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Affordable housing proposals for Slough Canal Basin development 'unacceptable'

The amount of affordable housing proposed at a development around the Slough Canal Basin has been described as ‘unacceptable’.

The Stoke Wharf project includes plans to build 312 homes by the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal, near Stoke Road.

But the development, which is a joint venture between Slough Urban Renewal and Waterside Places, currently offers just 15 per cent affordable housing, half the council’s target for schemes of more than 15 properties.

The planning committee was given a pre-application presentation for the scheme on Wednesday.

Cllr Pavitar Mann (Lab, Britwell and Northborough) told the meeting that she welcomed the ambition and quality of the scheme but could not accept the shortage of affordable homes.

She said “I’m sitting here as a planning committee member and it would be remiss for me not to point out the level of affordable housing and frankly how unacceptable that is, particularly given the council are partners in this.

“I absolutely welcome the ambition of what this scheme is trying to achieve but I would not be able to support that level of affordable housing, it’s not acceptable.”

The scheme could see 10 buildings, ranging from two to eight storeys, built at the site, with nearly 5,000sqm of land at Bowyer Recreation Ground being swallowed up by the development.

It also plans to provide new moorings and pumping stations for canal boats, with 144 car parking spaces made available for residents.

Councillor Dexter Smith (Con, Colnbrook with Poyle) told the meeting public green space should not be lost due to the demands of a council-led development.

He added: “There is nothing around apart from this and it’s shrinking.

“Once it’s gone it’s gone.”

Katy Walker, development director at Slough Urban Renewal, told the meeting the current level of affordable housing was not ‘ideal’ but said efforts would be made to secure funding to increase these levels by the time a planning application is submitted.

Jake Snell, also working on the project, said he hoped the development would revitalise a neglected area of Slough and transform the waterways into a ‘thriving leisure destination’.

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