BRACKNELL Forest’s big plan for building in the borough is likely to be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The council is in the process of putting together its draft local plan, which outlines the authority’s policies towards housebuilding, employment space and development in the countryside up to 2036.

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It includes controversial proposals for the building of 4,000 homes on 240 hectares of land owned by tech company Syngenta at Jealott’s Hill in Warfield.

Before the lockdown was announced, the council published a summary of the responses it received during a consultation on its revised growth strategy.

Bracknell News:

The next steps in the local plan process would include submitting the draft version by summer 2020, with an examination by an inspector due to take place by autumn 2020.

It was hoped the examined plan would be adopted by councillors by early 2021.

But it looks like this timetable may be set to change.

A notice on Bracknell Forest Council’s local plan webpage reads: “Officers are continuing to work on the Local Plan including preparing responses to the comments made during the previous consultation, any necessary amendments to policies and further evidence base work.

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“It is likely there will be some delay to the published timetable for the local plan as it is not clear how quickly some of the evidence base work can be completed during the pandemic.

“This will be kept under review and an updated timetable (Local Development Scheme) will be prepared as appropriate.

Bracknell News:

“It is unlikely that the draft submission Bracknell Forest local plan will be published for consultation until after the 31 August 2020.”

Bracknell Forest’s local plan will include the council’s objectives for the distribution of development in the borough up to 2036.

As well as housing policies, it also includes strategies relating to heritage sites, climate change, town centres and more.

Earlier this month, the News asked BFC leader Cllr Paul Bettison about the potential delay to the plan.

He said: “I think the plan will have to slide back slightly, hopefully by no longer than the lockdown.

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“We don’t want to compromise the public’s ability to participate in that. There will be an easing on that.

“I can’t give you an exact number of weeks because I don’t know how many weeks we will be delayed by.”