SEGRO plc (‘SEGRO’) and Slough Borough Council have renewed the landmark Simplified Planning Zone (‘SPZ’) agreement that will enable the rapid creation of new buildings on the Slough Trading Estate for the next 10 years, further reinforcing the Trading Estate’s position as a prime location for businesses in the Thames Valley.
The signing of the SPZ, for the third successive 10 year period, means that full planning permission is automatically granted for the construction of industrial buildings on the Trading Estate – including warehouses, data centres, and research and development facilities – provided that the development is in accordance with the SPZ scheme terms. These mainly relate to density of development, height of buildings near to residential areas and building sustainability.
The SPZ has been a vital factor in ensuring competitive advantage for the Trading Estate in attracting blue chip companies and smaller enterprises alike to Slough, providing a rich source of local employment. During the 2005-2014 SPZ period, 1.6 million sq ft of new space has been delivered on the Trading Estate, rejuvenating 23 per cent of its built space. A similar amount of space is expected to be developed over the coming five years.
The certainty and speed of development enabled by the SPZ is an important attraction for both new customers and existing customers wanting to expand their premises.
Gareth Osborn, SEGRO’s Business Unit Director for Thames Valley, said:
“This SPZ agreement is the culmination of productive discussions with our partners at Slough Borough Council who, like us, recognise the decisive benefits offered by the assurances it enables us to provide to new and existing customers on the Trading Estate in terms of speed, flexibility and, importantly, certainty of construction.”
Councillor Rob Anderson, leader of Slough Borough Council, said:
“As the largest business area in the borough, the Slough Trading Estate provides around a quarter of Slough’s jobs. Therefore, its continued success is vital to the local economy and the prosperity of the town as a whole.”
“The scheme will bring countless benefits for businesses, the council and the wider community. By providing high quality work premises, employment opportunities will be increased and it will also allow us to implement more sustainable transport measures to reduce congestion.”
“It’s an agreement that has always worked very well and we hope it continues to do so for the next 10 years and beyond.”
In reaching this agreement, SEGRO has also worked with the council and local community on a number of initiatives on and around the Trading Estate, including Slough Aspire and the sustainable transport scheme.
Slough Aspire, the dedicated skills and training facility which has been operating on the Trading Estate for a year, has worked with 2,521 students to help them become job-ready. It has also enhanced the skill set of 436 local residents and delivered dedicated training for 141 businesses and their employees.
The sustainable transport partnership is designed specifically for businesses on the Trading Estate and aims to encourage wider use of public transport, walking, cycling and car sharing in Slough. It was developed by SEGRO, Slough Borough Council, First Great Western, Liftshare and First Berkshire Bus.