MORE than 700 homes could be built in the town centre as part of a new £300 million round of regeneration.

The council has launched its search to find a partner to regenerate Market Street, Coopers Hill and Jubilee Gardens after councillors signed off on plans to offer a ‘50:50 joint venture’ to private sector developers in February.

And on Friday, May 24, Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) posted an invitation to potential partners to bid for a contract which could be worth up to £300 million.

Read also: £30 million investment planned in town centre

Development on the 5.8 acres of land could see 700 homes built but the regeneration could also lead to new offices, hotels or community facilities going up as well.

Timothy Wheadon, chief executive at BFC, said: “We’ve always said that Bracknell town centre will be regenerated in phases and so we’re now looking for a development partner to join us on the part of the overall redevelopment journey that extends beyond the current retail offer.

“Primarily we will be looking to redevelop our vacant site in Market Street, Jubilee Gardens and Coopers Hill with the possibility of adding additional sites over time.

“While the finer details of what goes on these sites is yet to be decided, we are asking developers to consider how to incorporate affordable homes, commercial occupiers and community facilities to enhance the town centre and encourage an 18 hour economy. We are aware that we have allowed some temporary uses on some of the sites we are now looking at. This has always been on the clear understanding that the sites would be developed in future. However, the timescales for these developments mean there will be plenty of time to talk to the users about alternatives.”

According to council documents, a new health centre and 227 apartments could be developed at Market Street, 200 residential units and commercial space could pop up at Jubilee Gardens and another 200 homes and “some retention” of the youth centre could be the main features at Coopers Hill.

More sites in addition to Market Street, Coopers Hill and Jubilee Gardens could be added to the joint venture ‘over the medium and long term’.

This could include Albert Road, where 100 homes could be built, Easthampstead House, (which is currently being used as office space) could be redeveloped as 200 homes, the Southern Gateway, which was recently acquired by BFC, and the Civic Quarter.

While the private sector partners are expected to contribute funds and “expertise” to the joint venture, the council is also expected to take on loans from the Loan Works Development Board and could borrow up to £10 million at any one time in order to contribute to the development.

Interested parties have until Thursday, June 27 to submit applications for consideration as a joint venture partner.

BFC will shortlist five parties after nominations have been received and will tell the applicants of their selection in July 2019.

Following this, parties will be narrowed down further until the council selects its partner in May 2020.

Speaking after councillors kickstarted the plans in February, Cllr Peter Heydon, executive member for transformation and finance, said: “The overarching vision is to make a place that suits the needs of residents and businesses including new facilities and affordable housing.

“We’re retaining a lot of ownership through the joint venture, which is absolutely key to our residents as well. They want the town to belong to them.”