Our inter-disciplinary team of Town and Landscape Planners, worked alongside our Development Economics team to support longstanding client SEGRO in securing a resolution to grant at Planning Committee for the approval of SEGRO V Park. The development is the first of its kind on the Slough Trading Estate (STE), adding to the mix of employment floorspace and delivering significant economic benefits.
The Planning team first started working on the project in October 2020 and have led on a series of pre-application meetings and workshops with Slough Borough Council as part of a Planning Performance Agreement. This has resulted in the design evolution of the scheme and securing a variety of economic benefits for the local community.
With intensification in mind, the project team proposed a seven-storey building that will deliver flexible industrial workshop space for small businesses and SMEs, offices on the top floor, in addition to public realm and publicly accessible café. The small industrial units typically taken by these types of operators on the Estate are normally low-density units i.e., single storey.
With the huge demand for employment space in Slough, particularly on the Estate, and a very low vacancy rate on the Estate (2%), the development helps SEGRO meet this demand, without such a big land take as the traditional units. The development will have a shared service yard and goods lifts for all the occupiers to use and each workshop can be subdivided or amalgamated with another to ensure that just the right amount of floorspace can be provided for occupiers.
The development will provide a Local Employment and Skills Programme, alongside providing a £50,000 contribution towards Slough’s Future Skills Hub (FSH) in the town centre, which seeks to help get local people into local jobs. The FSH will therefore help to facilitate local construction workers being placed on the site, linking back to the targets set within the Employment and Skills Programme for the scheme. The Development Economics team prepared an Economic Benefits Infographic that supported the planning application submission, which in turn assisted with strengthening the social value and economic case for the development.
- Seven-storey, flexible industrial building
- Top floor office space
- Roof terrace
- Micro forest and green walls
- Active travel
- Construction jobs – 292 direct, 283 indirect
- Gross operational employment - 399 FTE
- Total construction GVA (over construction period) - £48m
The team provided townscape consultancy to inform the proposals and a townscape and visual impact assessment to accompany the application. Key to this was consideration of the potential for the height and character of the building to form a focal point for the STE, providing legibility of the retail and service centre of the STE. The design was also refined to pioneer a new kind of more immediate, active, and engaging townscape in the STE, arranged to prioritise pedestrians rather than vehicles. Connecting the public realm to the existing Leigh Road Park to the south of the site further promotes workers’ wellbeing, by extending the amenity of this local open space for people working both within the development and the wider STE, including through outdoor seating areas. The design also enhances the flow of public realm linking the park and wider townscape to the adjacent retail services at the Buckingham Centre.
Biodiversity benefits sat at the centre of the overall approach to the greening of the development. Based on townscape and visual input, the public faces of the building and public realm were enhanced, to maximise the benefits to people working in the STE. Green walls and a ‘micro forest’ of dense, native tree and shrub planting - quite unlike the more typical formal and ornamental landscape design of the STE - were used to soften utilitarian elements, including parking and a goods yard.
The design reflects the forward-thinking approach of SEGRO to the use of the STE, including much greater emphasis on the wider benefits to the estate from the public realm and café provision.