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Council raises housing supply fears following sale of landmark Slough factory

An opposition councillor fears a dent has been made in Slough’s transformation plans following the sale of the AkzoNobel site.

Pannattoni, Europe’s largest industrial and logistics developer, has bought the former ICI paintworks site, in Wexham Road, for an undisclosed sum.

The company said it plans to build ‘a number of high quality industrial and logistics units’, dashing any hopes that it could be redeveloped to meet the town’s housing need.

The site had previously been identified by Slough Borough Council (SBC) as suitable for up to 1,400 homes.

Tony Watkins, Pannattoni’s development director, said: “Slough is going through a significant period of growth and there is an acute lack of space for commercial occupiers.

“There is now very limited opportunity for expansion in the Slough Trading Estate and we have already been approached by a number of parties looking to move.”

The site is located two miles east of the trading estate which is home to multinational companies including Mars, Telefonica O2 and Ferrari.

Cllr Wayne Strutton (Con, Haymill and Lynch Hill) said he feared the council’s failure to acquire the AkzoNobel site could derail its housing plans. The council’s Local Plan objective is to build 912 homes in the borough per year.

Cllr Strutton said: “The old adage of ‘you snooze you lose’ comes to mind.

“That development (AkzoNobel) was supposed to play a major part in the transformation of the town.

“The question that I ask is how much of a dent will this put into the billion pound transformation of the town?”

A spokeswoman for the council said they were ‘extremely disappointed’ about the proposals as it would have been a ‘prime housing site’ which is ‘desperately needed’ in Slough.

She said: “We are very concerned about the impact a proposal for a distribution centre and warehousing on this site would have on the local residential population but more the impact on the roads and air quality.

“Obviously any development would require planning permission and we are in discussions with the company who owns the site about our concerns.”

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M4 closures this weekend

The motorway will be out of action from junction 6 for Slough and 8/9, Maidenhead from 8pm tomorrow night (Friday), until 6am Monday.