A ‘trojan horse’ planning application to build two homes at a much-loved pub is set to judged by councillors for a third time in less than six months.

Plans to add the houses at the site of the Rose and Crown pub in Sandhurst were set to be approved at a planning committee meeting in February 2019 before they were pulled at the last minute.

Three months earlier Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) rejected the move for the first time after residents widely opposed the proposal, with one saying the application was a “trojan horse” where “the ultimate goal on part on the part of the owners is the pub’s closure”.

Councillors refused the plan on the grounds it would not provide safe access for pedestrians through the car park of the pub, with reversing vehicles likely to endanger people walking around the site.

But now it has been revealed changes made to the application include a new dedicated pedestrian footpath and revisions to the layout of the pub’s car park so fewer spaces are available.

The pub is set to stay open after the two three-bedroom homes are built, but their construction means the beer garden at the back of the pub would shrink to half its current size.

Councillors are set to approve the plans despite 77 residents objecting to the proposal at the time of writing.

Many of those who have already opposed are upset at what the plans could mean for the future of the pub, with one suggesting reducing the size of the pub’s garden would be “madness”.

They continued: “This appears to be a money grabbing exercise on the part of the owners with no respect for the local area, and will likely lead to the full closure of Sandhurst's oldest pub in the near future.”

Another said: “The housing behind will ruin what's left of the best pub in Sandhurst.”

Others have voiced their concerns about the impact of the new development on neighbouring properties and the surrounding area.

One resident wrote: “There are already too many houses being currently built in the borough without any proposals to improve the local infrastructure”.

Echoing this, another resident said the council “must listen to the community and learn when to say no”.

Some residents also claimed the changes to the car park would not be beneficial, with one pointing out how the existing car park is “already too small”, meaning pub-goers would be forced to park on the road, with another concerned about access for emergency vehicles.

Sandhurst Town Council has also opposed the proposal, claiming the reasons for refusal in November are still valid.

Despite these concerns, officers have recommended the application is approved and dismissed residents’ concerns in a report produced for the council.

It is claimed ‘no significant harm’ would come to the countryside as a result of building the new homes despite the proposed land being outside the settlement boundary, and the proposal is “not considered” to seriously affect nearby properties.

According to the report, the pub does not legally have to allocate parking for customers and officers are satisfied the changes made in the report means the danger to residents crossing the car park has been removed.

Councillors are set to discuss the application at planning committee meeting on Wednesday, April 17.