user forum took place on Monday November
25 in Windsor Boys' School, Maidenhead Road.