NEW draft plans set out an ambitious redevelopment at Stoke Wharf, Slough cabinet members heard.

Councillors were presented fresh plans to rejuvenate the Travis Perkins builder’s yard alongside the canal in the Stoke Wharf area – also known as the Canal Basin.

This scheme is part of the council’s Slough Urban Renewal – a partnership between the local authority and Morgan Sindall Investments – to add new homes in the borough in the coming years.

Waterside Place – a joint venture between Muse Developments and the Canal and River Trust – are also involved with the plan.

Former builders merchants buildings on the 3.3 hectare brownfield site were demolished back in 2018 to make way for 312 homes – 48 affordable – two commercial units, canal side public realm, improvements to nearby Bowyer Park and secure parking for all homes with 10 per cent of them having electric vehicle parking spaces.

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The flats will be a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments, while other accommodation includes three bed mews houses, three bed townhouses, and studio flats.

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Back in March 2019, it was originally planned to have 240 flats and homes with shops, cafes, and a community hub overlooking the canal.

An officer presenting the report said there were ‘viability issues’ where the council had to pay for the demolition costs and buy out the interest of Travis Perkins Ltd, who owned the land.

He also said there are ‘significant costs’ in improving the canal and the park and in creating the canal side public realm.

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The overview and scrutiny panel criticised the development for being too dense and recommended the buildings are scaled back two-storeys.

The leader of the council, councillor James Swindlehurst (Labour: Cippenham Green), said: “Because of the amount of cleaning up that has to be done on the site and the spending that’s already going on to assemble all the land ownerships including the big Travis Perkins yard, the scheme has got to be a slightly denser scheme just to deal with some of those viability challenges.”

Four public consultations were held at the end of last year including a ‘dedicated’ online consultation to gather views from residents before a detailed planning application is submitted.

So far, 71 per cent of comments were positive with 14 per cent negative and 15 per cent neutral.

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Another consultation will be launched with pre-application talks before submitting a completed planning application to the council.

If planning is approved, construction could start next July with an estimated completion date of December 2023.

The plans were heard at an online cabinet meeting on September 14 (Monday).