COUNCILLORS thought developers were “joking” when revealing their plans to put a 19-storey building on Slough High Street.

Last week, the Observer reported huge plans – yet to be submitted – for 132-144 High Street to be redeveloped into four buildings ranging between four and 19 levels – which could provide approximately 300 homes with some being affordable housing.

The mixed-use development – known as the Buckingham Way project – also includes commercial units on the High Street’s frontage, a health club with a swimming pool, spa facilities and basement car parking, and private amenity space with a ‘car-free’ scheme.

Vista Leisure PLC – who are spearheading the project – are currently in pre-application talks with Slough Borough Council.

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At a planning committee meeting on November 11 (Wednesday), councillors were given a pre-application presentation by Simon Bacon from TP Bennet – the architects who designed the buildings – on the plans where the members’ feedback could be incorporated into the scheme.

Councillor Pavitar K. Mann (Labour: Britwell and Northborough), lead member for planning and regulation, said she thought the applicants were “joking” when they revealed the 19-storey building.

She said: “Nineteen storeys is far too high. To be honest, I thought you were actually joking when you presented that.”

Cllr Mann added: “I cannot stress enough how inappropriate this is for this gateway location at that height. It should be more in keeping with the buildings, I think at 14 storeys.”

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However, she welcomed the ‘car-free’ scheme as it’s appropriate for the town centre location but asked if the developers could consider incorporating visitor parking and loading into the scheme.

“I think the look and feel of the buildings is very positive,” said councillor Zaffar Ajaib (Labour: Langley St Mary’s).

“We do need something there as the site has been empty for a long time but I think this requires a bit more work on the size, density, and the social housing element needs to look at very seriously.”

Councillor Dexter Smith (Conservative: Colnbrook with Poyle) said it was “unacceptable” that one per cent of the 300 flats will be three-bedrooms and urged the developers to add more.

Residents have until November 20 (Friday) to express their own views on the plans via an online consultation – which can be viewed here: