SLOUGH town centre could see a large office block built as councillors give the green light to delegate powers to the planning manager.

Plans were unanimously approved by councillors during a virtual planning committee on May 27 (Wednesday) which could see the former Octagon site, in Brunel Way, which is currently used as a temporary car park, become a seven-storey office building.

The officer will be able to determine the application without needing a decision from the committee subject to the applicant fulfilling their section 106 agreement with Slough Borough Council – making a large financial contribution for sustainable transport, such as electric car infrastructure – before planning permission is granted.

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Panel members were told the site has been unused for a number of years and the building would provide retail and commercial units with nearly 20,000 sqm of office space and a corner café has also been proposed on the ground floor.

One hundred and eighteen car parking spaces have also been included with 140 cycle spaces and 13 electric car charging points.

This is not the first time the site has been subjected to a regeneration scheme.

A 140-unit residential building with a seven-storey office building application was withdrawn in 2019 and a hotel and residential scheme was withdrawn in 2017.

Forty trees will also be planted on the verges of the B416, A4 as part of the section 106 agreement.

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The planning officer said the applicant opted to submit plans without undertaking a public consultation by letter drops due to ‘limited responses’ in previous applications – but the applicant had consulted with planning officer’s pre-application submission.

Councillor Pavitar K. Mann (Labour: Britwell and Northborough), lead member for planning and regulation, said: “This is a major site in the town centre and frankly I think it’s unacceptable that they didn’t do any consultations, certainly at a time when other sites are coming forward in the town centre.

“I don’t think we can condone that behaviour.

“I appreciate it’s not a material planning consideration but nor am I not going to call that out either.”