Just as a 1970s building is about to be turned into something extraordinary, a more recent one bites the dust.

Grade ll-listed Mountbatten House, with its hanging gardens, is about to become a standout location at Basing View around 50 years after it was first built. And yet 2009-built Beaufort Park, an attractive energy-efficient development set in acres of Crowthorne heathland, is no more as Jonathan Mannings’ video illustrates.

Basing View, like Basingstoke itself, has always offered functional space and good transport links but lacked anything that could be described as having the X factor. That will surely change when Mountbatten House opens in less than two years.

But Beaufort Park, itself a standout development, simply couldn’t find a tenant and when interest was shown late in its short existence, the prospect of clearing it for 68 homes was evidently more attractive.

However, in an era when environment seems to be everything, knocking down an energy-efficient building that was never used can hardly be considered green.

Once again, it begs the question; what is green? Why were there no protests to save this building? The nearby residents who persuaded Bracknell Forest Council to turn down the initial planning application were more concerned about traffic from the 68 homes than the waste of an excellent building.

On the plus side, Mountbatten House is going to be – literally – green, a feature that will boost both its environmental and sustainability objectives.

In this fast-changing world, we hope the 2024 market provides a healthy crop of occupiers.


The more you hear about the story of Slough Borough Council’s situation, the harder it becomes to understand how it could happen.

Last week’s full council meeting heard that the financial problems went back to 2008, so the sacking of chief executive Josie Wragg who joined 10 years later, seems all the more difficult to justify.

The list of reasons for her dismissal is long-winded and almost every item on it somewhat obscure to the outsider.

If she is genuinely to blame, she surely can’t be the only one.

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