Slough town centre office building to be demolished for 116 flats

DEMOLITION of the Beacon House in Slough town centre has been given the go-ahead by councillors – to make way for 116 flats.

Members of the planning committee met on December 9 (Wednesday) and unanimously approved the scheme for the new single five to eight-storey building to be constructed at 50 Stoke Road.

The plans comprise 48 one-bed, 63 two-bed, and five three-bed flats. Around 50 of those units will be affordable housing.

This application was meant to be decided at October’s planning committee – but councillors wanted more information and clarity on the scheme’s parking proposals, positioning of the lighting and CCTV, the appearance of the development, and provision of open space and associated financial contributions.

At the meeting, the applicant submitted detailed designs on what the building would look like when completed as well as a lighting and CCTV strategy to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.

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Fifty-one car parking spaces – two of which will be given to car club parking – will be provided onsite and there will be an additional unallocated 10 on-street spaces on the proposed adopted road.

Residents of this development will not be allowed to obtain parking permits elsewhere to address overspill fears.

Although this is an increase from the previous 41 spaces, it is still below the borough’s parking standards – but given the site is close to the town centre, railway and bus station, planning officers found the parking plan acceptable.

Occupiers living in the three-bed flats are guaranteed one allocated space.

Each flat will have their own balcony and terrace and the applicant did explore the inclusion of open space provision on the roof areas – but concluded it was “unfeasible”.

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Councillor Pavitar K. Mann (Labour: Britwell and Northborough), lead member for planning, said: “I was ready to approve this the last time it came to committee – but clearly members, and rightfully so, had some concerns particular around some of the issues that have come back today.

“I think the materials we’ve been shown and the look and feel of the proposed building looks great.

“I welcome the affordable housing and I do think it should go without saying that having a trusted, dependable applicant with a track record on managing the scheme as well does help address some of the concerns that may arise out of the potential of anti-social behaviour and that sort.”

The site – which is on the corner of Stoke Road and Mill Street – is currently occupied by the Beacon House office building, which is largely vacant aside from occupation on the ground floor, and the Foyer Facility, a former homeless shelter which ceased use in 2016.

Slough Observer | News