As plans for 1,000 new homes with shops and restaurants on the site of the old Akzo Nobel Decorative Paints site seem set for a possible go-ahead this Wednesday - a leading waterways charity is hoping to persuade councillors to say no.

The Inland Waterways Association - the charity that works to conserve canals and rivers - believes that putting the homes on the southern part of the site as currently planned will cut residents off from the nearby canal and towpath, forcing them to use the busy Wexham Road and Uxbridge Road.

It wants to see the planned homes relocated to the northern part of the site. The charity believes this would provide an opportunity to create a new canal basin with potential moorings for up to eighty leisure or recreational craft, while the southern end of the site could be kept for a cafe, offices, studios or workshops that would front the water.

The current plan would see industrial units constructed on the northern part of the site.

Ray Gill, area planning and navigation officer for Inland Waterways Association, said: "We strongly objected as the large business units proposed in the northern half of the site will completely dominate the canal and will destroy a valuable local amenity for walkers, cyclists and anglers. Apart from the disastrous visual impact, the proposed scheme will also significantly harm the social, health, biodiversity and environmental benefits provided by the green open space of the canal.

"We also consider the proposed development is a missed opportunity to create a sustainable residential waterfront neighbourhood with a new canal basin. We have prepared an alternative plan for the site."

The current plan has been put forward by developers Panattoni.

It is expected to make vital contribution to Slough Borough Council's long term home building ambitions.

The current plan is to be considered by Slough councillors at an extraordinary planning meeting this Wednesday - with officers recommending approval.