Now residents get to have their say on Slough’s expansion plans
Controversial plans for another 21,000 homes, including 8,000 in a so-called “garden suburb” in South Bucks, and the allocation of the Green Belt in Poyle Green Belt for employment land, are to be put in front of residents from next week.
Slough residents are being encouraged to give their views on the Council’s initial ideas for its new Local Plan in a public consultation that begins on Monday.
The council has produced an ‘Issues and Options’ document that identifies the challenges facing planners over the next 20 years, including the need for 21,000 new homes by 2036. The document, which also highlights Heathrow expansion, the town centre and congestion as the other main issues that need addressing, was endorsed by the council’s cabinet in December.
Now the council is running a public consultation to give residents a chance to have their say.
Councillor Sohail Munawar, leader of Slough Borough Council, said:
Slough is a fantastic place of opportunity. We’re an economic powerhouse, in an excellent location, with a young, vibrant population. However, we have mammoth challenges ahead – our population is growing fast and we have a lack of space for new homes and businesses.
“We’ve identified what we believe are the crucial issues, from the numbers of new affordable homes we can supply and how we all travel around our town, to how we can grow our economy and ensure that residents see the benefits of that growth. This consultation is an exciting chance for people to tell us their ideas and help us craft Slough’s future.”
The feedback received from residents will help the council produce a set of preferred options, which will also be consulted on before being used to produce a new Local Plan.
Once adopted, the Local Plan will be used to decide planning applications in the borough for the next 10 to 20 years.
Councillor Munawar added:
“Although there will be further opportunities to comment, we urge everyone to have their say at this early stage.”
The Council says residents are being asked to give their views on a number of big questions, such as:
- To provide the homes needed, do we redevelop existing suburbs, use green belt land, turn offices into homes or even build outside the borough?
- How do we help more Slough residents take advantage of higher skilled jobs?
- How do we ensure Slough gets a fair share of benefits from the expansion at Heathrow?
- How do we enhance and protect the town centre in the face of changing shopping patterns?
- How do we handle congestion and encourage people to use sustainable transport?
- How do we encourage the development of low carbon technology, protect against flooding, and reduce air, noise and soil pollution?
However, the consultation is not asking for views on whether the town should be courting the scale of expansion it currently is, or whether the reshaping of the town proposed by Cllr Munawar and his team, matches residents’ aspirations. The increasing economic dependency on Heathrow and the implications of that decision for the borough, are not officially part of the consultation.
To take part in the official statutory consultation, residents are encouraged to:
- Go to www.slough.gov.uk/localplan and fill in the online consultation form (available from Monday 16 January)
- Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to Planning Policy, St Martins Place, 51, Bath Road, Slough, SL1 3UF.
The consultation officially opens on Monday 16 January. The deadline for comments is 5pm on Monday 27 February.
Join in the discussion:
- Facebook @ ‘Planning Slough’s future’ (https://www.facebook.com/Planning-Sloughs-future-1850756915147722/)
- Twitter @SloughCouncil #Next20Years
- Come to our public consultation event at The Curve on 13 February, 7pm.
The council has produced a leaflet and short magazine that summarise the challenges and some possible solutions. A copy is available online at www.slough.gov.uk/localplan, with paper copies available at The Curve, MyCouncil (Landmark Place) and some community centres (available from Monday 16 January).
Find more information at www.slough.gov.uk/localplan