Press Release Archive:
Plans for Paper Mill and Skindles unveiled (November 2008)
A smart new hotel with riverside walks, “live/work” units, boat basins, executive housing, a tennis club and apartments are among the proposals being lined up for the Skindles and Paper Mill site in Taplow.
Society members and residents turned out in good numbers at Glen Island House for an exhibition of the developers’ plans last month.
The reaction was generally pretty positive that at last something was being done to improve the site but there was concern at the extent of the planned development in the flood plain.
The ideas set out by planning agents Hunter Page for the 45-acre site include:

 

A “stunning” new 120-bedroomed hotel replacing Skindles at this important gateway site.

 

A new riverside footpath by the hotel, linking Mill Lane to the Thames Path

 

Relocating the junction of Mill Lane/Bath Road to the east of the VW garage.

 

A new tennis club to the rear of the car dealership.

 

A series of “live/work” units on the old Severnside recycling site in which each dwelling has its own office or workspace, suitable for artisans or home business.

 

Retaining the existing boatyard with some new building.

 

Developing existing inlets into small marinas with waterfront housing.

 

Refurbishing Dunloe Lodge, Mill House and Glen Island House for various possibilities which include an hotel, a care home and a restaurant, as well as private housing.

 

A line of five apartment blocks replacing the old mill shed alongside the Mill Leat.

New public footpaths giving access to the northern part of the site.

The proposals are exciting but, as they stand, almost certainly constitute over-development. A Taplow resident at the exhibition was worried that having got rid of the lorry traffic, with all the proposed dwellings there would now be lots of cars. But overall he felt the proposals were good news.
Val Mason, a society member and flood expert with the River Thames Society, said: “They are proposing housing in an area which is a functional flood plain and should never be built on. We have stressed the high flood risk to them in meetings and it’s disappointing that they’ve not taken note of these concerns.”
Paul Fong of Hunter Page said: “One inlet provides an exciting opportunity, hopefully, to try and get a solution to development in the flood plain.” But he admitted that the idea, involving chalet houses on stilts, was contentious and may not succeed.
However, he also said there had been discussions with local residents about a footbridge link to the site from Boulters Island, although this was not shown on the plans. The Society’s Ann Darracott said she was very interested in this proposal. “It could enhance one of our project aims which is to improve recreational walking in the area.”
It’s plain that residents and interested parties will need to keep an eye on developments and members’ views would be welcome. If you have any comments on the proposals or what you would like to see, please send them to Bob Dulson at bob.dulson@btinternet.com.