06:18PM, Thursday 17 September 2020
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A masterplan to regenerate the town centre within the next 10 to 15 years and make a Slough a ‘beautiful and vibrant’ place to live was revealed to councillors on Thursday, September 10.
The final Slough Regeneration Framework Masterplan was presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee during a virtual meeting after cabinet agreed on the visions, objectives and principles of the plan in June.
The project aims to construct new developments to improve temporary employment and apprenticeship opportunities in the town, create more high quality open spaces, walking and cycle routes and develop new commercial premises within vibrant and mixed use schemes for permanent employment opportunities.
Some of the schemes identified include:
- A new civic square could be created in the ‘heart of the town’ which would be a place where people ‘gather, celebrate and have fun’
- Brunel Way – a route to provide a link between the railway station and the North West Quadrant and Slough Central
- Wellington Street – new pedestiran and cycling routes would be needed
- High Street – upgraded for better pedestrian links
- Windsor Road – has the ‘potential’ to become a ‘grand tree lined avenue’
- Stoke Road/Wexham Road/Uxbridge Road – these three roads provide important connections to the town centre from the north where the council plans to improve and add footpaths and cycle routes/lanes discourage to the use of the car
- New pocket parks
However, Councillor Arvind Dhaliwal (Lab, Elliman) said the masterplan did not address traffic and congestion within the town.
He said: “At present our road work system is totally blocked in the morning and evening.
“The town is getting a bad reputation for that.”
Paul Stimpson, strategic lead planning policy and projects, said: “We need to sort out transport and we need to sort out infrastructure but we need to do it a step at a time.”
“There will always be congestion because of the demand to come into the centre, the question is what is an acceptable level of congestion.”
Addressing these issues, Cllr Hulme commented: “There’s not going to be a huge amount of this that will happen in the next one to five years.
“We’ve got to allow the council enough flexibility to develop Slough over the next 15 years.”
The report was approved by all councillors, excluding Cllr Christine Hulme (Lab, Central) who abstained, with Dhaliwal’s (Lab, Elliman) recommendations for the project to include plans for transport and congestion.
Recommendations also requested high rise buildings do not exceed three to four storeys, opposed to the suggested seven to eight storeys proposed in the framework.
The masterplan builds on the council’s Five Year Plan 2020-2025 and will be used to inform on the emerging Local Plan Spatial Strategy policies at which point it will become subject to public scrutiny.
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