Plans to build two new homes at the site of Sandhurst’s oldest pub were thrown out last night after concerns were raised over accessibility.

The development, which would have taken up half the Rose and Crown pub’s garden, was objected to by more than 80 residents.

A number of pub-goers turned out to oppose the plans, which were unanimously rejected by Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) councillors.

Adrian Russell, chairman of the Rose and Crown Support Group, said: “Hundreds of local residents and customers do not want this application to be approved.

“It is a community asset we cannot afford to lose.

“Housing needs to meet the needs of all the community. This would be unsuitable for the disabled.

“There are 14 violations of planning policies.”

Councillor Dale Birch said a lot of the objections to the plans were not planning considerations, with many concerned about the viability and survival of the pub if the development had gone ahead.

However, he said: “The development proposed would not provide safe and suitable access for pedestrians.

“I do not have confidence that a narrow path down the side will not cause danger to pedestrians with wheelchairs, children or grandparents.

Residents had raised concerns at a previous meeting about the width of the footpath leading to the proposed homes.

Councillors delayed a decision on the plans at April’s planning application meeting as they were ‘not happy they had all the information’.

Planning officers said it would be ‘unreasonable to refuse the application on the basis of not providing suitable access for pedestrians, including those with disabilities’.

This view was not backed by councillors who criticised the council’s officers.

Councillor Isabel Mattick added: “I am really disappointed about the footpath not being wide enough. It matters to those who are disabled. They should not be seen as second-class citizens.”

More than 80 objections were received by BFC in response to the planning application.

Many residents wee worried the application signals the beginning of the end for the pub, with one resident writing: “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.”