New housing development off Crown Meadow to form part of southern expansion of Slough into Windsor

A new housing development off Crown Meadow is being actively pursued by Slough Borough Council as part of a strategy to address the town’s housing shortage.

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A parcel of land behind Colnbrook’s Crown Meadow is being pursued by Slough Borough Council for a possible housing development.

The greenfield site which sits between the Queen Mother Reservoir and Brands Hill is one of a number of proposals being brought forward as part of a southern expansion of the town.

The site, despite its promixity to Colnbrook, is administratively located in Windsor and Maidenhead Borough.  It was first considered by a study by Windsor & Maidenhead in January 2014, which concluded that the parcel, while Green Belt, made “lower” contribution to meeting the purposes of Green Belt policy.  As a result it was brought forward this Summer for further consideration.  However, it is currently not part of the draft Local Plan for Windsor & Maidenhead.

Slough, on the other hand, is keen to pursue it, using a “duty to cooperate” obligation to force Windsor & Maidenhead to include it in order to address the town’s overspill.

A second site technically in Windsor & Maidenhead, south of Austen Way, is also being pursued.

Slough is considering two sites technically within the borough of Windsor & Maidenhead for a south expansion of the town.

Slough is considering two sites technically within the borough of Windsor & Maidenhead for a south expansion of the town.

Slough says it recognises that there are some constraints to the development of the Crown Meadow site, including risk of flooding, and noise and air pollution from the M4 and Heathrow.  However, overhead power lines 100m away are not considered a constraint to development.

Windsor & Maidenhead’s assessment highlights the adjacent Crown Meadow and nearby children’s play area at Colnbrook Recreation Ground as positive attributes for the site.   It also notes the proximity to water sports and recreational activities at the Queen Mother Reservoir and location within the Colne Valley Regional Park.

The new development would be accessed from the south via Horton Road, or via the north and Springfield Road.

The parcel has been promoted and is understood to be available by Windsor & Maidenhead, which says that the landowner has expressed an interest in developing the parcel for residential use.

Slough’s administrative boundary to the south borders the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, but much of the available land is not contiguous with the built up area of Slough. The M4 motorway prevents the southern expansion of west half of Slough and the only areas that abut the urban area are at Ditton Park and Brands Hill in the east.

The site was listed in July this year in the second half of a two stage process by Windsor & Maidenhead which considers the suitability of Green Belt land on the edge of existing settlements for development.

The site was listed in July this year in the second half of a two stage process by Windsor & Maidenhead which considers the suitability of Green Belt land on the edge of existing settlements for development.

Planning Committee members were given a report on the site when they met on Wednesday, 2nd November.  They were told that the Council would be taking the site forward for further consideration:

“The sites are outside of Slough and so cannot be brought forward through the Review of the Slough Local Plan. As a result they will have to be promoted in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Local Plan which is currently being prepared. They have not been identified as a possible housing site in any versions of the plan to date and so this will have to be pursued through the Duty to Cooperate process and representations to any consultations on the Plan”.

The development is being considered as part of a number of “spatial strategies” to providing another 20,000 homes in the area by 2036.

Both Windsor & Maidenhead sites would potentially be affected by the proposed third runway at Heathrow in that they would be directly under the flight path. The report to committee members warns that this may affect their suitability for residential development if this goes ahead.

Residents will get the opportunity to give their views on their plans in a consultation expected to take place early in the new year.  Cabinet will be asked to approve “Issues and Options” at its meeting on 21st November and it will then be the subject of a public consultation exercise for six weeks in January.

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