Slough Borough Council should ditch its stated preference for a northern expansion of the town into South Bucks, and explore expansion options in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead or even west Berkshire where it says there is land available for development.
“Misleading” Slough should “consume its own smoke” before talk of Garden Suburb say Chilterns and South Bucks
A “Slough to consume its own smoke” option to meeting unmet housing need has not been given enough consideration before pushing for a ‘garden suburb’ on South Bucks’ Green Belt, says a strongly worded report which also accuses Slough of “misleading the public”.
South Bucks has been named and shamed in a list of 22 local authorities set to fail the Government’s new housing delivery test – and where intervention later this year may be inevitable.
A new social media group dedicated to fighting Slough’s plans for a northern expansion into South Bucks has already attracted well over 500 members just a few days after being set up.
Slough Council has dropped a heavy hint that it may seek to accommodate a new headquarters building for British Airways in Colnbrook in its revised Local Plan. The airline currently contributes £6.2 million annually to Hillingdon Council in respect of business rates on its £200 million Waterside complex off Harmondsworth Moor, which opened in 1997.
Planning chiefs are set to impose an embargo on ANY development in Poyle until such time as full planning consent has been granted for a Third Runway – potentially not until 2023 according to their own estimates. In order to safeguard land that may be needed for the proposed third runway and its associated development there will be an embargo on any development taking place in the short term unless it meets the ‘essential to be in this location’ test set out in a new Core Strategy. The idea is one of several that will be put to a public consultation on a new Local Plan for Slough in January.
Colnbrook’s Green Belt is not considered suitable for new homes but will be released to create up to 15,000 new jobs over the next 20 years say the Council’s planning chiefs. Further, they want to enshrine new policies in the Local Plan to prioritise Heathrow’s future needs both in the short and longer term.
Slough Borough Council’s cabinet will be asked next week to approve support for a major northwards expansion of the town into South Bucks to find room for 5,000 of the 20,000 new homes needed.
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. 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.
Could the new approach to localism enshrined in the proposals to restructure Bucks councils – new Community Boards, Community Hubs, and devolving many powers to parish councils – work also for Colnbrook and Slough?
The Government wants to see more help given to deprived urban areas that are ignoring neighbourhood planning powers. Areas like Colnbrook that are highly transient, with a high turnover of people moving in and out and little “sense of community” could be set to benefit from paid experts “who can hold people’s hands and take them through the process and provide the necessary advice and experience”.