Fears for future of Slough park over canal-side housing development

A group of residents fear a proposed housing development near the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal could strip children of their freedom to play outdoors.

Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) and specialist waterside developer Waterside Places are working on plans to build up to 200 houses around the Slough canal basin, near Stoke Road.

The Stoke Wharf development covers Bowyer Recreation Ground, which nearby residents say is a vital outdoors community facility.

Penny Childs, who has lived close to the park for 32 years, said: “We have been told that they are planning to put up to 200 homes there and our understanding is they are going to take the park away and leave about one third of the space.

“My children grew up here and had the freedom of that park and this development will just take that freedom away.

“The council is meant to be saving open green spaces but this is certainly not saving them.”

The partnership behind the plan says it will help meet local housing needs, create new public connections, including cycleways, and improve the environment around the canal.

Andy Howell, general manager at Slough Urban Renewal, said: “Our proposals will remove the derelict industrial sheds on site, deliver much-needed new high-quality homes for the local community, open up the waterway connecting the nearby recreation grounds to the canal and improve Bowyer Recreation Ground.

“We will modernise the recreational grounds with improvements that will create a safer and better connected park.”

A series of public consultations on the development are due to start next month where residents will be able to give their feedback on the proposals.

The first will be held at the Slough Canal Festival, taking place at Bloom Park, Middleton Road, on the weekend of September 7 and 8.

Mr Howell added: “As part of our consultation process we would welcome thoughts from local residents regarding the improvements they would like to see in their area.”

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