Ascot’s Silwood Park science park could see its plans approved

A SCIENCE park could see a new research center that examines animals, plants, humans and microorganisms built if Royal district advisers give the go-ahead.

Planners of the Silwood Park Science Park in Buckhurst Road, Ascot, want to erect a three-storey ‘life science building’ with a cafe to ‘kick-start’ the regeneration of the park and ‘act as an anchor’ for the group of small renovated buildings adjoining research units.

It is proposed to divide the 5,260 m² building into offices and laboratories to support its scientific and research professions.

If the project, proposed by the developer NSS IV (Real Estate) LLP, is approved, it will involve demolishing the existing business center and developing on the green belt.

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To meet future parking demand, the developer proposes to increase its current fleet of 211 parking spaces by 13 additional spaces. 45 of the bays will be equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles.

Ascot and Sunninghill Parish Council opposed the plans and had ‘serious concerns’ the increased height of the building will affect the opening of the green belt and the small increase in parking spaces is ‘totally inadequate” given that the site has “poor” public transport networks, leading to an increase in the number of employees traveling there.

Despite these concerns, Royal Borough planning officers have recommended the scheme be approved, believing that the ‘significant benefit’ of direct and indirect employment opportunities and its provision of education outweighs the harm.

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They also found its impact on the highway, its appearance on the character of the area and its parking options acceptable.

Although the project is proposed to be built on green belt land, its proposal to retain and enhance the landscaping and trees as well as incorporate environmentally friendly features into the building, such as heat pumps, makes this development appropriate.

Councilors on Windsor and Ascot’s Development Management Committee will decide the fate of the application on Wednesday March 2.

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