BRACKNELL Forest reached another “milestone moment” after plans to turn three town centre sites into 700 new homes moved a step forward.

A contract has been handed to developers to make this vision a reality and last night the council gave the proposal its blessing after the authority’s top team nodded through the move last week.

Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker, Bracknell Forest Council’s (BFC) regeneration boss, said: “This is another milestone moment for Bracknell Forest residents as we set out a bold joint venture plan for the next period of time and the next exciting phases of work in and around the town centre.

READ MORE: What the next step in Bracknell's regeneration journey means

“It’s the culmination of a very long period of work and I am very grateful for everyone that has been involved.”

The project is a joint venture, which means the council will partner up with the developer in a 50:50 agreement.

Bracknell News:

BFC will offer up Market Street, Jubilee Gardens and Coopers Hill as well as millions in cash to kickstart the project.

Exactly how much BFC will contribute to the joint venture is unknown as financial details connected to the scheme remain tightly under wraps, as are almost all details associated with the project.

However, a December 2019 budget report indicated the contribution could be more than £5 million.

READ MORE: Where the 700 homes could be built

A business plan outlining the funding being made available to support the joint venture will be presented to the council later this year.

Councillor Peter Heydon, BFC’s finance chief, said it had been “emotionally exhausting” for officers trying to get this next step over the line.

Bracknell News:

He added: “As one trade magazine referred to Bracknell, it is a small European city of the future.

“This will make a significant contribution to the council’s finances and how we support all the other services that we are proud to have in Bracknell Forest.”

The award of the contract means the incorporation of Bracknell Forest Limited Liability Partnership with the developer can now go ahead, but it is not yet clear when building work in the latest phase of the town’s regeneration would start.

READ MORE: Bracknell's Joint venture plans explained

BFC leader Paul Bettison added: “That is an extremely exciting further development as we see the town of Bracknell developed in line with our ambitions for the town centre.”

All councillors bar Malcolm Tullett, who chose to abstain, voted for the next step to go ahead at a meeting on Wednesday, July 22.