A controversial housing development on Wexham Road could be blocked – despite the fact that councillors gave it the go-ahead last year.

Wexham Construction Limited has already begun building a 27-home block of flats of up to six storeys on the corner of Wexham Road and Wellington street.

But council planning officers say the development would ‘significantly harm the character and appearance of the area’ and create an ‘overwhelming sense of enclosure and overlooking’ to neighbouring houses.

Slough Borough Councillors initially granted the developer permission to extend previously-approved plans for 18 homes in July last year.

They overruled the council’s own professional planning officers’ recommendations that the height of the building would significantly overlook neighbours’ properties.

Councillor Adil Iftakhar – who was chairman of the planning committee at the time – dismissed officers’ objections as ‘outdated’ and a ‘generic reason for refusal’.

He voted to approve the extension along with councillors Nadeem Khawar, Gurchuran Manku and Zafar Satti. Only three others voted against – Martin Carter, Harjinder Gahir and Pavitar Mann. Councillor Asim Naveed abstained.

But now the council’s planning committee is set to look at the application again at a meeting on Wednesday, May 29.

Planning officers are calling on councillors to refuse the application because developers have not signed an agreement to contribute to the costs of new infrastructure to support the development. This is a normal part of planning permission agreements.

The officers are also repeating their objection that the block of flats will be too large.

They say: “Having assessed the partially constructed scheme in situ, the proposed scheme by reason of its scale, height and massing would fail to respect or respond to the established character and appearance of the area and would constitute the overdevelopment of the site.”

Councillor Iftakhar is no longer chairman of the planning committee. His father, councillor Iftakhar Ahmed, also resigned from Slough Borough Council’s ruling cabinet as the councillor in charge of planning last month.

Councillor Ahmed denies that his resignation was linked to allegations of bribery related to planning permission, made in a letter to Slough Borough Council at the beginning of April.

The council confirmed to the Observer that it had received a complaint about money being solicited in return for planning permissions. It said no individuals had been named but forwarded the complaint to police on April 2.

Thames Valley Police later confirmed to the Observer that it was ‘aware of information to suggest financial impropriety’ but could not investigate as ‘no evidence has been identified to support this information at this time'.