Slough speaks out against HEx depot move

Slough Borough Council has submitted its petition against government plans to build a railway depot in Langley.

A parliamentary bill proposes moving the Heathrow Express (HEx) depot at Old Oak Common to an area north east of Langley station as part of the High Speed 2 (HS2) project, and to enable the regeneration of Old Oak.

At a full council meeting in July councillors voted to oppose the bill, believing the depot will have a detrimental effect on residents and businesses.

Joe Carter, assistant director of assets, infrastructure and regeneration at Slough Borough Council, said: “We’ve got serious concerns about the impact of the depot, both while it’s being constructed and when it becomes fully operational.

“Major issues like road access, air quality and the loss of land earmarked for much-needed family housing have not been properly considered, and no details have been given on how the effects would be mitigated.

“Businesses might decide not to invest in the area, and the move could affect plans to build a western rail link to Heathrow.”

Councillor Sohail Munawar, commissioner for social and economic inclusion, said: “We’re not against the HS2 scheme itself, but we don’t think Langley is the right place for the depot.

“HS2 has not provided enough evidence to justify moving it there, and we’ve had no details about why other potential locations were rejected.

“The depot should move to North Pole East, as originally proposed, or HS2 should find another location.”

If the depot moved to North Pole East, it would remain inside the Old Oak regeneration area, potentially compromising the ability of the Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation to produce the hoped-for 24000 homes and 55000 jobs in the area.

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