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Plans for old BHS site in Slough High Street get go-ahead

Councillors approved the redevelopment of the former BHS site in the High Street at the second time of asking this week.

A decision over whether to convert the empty department store into a complex including 82 homes was postponed in July due to concerns over the height of the development and the lack of affordable housing.

Revised plans were put to the council’s planning committee on Wednesday, featuring three blocks – one 11 storeys high, one five storeys and one four storeys – incorporating 78 one-bed and two-bed homes, retail space at ground level and office space or a gym on one of the first floors.

A total of 12 per cent affordable housing is included, which falls below the council’s target of 30 to 40 per cent for any development of more than 15 homes.

Jan Donovan, representing applicant WMC Slough Ltd, said: “This is an important site for the centre of Slough High Street and the scheme has been amended following the comments of the council and local residents.

“We believe the scheme will bring significant benefits to Slough and is an opportunity to kickstart the investment within the centre of the High Street.”

Cllr Pavitar Mann (Lab, Britwell and Northborough) said: “I’m never going to sit here and say I’m happy with a 12 per cent contribution but I am pleased to see it is an increase from where we were with the previous scheme.”

Councillors voted to approve the redevelopment, subject to a Section 106 agreement being made between the council and the applicant.

W The committee also heard from developer Panattoni about its plans for the old paintworks site in Wexham Road.

Tony Watkins, Pana-ttoni’s development director, told the meeting that the company anti-cipated it could spend between £5-6 million decontaminating part of the site.

He said: “The site has well over 100 years of use of heavy manufacturing of varnishes, paints and other solvents.

“What has been used in the past there is definitely in some ways toxic but it’s all based on carbon-based contamination, which means it can be treated.”  

Panattoni hope to submit a planning application later this year for the development.

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