THE LOSS of green belt land, a big impact on climate change and little need for more housing — these are some of the reasons Bracknell Forest’s neighbours have objected to plans for four thousand homes in Warfield. 

More than 200 hectares of land could be developed at the home of multi-national tech company Syngenta on Jealott’s Hill if controversial plans get the go-ahead. 

Planning chiefs at BFC say the development will boost economic growth and support jobs in the borough while boosting housing supply and providing infrastructure in the area. 

The proposal, which came as part of Bracknell Forest Council’s (BFC) revised growth strategy for its draft local plan unveiled in September last year, went to consultation last year. 

READ MORE: Why the council's local plan could be postponed 

The survey received almost 3,000 comments left by 363 respondents, with the majority of residents objecting to the plans. 

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) also opposed the plans, and now the News can reveal why after the council’s response to the consultation was obtained by the local democracy reporting service. 

Here are the main reasons why bosses at RBWM said they had “concerns” about the controversial plan. 

Impact on the green belt

Royal Borough bosses were “concerned” about the “minimal engagement” BFC had had with RBWM in discussing these plans, according to responses sent in December 2019. 

This is because there would be a “significant level of impact” felt by RBWM if the development goes ahead as the site it “extensive and cross-boundary” and would be “detrimental” to the openness of the green belt in the Royal Borough.

READ MORE: The best beauty spots in Bracknell for walkers

RBWM chiefs claimed BFC has not demonstrated exceptional circumstances to justify building on the green belt and concluded the argument for taking the site out of the green belt “appears weak”.

Lack of sustainability and transport concerns

BFC chiefs say developing the land will mean more infrastructure can be added around the site, but RBWM objected to the plan on transport grounds after flagging concerns about the site being “isolated.”

Their response read: “The site is isolated and not sustainable in its location. It is not served adequately by public transport, encouraging car use to access employment and facilities. 

“This would not be a responsible approach in terms of sustainability and climate change.”

RBWM higher-ups are worried about the detrimental impact the development would have on roads in Holyport, Bray and Ascot and in particular along the A330/A308 corridor. 

Road chiefs want to see a comprehensive transport statement supported by “extensive modelling” from BFC before the plan moves forward, which shows the impact on the A330/ A308 as well as M4 junctions 8 and 9. 

Impact on the environment

“The carbon emissions for constructing the development and for its future use will be very significant, contributing to the further worsening situation of climate change. 

“This is contrary to national targets to become carbon neutral” — that’s the verdict from RBWM regarding the impact on the environment from this development. 

READ MORE: The amazing thing this mum is doing just weeks after fighting for her life

The Royal Borough’s response points to concerns regarding the need for new roads, which could create emissions and noise pollution as well as meaning a loss of roadside greenery.

Light pollution from the site is also a major issue for RBWM as Jealott’s Hill is 70 metres high. 

Their response read: “The borough is also concerned that the development could significantly exacerbate light pollution in the area and would be visible from a distance because of the height of the land. This could be from tens of miles away.”

RBWM also want more assessments undertaken to investigate the impact of this development on habitats.

Housing need — or lack thereof

In its response, RBWM disputes BFC needed to allocate Jealott’s Hill in its local plan as “4,000 new homes… results in a housing provision well above Bracknell Forest’s housing target.”

BFC has a house-building target of 10,455 homes from 2019 to 2036 and the development of the 4,000 homes at Jealott’s Hill “provides over-provision of housing in the plan period”, the response continues. 

And in conclusion…

RBWM’s report read: “The Royal Borough objects to the proposed development of the strategic site at Jealott’s Hill on green belt, sustainability, transport, environmental, spatial strategy, infrastructure, housing and employment need grounds. 

READ MORE: Why you shouldn't do these things in Swinley Forest

“RBWM is concerned that Bracknell Forest is not fulfilling the duty to co-operate requirements in relation to this site. 

“Further and extensive cross-boundary discussions are requested in the areas highlighted in this response, and any other matters considered appropriate. 

“In conclusion, considerable further work is needed to be undertaken by Bracknell Forest in relation to this strategic development site in terms of justification and cross-boundary working.”