PLANS to build two new houses on part of a beloved Sandhurst pub’s beer garden have been described as a “trojan horse” for the closure of the pub.

Two three-bedroom houses are set to be given the go-ahead for building following the demolition of two outbuildings behind The Rose and Crown pub in Sandhurst, despite the council receiving eight objections from neighbours.

One objector claimed the application could be a “trojan horse”, “where the ultimate goal on the part of the owners is the pub’s closure”

Another resident commented: “as the oldest remaining public house in Sandhurst I would like to think that the council would want to preserve one of the remaining parts of Sandhurst’s history rather than to sign its death warrant when they make their final decision.”

A report produced for the council stated that “the existing pub would be retained as a community facility” with no plans to alter the pub or the car park itself.

National planning rules highlight the importance of pubs as “cultural facilities” and advise that planning decisions should guard against the loss of these venues because they provide “community needs.”

However documents attached to the original planning application indicated that the owners of the pub deemed the size of the existing beer garden as “surplus to operational requirements”, with the reduced size being suitable to maintain the opening of the site.

The plans for the two new homes do not meet national planning policy requirements which “seek to restrict new housing in the countryside”, and one resident commented “two new houses will obliterate the view of the woodland fields… far better to look at green open space than someone’s washing line in their back garden.”

The new homes would be built on land outside a designated building area but the report claimed no “significant harm would result to the intrinsic beauty of the countryside”.

Other objections included worries about potential noise increases, more traffic nearby and concerns over parking spaces.

Bracknell Forest Council also received a letter of support for the application from the tenants of the pub, which stated: “The development is proposed on what is currently a spare piece of our large garden.”

It continued: “we are confident that the proposal won’t have any material impact on either the pub or our business.”

The application was submitted to the council in April 2018 and councillors are finally set to approve the application at a Bracknell Forest Council planning committee meeting on Thursday, November 8.