05:14PM, Thursday 11 February 2021
A 312-home development by the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal has been given the green light by councillors.
The £68 million scheme will predominantly feature apartment blocks, ranging from two to eight storeys, built on land surrounding the end of canal near Stoke Road.
Slough Urban Renewal, a joint venture between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments, is delivering the project alongside Waterside Places.
Katy Walker, senior development manager for the project, told members of the council’s planning committee on Wednesday the scheme will provide the opportunity to rejuvenate the site after 30 years of waiting.
She said: “This site was first promoted for redevelopment in the Local Plan in 1992, some 30 years ago.
“The scheme before you is the culmination of years of land assembly and partnership working to turn an unsightly, brownfield industrial site into something positive.
“We understand and acknowledge this scheme represents a significant step change and change of this scale can be daunting.
“But it also represents an exciting opportunity to finally, after 30 years, celebrate Slough’s canal-side setting and provide something really special.”
The multi-million pound project has faced opposition from nearby residents who fear the high-rise apartment blocks will encroach on residents’ privacy.
Objector Rav Jagdev told the meeting: “It will have a significant impact on the character of the area by turning it into a high-rise city centre from a low-rise residential area.”
She said the development will ‘destroy’ nearby open space by swallowing up part of Bowyer Recreation Ground.
Ms Jagdev added the scheme will see more than 1,000 people added to an area which is already ‘congested and condensed’.
The affordable housing proposed on the site was originally 15.4 per cent but the meeting heard how this offer has now been increased to 20.5 per cent.
This still falls below the council’s aim for developments featuring more than 15 properties.
Councillor Christine Hume (Lab, Central) said: “I am disappointed that we can’t get more social housing as we do have a policy of 30 per cent.”
Only 144 car parking spaces are proposed for the site with a controlled parking zone planned.
Members of the planning committee voted in favour of the development, with Conservative councillor Dexter Smith opposing.
The scheme could yet be called-in by the Government to assess the application before construction begins.
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