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Residents slam 'underhanded' council plans to demolish garages

Frustrated residents are taking a stand against Slough Borough Council (SBC) plans to demolish a block of garages in Grampian Way.

A collection of eight council owned garages at the bottom of Grampian Way are due to be demolished to make way for new three family sized council homes.

“I know that the council have the right to take back garages, but to me they’ve done this underhanded,” said Patrick Corcoran, who lives in Grampian Way.

The 64-year-old, who has a range of health issues, added: “If push comes to shove I’m going to sit in my car. I will refuse to take my tablets, I will just sit in my car.”

He questioned why the garage site was referred to as a ‘disused’ garage site in Cheviot Road in the council’s Citizen publication.

SBC says this reference was mistakenly used from other garage sites identified for re-development and apologised for the confusion.

A council notice pinned outside the garages says the units have been recorded as ‘unoccupied’, but residents have shown the Express their belongings inside.

The council has offered replacement garages further up the road but many of the garage’s owners are elderly and have long-term illnesses and mobility issues.

The move would also mean the replacement garages could not be seen from the residents’ flats, prompting security concerns.

The Express has seen a resident’s video of the current garage site showing slow worms, a protected species which are illegal to kill or harm.

SBC cabinet member for corporate finance and housing Cllr Mohammed Nazir (Lab, Baylis and Stoke) said: “Slough is one of the smallest unitary authorities in the UK, and our growing population and attractive location have led to a significant demand for more housing in the borough.”

The council said a planning application was submitted in July 2017 and says residents of 17 nearby properties were notified.

SBC’s planning committee considered five objection letters and a petition sent by residents but approved the plans in September last year.

“While we are sympathetic to the particular needs and circumstances of the people who rent these garages from us, we don’t have a statutory duty to provide garages or storage for residents,” SBC’s housing department said.

The council says an ecological survey submitted with the planning application in 2017 showed there would not be any significant impact.

However, after residents showed council housing officers a video of slow worms, a second survey was conducted on Tuesday.

The council is waiting for the results and says it will take ‘appropriate action’ depending on results.

Due to delays, residents have been given until the Monday, February 25 to move to their new garages.

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