Developers have lost permission to build a ‘monstrosity’ six-storey block of flats on a Slough street – despite the fact they’ve already started building after initial approval.

Permission for the towering 27-home development on the corner of Wexham Road and Wellington Street was blocked by Slough Borough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, May 29.

One councillor – Pavitar Mann – said the previous approval was a ‘perverse decision’ and a ‘shocking indictment’ of the committee that made the decision last year.

Slough Borough Councillors initially backed plans to extend previously-approved plans for 18 homes in July last year. Their vote last year meant they instructed the council’s planning department to approve the plans once all the necessary legal agreements were signed.

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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Councillor Adil Iftakhar – who was chairman of the planning committee at the time – dismissed officers’ objections as ‘outdated’ and a ‘generic reason for refusal’.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 the plans were brought back to the committee – now made up of several different councillors.

This was because developers had since failed to sign an agreement to contribute to the costs of new infrastructure to support the development. Such agreements have to be signed for formal permission to be granted.

Developers Wexham Construction sent a lawyer Peter Gateley to argue that the council should stick to its original decision. He said the council had taken three months to contact developers regarding the agreement after the committee granted approval.

He said: “It would be at the very least unfortunate if the decision the council was to take was to be different to last year.”

But Slough Borough Council planning officers said that ‘the ball has very much been in the applicant’s court’ since then. They also repeated the feeling that permission should still be refused due to the size of the flats.

Councillor Mann said that building work began ‘the very next day’ after councillors approved the plans – despite the fact that formal approval had not been given.

She said: “Now that it is up you only have to see it for yourself – it is a monstrosity.” She added: “It is an absolutely shocking indictment that the previous committee even allowed it to come forward.”

Councillor Mann said: “It was a perverse decision originally and given the widely reported concerns we’ve had about some of the planning decisions that have taken place in the chamber over the last year it’s hardly surprising.”

Councillor Iftakhar is no longer chairman of the planning committee. His father, councillor Iftakhar Ahmed, also resigned as the councillor in charge of planning in April.

He denies that his resignation was linked to allegations made earlier that month of money being solicited in return for planning permission.

The allegations were made to Slough Borough Council in a letter at the beginning of April. The council said no individuals had been named.

Thames Valley Police said it could not investigate due to lack of evidence.