Allocations Development Plan Document (SADPD)

Crowthorne targeted with large-scale developments More …

Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) is now identifying strategic areas for future housing development between now and 2026, and has targeted Crowthorne as the site for two major developments. The Strategic Areas Consultation Development Plan Document (SADPD) is now in its third and final phase of consultation. In earlier phases BFC identified a need for 10,780 additional houses in Bracknell area. Some are already identified in sites like Jennets Park. Of the remaining 3,600, they focus the majority in just two areas - North Bracknell and Crowthorne.

During the first phase of the consultation BFC identified eight possible areas, which were then narrowed down to the preferred options - two sites in North of Bracknell and two sites in Crowthorne. Simultaneously Wokingham District Council also proposes major development in the gap between Wokingham and Crowthorne. Together they are threatening to create one vast urban sprawl covering Wokingham, Crowthorne and Bracknell.

In Crowthorne area BFC proposes 1,000 homes on the TRL site and 400 homes in the Broadmoor area. The TRL proposal is for a massive development covering the whole site, both the existing buildings and the extensive areas of woodland surrounding, effectively linking Crowthorne to Great Hollands. Whilst BFC claims to have consulted residents, in practice they have dismissed feedback and continued with the original plan.

During a presentation of the proposals in Crowthorne, council officials refused to accept comments, maintaining that the meeting was "just for information". Comments had to be submitted through a separate website. CVAG conducted an exit poll of 400 of the people who attended the "presentation", which found that over 90% of residents were opposed to the plans as presented. CVAG has requested that BFC offer an alternative option for TRL of a development which just covers the currently built up area, the "brownfield" element. They have refused.

The SADP document finally came before council in November 2011, previous stages having been approved by executive without reference to council. However even though this was the first opportunity for the full council to debate these proposals, councillors were informed that it would be very costly to change anything at this stage and the Conservative party placed a whip on its members to support the motion. So it was approved.

The third and final stage of consultation commences on 16th January. This phase is just concerned with the soundness of the proposals. The final document is then due to be presented to the secretary of state in June 2012 for an independent examination by an inspector, currently scheduled for October 2012. Since BFC steadfastly refuses to take into account the views of residents - CVAG is set to lodge strong objections with the independent inspector.