For years Slough has been a success story in the property world, a town which always seemed to be going forwards. But now someone has looked under bonnet.
Reading the report by the council’s new chief financial officer, it’s hard not to question how all the authority’s troubles continued for so long without anyone asking some key questions.
Now Slough’s involvement in major schemes in future may be looked at in a new, rather less certain, light.
But Slough hasn’t lost its proximity to Windsor and London. It’s still on the Elizabeth Line (whenever it arrives) and there are well-backed investors wanting to get involved in the town.
The Slough Central scheme is still likely to create a remarkable business district and the council’s woes won’t stop Berkeley Homes’ transformation of the Horlicks site.
The Future Works’ next 260,000 sq ft of office space was consented in March and Muse Developments continues to seek a way forward for its pipeline of projects under the Slough Urban Renewal brand.
Under greater scrutiny, Slough’s progress might be slower but its key assets haven’t gone away.
Meanwhile in Reading there is positivity around the prospect of another city status bid, although social media reveals – as does Richard Stacey from Evoke Transport Planning – that plenty of people take a different view.
Some are exhausted from all the refusals and it does seem as though someone, somewhere doesn’t want it to happen.
If the town succeeds this time let’s hope that, at a later date, there will be a report done on what difference it made so we might finally get an idea if it was all worth it.
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