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Consultation on proposed release of Green Belt sites for family housing

The council is consulting on the proposed release of Green Belt sites for family housing in order to deal with the shortage of large homes in Slough.

The council wants to hear your views on the proposal, which forms part of the local plan for Slough, which has identified a shortage of around 5,000 houses in the period up until 2040.

The majority of homes recently built or planned to be built in the borough are flats in places like the town centre – which are only suitable for smaller households.

But Slough needs more family homes consisting of three bedrooms and more – in particular affordable homes, with 10 percent of the 2,000 people on the council housing waiting list needing four or five bedroom properties.

Work on the local plan has identified there are no reasonable options, or combination of options which could accommodate all of Slough’s housing and employment needs within the town and as a result, the council is considering developing some green field sites.

Green field sites have the advantage of offering lower density family housing with a higher proportion of affordable housing compared to what brownfield sites can deliver.

All the proposed sites are classed as urban extensions which is considered one of the most sustainable forms of development due to the nearness of amenities such as shops and public transport.

The sites, listed below, have been given an initial traffic light system as to the appropriateness as potential sites. However, a variety of further assessments need to be completed before final decisions are made.

GREEN – suitable sites

  • Wexham Park Hospital School of Nursing site
  • Land to the rear of Opal Court Wexham Street
  • Land east of Wexham Park Hospital
  • Land east of Rochfords Gardens
  • Upton Court Farm

AMBER – possible sites

  • Land East of Market Lane - part of Northern Extension
  • Land south of Blenheim Road - part of Ditton Park Historic Park & Garden

RED – unsuitable sites

  • St Anthony’s Field, Farnham Road - gap between Slough and Farnham Royal
  • North of Muddy Lane, Stoke Poges Lane - part of playing field
  • Bloom Park, Middlegreen Road – part of public open space

Councillor Pavitar K. Mann, lead member for housing, highways, planning and place, said: “We want our families to be able to grow up and prosper in our town and ensure we have family homes for them to move into.

“This public consultation is an important opportunity for the council to receive and take into account your views on potential options for development in the green belt and I would urge local residents and groups, businesses, organisations, landowners and developers to take part is this public consultation.”

It is recognised the development of any site would harm the Green Belt and it will be necessary to demonstrate that there are the necessary “exceptional circumstances” to justify this.

It should be noted the consultation is only about the possible release of land for housing. Any proposals for the use of green belt land for any other purpose will be considered as part of the local plan process. 

One of the purposes of the consultation is to help gather evidence about what other constraints there may be to developing the sites.

The consultation begins on 5 November and will close on 17 December.

Have your say 

Full details about the proposal and information about how to make comments are available on Citizenspace

The deadline for comments is 17 December.

Published: 5 November 2021