Councillors in Slough adopted a regeneration framework last week which revealed the remarkable scale of development in the pipeline.

Pedestrianised areas, new public realm, links to the station and some of the many new proposed developments were discussed at last week’s meeting. All are planned over the next 15 years. The report will now be an evidence document to inform the Local Plan.

Some of the stats showing what is still to go through the planning system in Slough were remarkable. They included:

  • 115,000 sq m  – 280,000 sq m of offices
  • 14,000 sq m – 15,5000 sq m of retail
  • 6,000 – 7,000 sq m of leisure or cultural space
  • 5,000 sq m of education/innovation space
  • 48,000 sq m of B8 (storage or distribution space)
  • 7,400 new homes

The image below shows (in orange) the developments yet to gain consent. Those in yellow have consent.

But as exciting as it sounds – and last week’s meeting was positive and very forward looking – the cloud of Covid can’t be ignored.

Looking up to 15 years ahead may tempt to try to see beyond Covid but the Government currently seems so keen to lock the country  up that it must be a genuine prospect that many exciting, positive plans are going to be quickly forgotten once the effect this will have on the economy starts to become a reality.

There is a school of thought that the Thames Valley is about the best place to be since we can benefit from those fleeing London. In addition, many parts of the region sit in locations which are minutes from both countryside and the capital.

But until the Government lowers the fear levels, uncertainty is the only thing we can be sure of.

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