Fears over Crowthorne mini-town
May 23, 2012
Campaigners have asked council bosses to consider a “sensible” alternative for a mini-town in Crowthorne, to prevent over-crowding and loss of trees.
Crowthorne Village Action Group (CVAG) has written to Bracknell Forest Council asking if the authority would consider providing an alternative number to the proposals for homes on the former Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in Old Wokingham Road,
The group’s members accept that it is inevitable the site will be developed, but say the number of homes is far too high.
The council’s Site Allocations Development Plan Document (SADPD) sets out where housing will be built by 2026 across Bracknell Forest, including 1,000 homes at TRL.
The letter says: “It is a great concern that during the whole ‘consultation process’ the residents of Crowthorne have never been presented with any alternative to the large scale re-development.
“We therefore believe that it would be sensible to generate an alternative which can be considered, based on building on the currently developed footprint of the TRL.
“This would preserve the trees, maintain the existing green gap between Crowthorne and Bracknell and, since it would be reduced in scale, would have better chance of being integrated into the Crowthorne community.
Andy Holley of CVAG, added: “We recognise that the TRL site is no longer used for its original purpose and agree that there should be some redevelopment there.
“Since Bracknell already has a large surplus of empty office space it is logical that it should be used for housing.
“Our concern is one of scale.
“We are asking Bracknell Forest Council to offer the residents an alternative scaled down plan for building on just the brownfield element of the site.
“This would also reduce the stress on the local infras -tructure making it easier to accommodate the additional traffic and support the new residents.
“They are claiming to have consulted with residents but never offer any alternative. That’s not really a consultation, is it?”
Bev Hindle, chief officer for planning and transport, said it would be “inappropriate” to commit limited resources into further surveys on the land to provide an alternative. He said it would be “confusing” to start providing alternatives at this late stage and if the numbers changed the council would not be able to meet the housing targets, leading to it being declared “unsound” by a Government inspector.