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Developments making Slough, Berkshire a regional “powerhouse”

With incredibly speedy access to London, lower house prices than its neighbours and the head offices of some big names, the town is becoming increasingly popular with “London Leavers”.

Slough developments montage
Slough developments montage
Like a lot of towns around the area, Slough is undergoing a major regeneration.

A partnership between Slough Borough Council and developer Morgan Sindall Investments Limited has been formed called Slough Urban Renewal.

The council’s website says the partnership is “about creating iconic buildings, open spaces and connectivity, enhancing and improving local schools, providing high-quality new homes and leisure facilities.”

There are some huge projects taking place around the town, and we’re taking a closer look.

Wexham Green

Wexham Green in Slough (Image: Google Maps)
Unlike other Berkshire, towns, particularly Reading, Slough has space for family homes.

Work on the £40 million Wexham Green development started in July 2016 and the development is now complete, with the final homes being sold.

It contains 104 family homes – a mix of two, three, and four bedroom houses.

The old Library

Artist impression of a design for the Old Library site (Image: Ashley Goodwin)
Artist impression of a design for the Old Library site (Image: Ashley Goodwin)
This is an exciting plan right in the centre of Slough.

The new scheme which will see the old site of Slough Library in High Street transformed into two new Marriot Hotels.

One of the new hotels is “Thunderbirds influenced”, a nod to the classic 1960s show being filmed at Slough Trading Estate.

The plans also contain 64 apartments and 4,000 sq ft of restaurant and retail space.

Work started on the development in May and it’s hoped it will be completed in late 2020/early 2021.

Stoke Wharf

A public consultation is currently being held over a plan for land around the western end of the Slough branch of the Grand Union Canal.

The development aims to build on three areas of land – a former builder’s merchants owned by the council, land owned by the canal and river trust and part of Bowyer Playing Fields.

No specific plans have been submitted yet, but an application will be formed following the end of the consultation.

The plans are likely to be for around 240 new homes along the side of the canal.

Milestone

The Milestone, Slough (Image: Ashley Goodwin)
This one is all done too, and was the first stage of the regeneration of Slough – hence its name.

The development has replaced an unused area of land owned by the council with 73 homes.

It launched in the summer of 2016 and now has full occupation.

Lydia Court

The opening of Lydia Court in Slough (Image: Slough Urban Renewal)
Not a massive development, but an important one.

Completed in 2017, the 11 home development consists entirely of council-owned properties.

It is named after Lydia Simmons, the country’s first black mayor, who served a term in 1984/5 and was an incredibly long-serving Slough councillor.

The Ice Arena

No doubt the envy of people in Reading, who have been clamouring for an ice rink for years, the old Montem Ice Arena has been completely rebuilt.

The building in Bath Road now has a new ice rink, cafe, climbing wall, gym, party zone and changing facilities.

It is the home of the Slough Jets Ice Hockey team and many other local groups.

The old Horlicks Factory

This is a huge plan for the former Horlicks factory in Stoke Poges Road.

Recently given permission, this will see 1,300 new homes added to the site.

The original factory building will be converted and a number of the existing buildings will also be retained.

Shops and a nursery will also be part of the site and the listed War Memorial will also be retained, but moved to another area.

Tower House and Ashbourne House, The Crescent

Designs for the new development at Tower House and Ashbourne House (Image: Slough Borough Council)
This is the a project led by the council, and is looking to replace two old council-owned buildings with new blocks containing, presumably, much nicer homes.

The authority’s plan is for 197 homes, 134 of which would be two or three bedroom family homes.

However, the project has been massively stalled by the fact one person in the block is refusing to move.

This means the council now has to pursue the lengthy and expensive Compulsory Purchase route to take control of the building, which is likely to hold up the project.

Thames Valley University

This is another massive housing site.

The university building closed in 2009, but was then bought by the council .

Berkshire Live understands the long-term plan is for 1,400 homes to be built on the empty site, which the council says will generate £550 million of income.

Parts of the site have been demolished in preparation for building work there, and part is still operating as a temporary school.

The masterplan for the site is still being worked on and there is no application in place.

The council has recently appointed MUSE to work on the project and work has begun on a masterplan.

This is hoped to be put forward early next year.

Why Slough is changing for the better

Andy Howell, general manager, Slough Urban Renbewal (SUR): “It was back in 2013 when Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) was first established.

“Since then, we have achieved some huge milestones and shared some great successes. Not least, the delivery of The Curve, Slough’s flagship and award-winning new library and cultural centre.

“We have since gone on to deliver new housing (both private and social), new school facilities and new sporting and community spaces, with lots more to come.

“For businesses local to or operating in Slough, there is a lot to be feeling confident about.

“Not only can they benefit from the impending Crossrail, great connections by road and close proximity to Heathrow, but they are already benefiting from the council’s significant inward investment, providing access to improved facilities and accommodation and helping to further enhance the town’s reputation – which in turn will only help to attract greater talent.

“The town really is changing for the better and we are proud at Slough Urban Renewal (SUR), to be a catalyst for making Slough a ‘regeneration hot spot’.

“Slough has a very bright future and we are delighted to be a part of it.”

More information on Slough’s regeneration projects can be found on the SUR website here.

Source: Berkshire Live

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