Industrial warehouse

New homes to be built on site of old Horlicks drink factory cause a stir

The Stoke Poges Lane site in Berkshire, once the drinks factory for Horlicks, is the subject of debate following a planning application by Berkeley Homes.

The national housebuilder has submitted a full planning application to Slough Borough Council to develop the 4.95 hectare site, including partial demolition of the factory building.

Berkeley Homes’ plan includes the provision of 554 new homes in five new residential blocks ranging from one to 10 storeys and creating more jobs with commercial floor space extending to 239 square metres and an onsite nursery.

The proposed scheme allows for 25 per cent of affordable homes – a total of 325 units. This does not meet the local planning policy’s requirement for a 40 per cent quota of affordable housing.

The planning report recognises that based on today’s market, current proposals for additional housing could not be considered viable to allow a reasonable profit margin for the housebuilder, Berkeley Homes.

Brownfield sites can restrict development

Within the report, the council also acknowledged that “there are site constraints surrounding a brownfield site and redevelopment; this can create questions on the feasibility of delivering the level of affordable homes compliant with the existing policy”.

The planning report accepted that given the problematic shortage of available land within the borough for the next five years, the proposed redevelopment “would bring a significant positive boost to the housing supply, to which positive weight is afforded”.

Outline permission was also sought for the remaining 746 homes, commercial space and ancillary facilities, car and cycle parking, public realm, landscaping and amenity space and associated works.

Planners noted in their recommendation to approve the application: “There would be less than substantial harm to the setting of the listed buildings, therefore, this would be significantly outweighed by the public benefits of the proposed development.”

A local council spokesperson said: “This redevelopment has the potential to deliver major wider environmental, community and social gains and economic benefits which could assist in the regeneration of the town centre and wider area.”

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