The next milestone in the process of preparing a new local plan for Bracknell Forest will be reached on Tuesday 23 January when the council’s executive members review and consider the draft proposal. If approved, this will then go to full council for approval on 1 February. If agreed, a public consultation will run between Thursday 8 February and Monday 26 March.
The draft plan supports the council’s aim of having a plan-led approach to development within the borough and sets out a new planning structure. It includes policies to be used in assessing planning applications and proposed sites for development for the period up to 2034. The draft plan is based on meeting a housing target of 670 dwellings per year, which equates to a need for 12,060 homes for the period from April 2016 to March 2034. However, 9,136 homes have either been built, are already planned or form a windfall allowance. Once these are deducted, the council needs to find new sites for the remaining 3,216 new homes.
The plan identifies 24 sites of varying sizes for potential allocation. A number of sites in Bracknell town centre are included in the plan and are proposed for further retail, leisure, offices and residential.
Development of these sites will continue the process of regenerating the town centre.
Other sites proposed include:
- land at the Hideout and Beaufort Park, Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell (570 new homes including 200 affordable homes)
- land at Winkfield Row (500 new homes including 175 affordable homes)
- land at Hayley Green (235 new homes including 82 affordable homes). This site has also been promoted through the emerging Warfield Neighbourhood Plan
- land south of London Road, east of Bog Lane and west of Swinley Road (Whitmoor Forest), Winkfield (450 new homes including 158 affordable homes)
In addition to housing, new facilities are proposed including primary schools and major areas of new public green space for all residents. There will also be additional infrastructure improvements, including improvement works to manage the road network.
If approved, local residents, community groups, businesses and other organisations will be able to give their views during the consultation period. Further details of the consultation programme will be available following the meeting of the council’s executive. As this will be a draft version of the plan, feedback on the vision, objectives, sites and policies is really important to help shape the final version of the plan which will be consulted upon later this year.
Cllr Chris Turrell, executive member for planning and transport, said:
“It is important that residents get involved and have their say in this consultation if it is approved as the plan will play a major role in shaping the borough’s future. There are real choices to be made about how we meet our future development needs, as well as ensuring we have a framework in place which reflects the latest national guidance, so I urge everyone to take a look at the proposals and share their views”.