DEVELOPERS planning to build more than 900 homes in new high-storey town centre blocks have praised council officers for passing the first phase of their scheme.

Criterion Capital, owners of the Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre, have been granted permission to convert former council offices above the Slough High Street centre into 100 new one and two bedroom apartments.

The development was passed by planning committee councillors on Thursday, July 25, and developers are now hoping further plans to build another 861 homes will be given the go ahead.

Bhavash Vashi, head of planning at Criterion Capital, said: "This is a fantastic result which finally gives us the opportunity to regenerate this important building. We are delighted with the pragmatic and constructive approach shown by Slough planning officers." The homes will be let to the private rented sector. Developers are still waiting to hear if their �100m masterplan to redevelop the shopping centre and build homes in tower blocks between 14 and 19 storeys high.

Officers are considering the application, submitted in December, and it is due to go a planning committee in due course.