The following files are key information that have been shared with the local community to date. You are welcome to download these for your reference.
We have outlined some Frequently Asked Questions below. Hopefully the answer to your question is covered in the responses below. If not, please do get in touch with the team, who will be happy to assist.
Slough Central is the new name for the redevelopment of the Queensmere and Observatory shopping centre, located in the heart of Slough’s town centre.
The long-term ambition for the site will see the demolition of the existing buildings and a comprehensive redevelopment of the entire site.
The vision for Slough Central is to create long-lasting economic growth in Slough, for all cultures, communities and ages to believe in and for everyone to enjoy.
This vision will be achieved through a mixed-use redevelopment replacing the existing Queensmere and Observatory Shopping Centres.
This vision will be achieved through:
The development is being brought forward by British Land on behalf of Green Monarch. The site is owned by ADIA (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority).
Slough Borough Council are the Local Authority for the Slough Central project. They have a dual role in the project. We are working with their Regeneration officers as the plans develop to ensure these align with [and are supported by] the Council’s broader investment plans for the Town Centre.
Slough Borough Council also have a role as the Local Planning Authority through the pre-application process ahead of determining a planning submission. Elected local councillors sitting on the Planning Committee will also take the final decision on the planning application once it has been submitted based on a report by planning officers, as with any planning application.
We are proposing an outline planning application for the Slough Central site.
This would set out the key principles of future development on the site – including the different of uses (e.g. workspace and homes) proposed and range of potential floorspace for these, as well as the range of building heights; routes into the site and connections beyond the site to the surrounding context and wider town centre; types and size of the new public spaces; and a broad plan for where the buildings could be located.
Developing an outline application in this way will allow us to work with local people and Slough Borough Council to bring forward a complete vision for the site. This then allows further detailed designs to come forward in line with the vision and the principles established, while responding to needs and demands at the time.
We are still in the early stages of the design process and we are eager to hear local people’s views and to work with the Slough community to integrate their ideas into the vision for the site.
The team has already held a series of meetings with members of the community and key stakeholders, including youth organisations; churches and Gurdwaras; local businesses; and community groups. We will continue to meet with local groups over the coming months.
Our first formal public consultation event was scheduled to take place in March. This first session was intended to introduce the wider team to the local community and enable local people to share their ideas for the future of the Queensmere Observatory and the Town Centre. Due to Covid-19/Coronavirus, we unfortunately had to cancel our first public consultation event. We have replaced this with a ‘virtual exhibition’, available on this website and via post, providing several different ways for residents to view the material and provide feedback.
Ahead of submitting a planning application in early 2021, we will be holding a series of further consultation events and individual workshops with community organisations, local businesses and charities to enable them to feed into the emerging design for Slough Central. We want to ensure everyone in Slough has the opportunity to share their views on how the town centre can be improved.
The plans are at an early stage, so the exact type of retail is yet to be determined. The approach to retail will be flexible at this stage, to enable the proposals to respond to wider changes that are happening in the retail sector.
It is vital that the retail in Slough Central reflects the changing nature of how people shop, to ensure that the town centre is an attractive place for people to visit. The plans for Slough Central must reflect the needs of a modern town centre and not simply seek to replicate what has come before.
The new Slough Central will replace the current retail focused town centre with a broader mix of uses including new work space; new shops; places to eat and drink; leisure and cultural space; and safe, welcoming public spaces – to meet community, shoppers and worker’s needs.
We welcome views from the community about what Slough Central needs to deliver in terms of a modern shopping experience, as part of a wider mixed-use development.
We are monitoring the Covid-19 situation carefully and are working closely with the existing businesses within the centre and the wider community to support them in this challenging time. While the shopping centre has remained open for essential businesses, on 15 June almost all shops reopened across the 2 centres, and hairdressers and beauticians opened in July.
Both the centre and shops have clear entrance and exit strategies to comply with social distancing, with clear markings and signage across the centre.
The plans for Slough Central are flexible to ensure they respond to any wider changes in retail or business culture and contribute to the long-term prosperity of the town centre.
Covid-19 has not significantly impacted the timetable for the submission of the Slough Central planning application; we are still intending to submit a planning application in early 2021.
We want to ensure that the local community can help shape the outline plans at each stage.
We have been speaking to various groups and individuals within the local community over the last 6 months, getting to know Slough and listening to people’s passions and ideas for the site and town. This has included local youth organisations; churches, mosques and Gurdwaras; local business groups; and a whole range of different community organisations and charities. We’ve held e-briefings on the plans with many of these groups as part of the first stage.
The recent consultation has opened the discussion to the wider population of Slough and has provided us with a wealth of different views and ideas for what people want to see on the site. You can see more about the feedback from this first stage here.
We are working with our design team to ensure that the views of local people are reflected in our emerging design and that the proposals respond to local people’s aspirations for the town centre.
We know we can always learn more and would be delighted to hear from you if you are part of a local group and would like to arrange a briefing. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01753 394141.
We are currently working with existing occupiers to help them through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Moving forward, we will continue to support our existing tenants and work to bring additional activity into the centre. This may be in the form of meanwhile uses or offering local charities and other organisations the opportunity to use space in the centre. We are open to working with existing traders to explore their future options on site while also ensuring they are supported if they are looking to secure new premises.
The development would be built over a phased period of around 10-15 years. As a first stage in the process, we anticipate submitting the application in outline in early 2021. This would then be considered by Slough Borough Council’s Planning Committee; we are aiming for planning permission to be granted towards the end of 2021.
Once an outline permission is established it will allow planning applications for the details of buildings and other elements (known as Reserved Matters Applications or RMAs) to be brought forward on a phased basis. This will enable the development to respond to occupier interest and opportunity.
Subject to planning being granted, for a proposal as large and significant as this there will be multiple steps involved, including phased demolition of the existing site and ensuring that the final make-up of the workspace, retail, leisure and residential elements of the site drives economic regeneration and delivers a town centre that is fit for the future.
This phased delivery will see the different elements of the site delivered over a number of years, meaning completion of all the different elements will be staggered, with some elements coming forward sooner.
We are eager to progress the project as quickly as possible while ensuring that we deliver a town centre that supports Slough’s aspirations for the future.
We have a transport team working on a range of different transport options for the site. These discussions will look at parking but will also include future transport solutions including electric cars (charging points) and capturing the benefits of Crossrail. The development will incorporate car parking. However, the level of parking provided will be determined as the masterplan progresses, and in consideration of wider transport studies and plans by the Council. Details will be shared with the community as the masterplan progresses.
The Council’s current vision is to improve connections to the town centre and ensure transport both public and private – including by foot and on bike – into the town centre is easier for existing and future residents, shoppers and workers.
The parking provided as part of Slough Central will comply with regulations outlined in the Disability Discrimination Act and provide the appropriate level of disabled parking. The final parking level will need to be flexible to ensure the final number is the right fit for the Slough of the future.
The vision for Slough Central is to support the creation of long-lasting economic prosperity in Slough, for all cultures and communities to believe in and for everyone to enjoy.
The provision of new workspace in the town centre is critical to achieving this vision and will have significant benefits for the town centre. New workspace provided can include a range of sizes to accommodate a national/ international Headquarters to smaller formats for start-up businesses.
Bringing in new businesses will provide a range of employment opportunities, enhanced economic prosperity and help create a vibrant town centre. These new workers would ensure that the new Slough Central is active and will provide businesses in the town centre, both new and existing, an expanded customer base who will spend their money locally.
This increased activity will also create an improved vibrancy in the town centre and provide a greater feeling of safety, both during the daytime and at night-time, within the town centre.
We also hope that this will enable more local people to have the opportunity to work locally rather than making the commute into central London. By delivering a wide range of different uses we are proposing a truly sustainable community, which can be built and combined with the existing community that already lives in the town centre.
We are proposing approx. 1,100 new homes on the site.
The plans will be submitted as an outline planning application, with the details of homes to be provided coming forward as part of future applications.
Slough Central will deliver new retail space, as well as an improved food and drink offer and cultural and leisure spaces, but this will not be in the same traditional shopping centre format that exists on the site currently.
The nature of retail is changing. The proposed development will look at how we can meet the needs of retailers in the future and respond to ongoing market changes.
The two-existing shopping centres were built over 20 years ago and the environment is now dated. The centres are located at a key juncture between the train station and the high street. This needs to be brought up to date to fit in with modern needs and uses.
We would love for you to get involved. The best way to ensure you are up to date is by joining the Slough Central mailing list at sloughcentral.com, you can find the sign up at the bottom of the page or simply email email@example.com.
This will ensure you receive all the up-to-date information. You can also call us if you have any questions on 01753 394141.
You will also be able to find links to our social media and contact details for the project team at the bottom of the page.
Please get in touch; the scheme is being developed in outline and is at an early stage so many details will come later, but we’ll do our best to respond.