A CONTROVERSIAL plan to demolish an Edwardian house and build homes on the site has been refused by councillors – despite officers recommending it for approval.

The proposal by Taylor Wimpey would have resulted in 12 three-bedroom houses being built in place of the historic Ramslade House the last remaining building from the former RAF staff college in Bracknell.

There were more than 50 objections from members of the public, citing parking issues, the loss of green space and the loss of an historic building in the town. The plans outlined 33 car parking spaces for the new houses –24 for their residents and nine for visitors.

But this would be on the site where residents from Tempest Mews, Austin Way and Typhoon Close currently park around Ramslade House.

And speaking at Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee last Thurs-day, Jordan Cook, vice chairman of The Parks Residents’ Association, told councillors the development, planned for Austin Way, The Parks, would cause parking chaos.

She said: “Where are these cars expected to go? Surely it can’t make sense to pass an application which takes away parking for 30 people and reserves it for 12?” But Cllr Andy Blatchford pointed out the spaces are not officially owned by residents living in the three streets and Taylor Wimpey could “fence them off”.

Cllr Chris Turrell, executive member for highways and planning at the council, said the plans should be rejected because of the overbearing appearance of the proposed housing and the increased pressure it would cause for transport.

He said: “What’s being offered in re-placement is a block [of houses] that goes out to the extreme edges of the site and the footprint comes forward on all four sides.” The recommendation to refuse the application was passed by all members of the committee except chairman Cllr Colin Dudley and vice chairman Cllr Michael Brossard.

They supported the recommendation of a council planning officer, who said the proposed development was acceptable and would help meet the need for new homes.

Speaking after the meeting, a Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “We are disappointed our application to demolish Ramslade House and build 12 high-quality townhouses on the site has been refused.

“We maintain that Ramslade House is not in a viable condition to be converted and brought back into use, and the best option would be to demolish the building.”