A campaign calling on Slough Borough Council to protect urban public green spaces from redevelopment was launched on 9 February.

Backed by a group of residents, the Slough Conservatives are calling on the council to provide guarantees in the local plan. The residents have expressed their concern about the proposed redevelopment of the Bowyer Recreation Ground.

On the green space, the council have proposed building new flats on the site as part of the regeneration of the canal basin.

Local resident Penny Childs, who attended the launch with other residents, said: “These fields are vital for everyone in the local area.

“I cannot see how the council think that taking this away will make our quality of life better. They should do the right thing and protect green spaces like this for all residents.”

Chandra Muvvala, who is standing as the local candidate for the Central ward where Bowyer Recreation Ground is located, said: “Urban public green spaces such as this are not only limited and vital for leisure, but also contribute to providing our town environment with cleaner air, essential given the town is the third most polluted town in the South east with one of the highest rates of childhood obesity.”

Head of the Slough Conservatives Association Lee Pettman added: “We are backing their call to save these fields, which if redeveloped will leave thousands of residents in the area without a public green space.”

“These fields were bequeathed to the people of Slough to allow it to remain as a benefit for the whole community. Unfortunately, the issue at Bowyer serves as a reminder of how little Labour regard the protection of residents’ quality of life and the environment of our town.”

Leader of Slough Borough Council, Councillor James Swindlehurst, said: “The proposed development of the Canal Basin will not only improve the area providing a high quality residential led development, it will also significantly improve the existing open space in and around the canal basin site and create a new formal park for the area and enhanced access to the canal.”

“In order to do this a small amount of the existing open space will be lost but residents should be assured that existing Council planning policy ensures that any open space lost must be replaced.

“Core policy 2 confirms ‘existing private and public open spaces will be preserved and enhanced. Where, exceptionally, it is agreed that an open space may be lost a new one, or suitable compensatory provision will be required to be provided elsewhere’.”