The sale of a key regeneration site in Slough has been agreed to help the council pay off some of its debts.
A special meeting of Slough Borough Council’s cabinet on March 7 was held to approve the sale of the land for the North West Quadrant, previously known as the TVU site.
The site, which was acquired by the council in 2017 for £24.2 million after cabinet approval in September 2016, was due to be developed by Slough Urban Renewal, the authority’s joint venture with Morgan Sindall subsidiary Muse Developments.
The undisclosed price of the current sale will, the meeting heard, take the capital raised from disposals so far to over £200m in the current financial year.
Pat Hayes, executive director of housing and property, said: “This represents good value for the site in the current circumstances from the town’s and the council’s points of view.
“It will enable a site, which has been vacant for a considerable period of time, to be brought forward and redeveloped, which will add value to other sites etc. So overall this is a good deal and we are selling it to a very sensible and viable concern to take it forward.”
The latest masterplan shows 1,340 homes (25 per cent affordable), 467, 180 sq ft of offices and 43,900 sq ft of retail and food and beverage space but Mr Hayes said in planning discussions so far Muse has indicated a scheme similar to the existing proposal but with slightly less residential and commercial space.
There were clues in the meeting as to the identity of the purchaser. Mr Hayes said: “Given the nature of the purchaser of this site, they are very much purchasing it to deliver affordable housing because that’s sort of what they do.”
And council leader Cllr James Swindlehurst referred to the buyer as a ‘highly reputable’ and ‘a specialist regeneration organisation’.
He added: “I think we can be pretty confident that they will proceed immediately and do the place shaping which is their basic remit. It would be less risky to dispose of it to them than for us to hang onto it given that we’ve kept the site empty since we bought it in 2016.”
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