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Residents rally against planning application to demolish Ramslade House in Bracknell

Published: 11 Feb 2014 17:301 comment

A PLANNING application to demolish an Edwardian house and build 12 homes on the site has prompted residents to describe it as a sign of Bracknell “losing character”.

Residents Angry at potential development of Edwardian house in Bracknell, L-R Rosie Hill, Brad Clapson, Niki Robinson, Emma Donald, Gemah Allen and dog Beau Allen.

The historic Ramslade House in Austin Way, The Parks, is the last remaining building from the old RAF staff college site but has been left in a state of disrepair.

Over the past few years, the site has been subject to several planning applications, much to the anger of residents, including an application for a nine-home development last year.

The latest application comes after Taylor Wimpey, which built The Parks housing development, claimed it would be too expensive to convert the building.

Its plan would see 12 three-bedroom houses built on the site, including three affordable homes, with parking for occupants and three visitor spaces.

A public garden commemorating the former RAF site would also be built south of the housing site.

But Niki Robinson, of Hanworth, believes there is still life in the house and that demolishing it would be like “losing some of Bracknell’s heart”.

“I have spoken to a lot of people about this and as members of the Bracknell community we are strongly against this,” she said.

“If the house goes, Bracknell will lose some heart and some of its

soul too. People want a mixture of different buildings and yes, we need houses but there needs to be some give and take.

“We need both old and new buildings and I think everyone is getting a bit fed up of everything being bulldozed every 10 years.”

Mrs Robinson believes the property could be an ideal location to house her academy, The Robinson Academy for Creative & Technical Arts, which is looking for a permanent home in Bracknell.

Residents of the housing estate have also said that the development would exceed the

number of homes that was initially agreed for the site, 730, by 10 properties.

The proposal has received nearly 40 objections, citing a range of reasons including parking issues, the loss of green space and the loss of a historic building in the town.

The outcome of the application is due to be determined by Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee this month.

English Heritage confirmed that the property had never been a listed building.

In a statement, Taylor Wimpey said there would be “12 high-quality townhouses on the site”.

It added: “If the application is approved, these additional properties would see a very slight increase above the original total number of homes granted for the development

“The townhouses take their design cues from the original Ramslade House building, including prominent architectural features and white rendered exteriors.”

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