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15 July 2009
Bizarre Planning Committee (Heart of Slough)

On Thursday 9 July 2009, 8 councillors - 5 Labour and 3 Liberal Group - voted at a planning committee meeting to build 1,600 flats, no houses, 2 hotels, 187 feet high (57m) office blocks, knocking down the main library, turning High Street West into a two lane west bound road and other changes. The scheme is Labour's Heart of Slough development.

Neither Labour nor the Wexhamite, IBR and Lib Dem councillors forming the Liberal group wanted to provide town centre houses for the many families on the council's waiting list. Instead they want to build blocks of tall flats for people currently living outside Slough. The Conservative councillor was absent.

A senior planning official told the committee the Heart of Slough scheme is very large and very complicated.

Slough's councillors are supposed to represent 150,000 people living in the borough yet they were too shy to ask questions about the biggest ever development in Slough's existence.

Some (semi-literate ?) councillors decided not read the 24 pages of Heart of Slough objections, placed before them by council staff, detailing serious and important concerns made by the Environmental Agency, the First bus company, the Catholic Church, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and others including the Slough Party.

One Labour executive councillor (called a Commissioner) is in overall control of the Heart of Slough scheme. One must ask why this councillor is on the planning committee and why was he allowed to vote for his own pet project.

Another councillor spent the entire time doodling all over the front page of the planning objections instead of reading them.

How can councillors make an informed decision on this major issue if some have never read the well articulated objections and are too shy to ask questions on behalf of the public about this massive 9 year long town centre building scheme?

 

Paul Janik
The Slough Party.