SLOUGH Trading Estate could expand over the next 10 years as the council works on plans that will enable the rapid creation of new buildings at the site.

The local authority is set to begin to work with the owners of the largest trading estate in Europe SEGRO to renew its simplified planning zone (SPZ).

An SPZ, which was first established at the trading estate in 1995, sets out a defined area that grants planning permission for a range of pre-agreed uses for a period of 10 years.

It sets out a range of conditions that have to be met in order that some types of development, mostly data centres, warehouses and research and development centres, can be built without the need to apply for individual planning permission.

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The 100-year-old Trading Estate is home to 400 businesses employing 17,000 people, including international brands and smaller specialised enterprises.

Presenting the report, deputy Slough Borough Council leader Pavitar Kaur Mann (Lab: Britwell & Northborough), lead member for planning, said there could be a slight increase in the SPZ boundary.

Senior councillors agreed to start working with SEGRO to develop a new SPZ and to notify the Levelling Up Secretary of their intention to do so.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Monday, March 20, council leader James Swindlehurst (Lab: Cippenham Green) said: “The sooner we get on with it, the better.

“But clearly one of the nervousness from the council’s point of view is that we are anticipating a 10-year period and what the borough’s needs are going to be at the time, the scale of expansion that’s maybe possible, and even uses of the estate.

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“It’s quite hard to feel your way through the whole 10 years and I suppose we look at the last SPZs and sometimes we feel we missed a trick or didn’t anticipate something very well.

“Certainly, the growth of data centres had arrived on us and we perhaps haven’t covered them off.

“It’s almost inevitable we won’t cover everything but we need to make sure that we have a sustainable estate and we deal with some of the longer-term issues around parking management and sweating the assets well.”

He also said the proposed boundary line will be adjacent to some residential properties and that there should be ‘sensitive’ developments there in order to respect the existing area and homeowners.