PLANS to build 56 properties in an exclusive area east of Ascot with no affordable housing provision are set to be approved.

On May 18 Bracknell Forest Council's planning committee will decide whether to green light the build at The Brackens on London Road.

Officers have recommended the plans for approval, despite developers Berkeley Homes Ltd including no onsite affordable housing in their proposals.

Instead it will contribute to council funds or provide affordable homes at its development in Warfield.

The build, which falls on a site with an average house value of £903,500 according to Zoopla, also contravenes council guidelines that aim to 'protect the countryside for its own sake'.

Because the council has inadequate plans for the supply of housing over the next five years however, the concerns have been pushed to one side.

Max Baker, the council's head of planning, said; "In this case there are some particular considerations around the site.

"It is very well treed and the developers told us the affordable housing providers aren't able to take on the site due to its well treed nature, and the extra maintenance costs the entails. In cases like this a surrogate site may be preferable."

Speaking of the likely high cost of the houses, Mr Baker continued: "There will be a range of prices and we do have a demonstrable need for housing over all. Our requirement is across the borough and not specific to Ascot.

"The problem we have in Bracknell is that we haven't been able to demonstrate a five year housing demand. Policies that restrict the use of housing are considered out of date in light of this.

"That doesn't mean we have a carte blanche to develop every site, it means we have to assess the weight we give to particular policies."

The build will see Brackens House converted into four two-bed apartments and one three-bed, with the existing extension demolished and replaced with a block of apartments located to the north of the red brick property.

According to the plans at least 111 bedrooms will be provided by the build, with a further, unspecified number in 10 detached dwellings and six apartments.

When new owners move in at the end of the predicted five year build they will have good access to seasonal Christmas attraction Lapland UK, which sits on the other side of Swinley Forest.

Bats, slow worms and common lizards live on the site, which officers do not think will be disrupted by the build or planned felling of numerous trees.

The plans ask Berkeley Homes Ltd to pay £162,588 in section 106 funds to be used for projects including foot and cycle path improvements and bus service subsidies.