Speeding up Housing Delivery: Homes England’s Intervention

With Homes England buying the site for a 1,340-home scheme in Slough, Developer Muse will start the consultation process for the project this summer. Housing Industry Leaders highlight the aspects of the new project.

With Slough Borough Council struggling to meet the building demand in the area due to funding issues, Homes England has intervened and bought a former university site to speed up the delivery of over 1300 homes.  

The council’s partner for the plot, Developer Muse, will now consult with the government’s housing body to carry out an extensive consultation beginning in summer 2023. 

With more of a focus on regeneration, the £650m mixed-use NWQ scheme will be revised under Homes England to ensure the best value for money is achieved, and people are at the heart of the process. 

A quarter of the project’s allocation was assigned to social housing 

Looking at the landscape of the project, the latest proposals for the area include 1,340 residential units on the site, with 25% set aside for affordable housing. Additionally, there will be an allocation of 467,180 sq ft of office space and 43,900 sq ft of retail and leisure space. 

Back in 2017, the council bought the former university site, which makes up the majority of the NWQ scheme, for £24.2m.

Homes England announced that it would: “Ensure all the council’s key objectives in creating a new neighbourhood with new town centre amenities will be carried forward and delivered by a specialist regeneration partnership with a strong track record of transforming large and complex sites.”

With a previous track record of delivering projects between Homes England and Muse that focus on regeneration, both parties are confident they will be able to hit the ground running to move forward the redevelopment of this major town centre site.”

Slough Council is happy with the new arrangement

James Swindlehurst, leader of Slough Council, explained: “I am delighted we have agreed this multi-million-pound sale, the scale of which significantly improves the council’s financial position whilst ensuring our key priorities are delivered by a trusted and respected specialist partner on this site.”

Ken Glendinning, national director – acquisitions and partnering at Homes England, said: “The acquisition of the former Thames Valley University site is an important milestone in the creation of the North West Quadrant destination.

“Our role is to connect local places and the private sector to support the creation of new, quality homes, and we’re pleased to build on our long-standing partnership with Muse to bring forward this key town centre site.”

Chris Scott, Muse’s development director, said: “As a business, we’re committed to finding sustainable solutions to deliver place-changing regeneration that benefits communities across the UK in any way we can. This deal in Slough with Homes England is a perfect example of how strong partnerships between the public and private sector can overcome challenges to achieve shared goals.”