05:00PM, Thursday 27 May 2021
The JD Sports and Poundland stores in Slough High Street look set to be replaced with a 63-flat complex despite the developer offering no affordable housing.
Applicant Slough Property 2 Limited saw its plans for 45 one-bed, 15 two-bed and a trio of three-bed properties approved by the council’s planning committee on Wednesday.
The town centre scheme will also include two smaller ground-floor shops and a rooftop terrace but councillors were told no social housing or financial contributions could be offered as this would see the project delivered at a loss.
Planning director Lotte Hirst, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said: “Slough’s High Street has a lot of potential but it needs investment.”
“This scheme will deliver both immediate and long-term benefits.
“In the short-term the development will stimulate investment, create jobs and increase footfall to help the town’s resilience and make it a vibrant place for people to live, work and socialise.
“Long-term the scheme will create a positive architectural legacy on this part of the High Street and contribute £270,000 per year through council tax and business rates.”
Newly-elected Conservative councillor for Langley Kedermister, Chandra Muvvala, spoke out against the scheme, which failed to meet the council’s target of 30 per cent affordable housing provision.
He said: “The community is not getting any benefit from this development other than people who can afford to buy.
“There’s no affordable housing and we are not getting any financial contributions other than the council tax and business rates, is that right?”
Labour councillor Pavitar Mann told the meeting she was ‘extremely disappointed’ by the lack of affordable housing.
But she acknowledged the council was bound by national planning policy which says local authorities must consider viability assessments which are carried out by developers.
The site will only provide 5 car parking spaces, two for disabled drivers and three for visitors.
Tory councillor Chandra Muvvala was the only member of the committee to vote against the application.
Further discussions will take place between the council and the developer when the complex is completed to see if any financial contributions can be made.
Billy Presbury, 21, of Moray Drive, and Kai Warwick, 19, of Whiteford Road, targeted a trio of teenage boys in Farnham Park on June 1, 2019.