10:59AM, Friday 15 November 2019
The redevelopment of the Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre is unlikely to feature a new covered shopping mall.
British Land, delivering the multi-million pound project on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), has instead informed the council it wants to create a Central Business District featuring new offices.
The latest town centre regeneration report will be discussed by members of Slough Borough Council’s cabinet during a meeting at 25 Windsor Road on Monday.
The report reveals that British Land is working on plans for up to 2,500 homes as part of the long-awaited redevelopment.
Retail space is expected to be reduced to between 250,000 and 500,000 square feet, although the developer says this will be compensated with an increase in places to eat and drink.
The report states: “The council has engaged in high level discussions with British Land throughout the summer.
“British Land has indicated that the council should not expect to see the existing shopping centres replaced by a covered shopping mall.
“There is also likely to be a reduction in retail space.”
Public consultation on the project is planned for next year with a planning application expected to be submitted in 2021.
Discussions are ongoing for the introduction of a new market, fully funded by British Land, at the Debenhams store in the High Street which is expected to shut next year as part of nationwide closures.
The council is also exploring the possibility of a social enterprise quarter with the aim of filling empty shops during the transitional period before the town centre’s redevelopment.
Cabinet members will also discuss the prospect of reducing car parking capacity in the town centre by more than 20 per cent.
There are currently about 5,000 spaces but this could be reduced to between 3,500 and 4,000 due to the ‘changing trends and demands’ of the town centre.
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