Slough’s Queensmere Shopping Centre development at a standstill

Queensmere Shopping Centre has been on the downturn over the last decade, with a decision being reached in 2022 to demolish the existing shopping centre and replace it with a mixture of commercial and domestic-use buildings.

In January the western side of Queensmere was closed, with shops in the affected area being moved to other units.

However, since the closure everything has appeared to go quiet.

Slough Observer:

While the development looks like it has come to a standstill, shops have opened up about their struggles – including the impact of the main entrances on Wellington Street and Mackenzie Street being closed.

Tameena Zaman, assistant manager at Shoe City previously said: “A lot of people have thought the whole shopping centre has closed down even though they have made announcements that it is a part closure.”

READ MORE: ‘We’re still here’: Local businesses plea to not be forgotten amid development

In the original plans set out for the re-development, it said: “Subject to obtaining planning permission, the demolition of the Queensmere Shopping Centre could commence as early as late 2023.”

The Observer reached out to the developers to get an update on the work.

British Land, who are the development managers for ADIA’s (Abu Dhabi Investment Agency), who own the Queensmere and Observatory Centres, said: “Queensmere Shopping Centre has a resolution to grant planning permission to redevelop into a modern, residential-led town centre with public realm, retail and leisure designed for Slough residents and visitors in mind.

“Discussions regarding the development are ongoing with Slough Borough Council.”

British Land refused to provide an update on the current situation and whether work has begun on demolition since the western side was cordoned off.

Slough Borough Council added that the development is currently being reviewed.

A council spokesperson said: “ADIA are reviewing how to deliver the scheme for which they have, in principal, planning permission in light of the current economic situation.

“The council is in ongoing dialogue with ADIA and is pressing them to bring the scheme forward as proposed or to set out an alternative approach.

“The redevelopment of Slough High Street is a key priority for the council and we will use all available means at our disposal to achieve this.”

In the meantime, many shops have been seen leaving the shopping centre, with Iceland moving to their new unit on the High Street in June.

Slough Observer:

Currently, dozens of shutters are down on units in Queensmere and the Observatory Shopping Centre, despite British Land claiming to still have interested parties getting in touch to rent units.

READ MORE: Dozens of shops shuttered in Queensmere amid development

British Land added: “The western end of Queensmere where footfall and trade was low, and had significant vacancy, was closed in January this year.

“The majority of retailers were retained and relocated into a consolidated centre which has had the anticipated impact of improving vibrancy in the retained area.

“Queensmere has some vacant units, however we have active interest from potential occupiers and we will continue to let these stores on a short-term basis.”

Slough Observer | News