The council’s decision-making executive agreed the final version of the borough’s Local Plan on Tuesday, ahead of its submission to the government for examination by an independent inspector.
The plan details where around 3,700 homes (including affordable homes) are planned to be built across 20 new sites by 2037. It focuses on development around Bracknell town centre and land at Jealott’s Hill, which would be developed to create a sustainable new neighbourhood including employment opportunities, new homes, supporting infrastructure and large areas of new publicly accessible open space.
Prior to its formal submission, further public consultation will take place between Tuesday, 23 March and Tuesday, 11 May. Unlike previous consultations, the council is required to ask specific questions which will give people an opportunity to comment on:
- how the Local Plan has been prepared
- whether its aims are achievable
- whether the plan is based on robust evidence
Any comments received during the consultation will be sent directly to the independent inspector appointed to undertake the examination.
The final version of the plan takes account of hundreds of comments made in previous consultations. All of these comments were carefully reviewed and, in parallel with further technical work, appropriate changes were incorporated.
As well as setting out where new neighbourhoods, homes, businesses and facilities could be built over the next 16 years, there are new and updated development management policies in the plan that will be used to assess planning applications over the coming years.
Having a long-term plan and vision is vital for the council, to ensure that it remains in control of what development is permitted rather than being forced to accept unplanned piecemeal and unsustainable development.
Cllr Chris Turrell, Executive Member for Planning and Transport, said:
“We have now reached a milestone in the long and complex process of producing the council’s Local Plan. It contains a positive strategy for meeting the borough’s long-term development needs for the benefit of existing and new populations. Providing homes, jobs, infrastructure and new open space, whist seeking to protect our countryside areas, heritage assets and contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
“I would encourage residents who have comments on the plan, to make these through the consultation process. This will ensure that the appointed inspector who will examine the plan has full access to all comments.”
The Pre-Submission Local Plan and supporting documents can be viewed on the Draft Bracknell Forest Local Plan webpage.