RESIDENTS will have the ‘best chance to shape Bracknell Forest’s future’ as a survey on housing in the borough is set to get underway.

Bracknell Forest Council’s (BFC) top team gave the green light to go ahead with a consultation on its updated local plan, which includes more provision for affordable housing.

Residents will be able to give their thoughts on how the borough should be shaped through infrastructure, office and employment space and new homes from 25 October to December 6.

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Planning boss Cllr Chris Turrell said: “Widespread consultation means the plan allows our community the best chance to shape its own future, influencing our priorities.

“Planning is frequently a very emotive subject, and that is why it is important to ensure the widest consultation with all residents.”

The greatest change to the local plan is a proposal to add 4,000 homes at Jealott’s Hill in Warfield.

A new clause in BFC’s planning rules would mean 35 per cent of homes built should be affordable.

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Because of this, 1,400 of the new Jealott’s Hill homes would be made affordable.

Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, development and regeneration chief at BFC, said: “When I’m out on the doorstep talking to residents, one of the things that many of them turn around to me across the borough and say is: ‘Where are my children going to live? Where are we going to have affordable housing?’

“I’m particularly proud that in this consultation one of the things that we’re looking at doing is increasing our affordable housing rate.

“That’s a big increase on our current local plan and I welcome feedback from our residents on what we are trying to do.”

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The Jealott’s Hill garden village homes are part of a “long-term view” which could see all 4,000 homes built by 2049, with the first homes being ready by 2027.

Two new primary schools, a new secondary school, recreational space, a community hub, a healthcare facility and more would join the new homes if plans are made a reality.

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Multi-national tech company Syngenta currently uses the 240 Jealott’s Hill site as a research facility, but the site became available for housing as future operation depends on new development.

Cllr Turrell added: “Consultation and engagement which did not address the possibility of this use of the site would be a flawed exercise, and would be a disservice to residents.”

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BFC’s executive approved the consultation at a meeting on Tuesday, September 25.