Berkshire authority publishes plan for 10,000 homes in neighbour's green belt

Slough Borough Council has published a 'high level spatial plan' to illustrate how a proposed 10,000-home 'garden suburb' could be delivered, despite the proposed site for the scheme lying within the boundaries of a neighbouring council, which strongly opposes the plan.

Slough: 10,000-home urban extension plan published
Slough: 10,000-home urban extension plan published

Earlier this week Slough Borough Council published the report on the Slough Northern Extension, which was produced on behalf of the council by consultancy Atkins.

The proposed development site covers approximately 685 hectares. It extends from the A4 to the west of Heathrow to Wexham Park Hospital to the north of Slough.

According to the document, the main purpose of the urban extension "is to help to re-balance the Slough housing market and meet the potential shortfall of homes" over its local plan period up to 2036.

The preface to the document says that it "is recognised that the area proposed for the northern expansion is on land designated as green belt and so development cannot go ahead unless it can be demonstrated there are exceptional circumstances to alter the green belt boundary to accommodate it".

The document also says that the proposed urban extension would lie within the South Bucks District Council planning authority area.

It says that this means that any review of the green belt or development in the location could only be implemented through the emerging joint Chiltern District Council and South Bucks local plan.

However, the report says that "South Bucks and Chiltern district councils are not supportive of the proposals" and the two councils requested that Slough insert a position statement in the document setting out their opposition.

This statement says that South Bucks District Council and Chiltern District Council "are cooperating on an on-going basis with Slough Borough Council on the emerging [joint] local plan".

"However the councils do not agree on the approach being taken by Slough Borough Council regarding its aspirations for a Northern Extension to Slough in South Bucks District".

The statement says that the Slough Northern Extension document "is contrary to the evidence base being prepared to support the Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan particularly in relation to the published green belt assessment work".

"As such the proposal includes land identified for development that has not been identified for potential release from the green belt as part of the councils’ preferred green belt options".

The preface to the Slough Northern Extension report stresses that it has been published for "discussion purposes only at this stage".

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