Controversial plans to build 164 homes at the home of Bracknell Town Football Club (BTFC) have been shelved after the council hinted it would throw out the proposal.

Designers withdrew their vision to redevelop Larges Lane last week following a planning deadlock with bosses at Bracknell Forest Council (BFC).

Bracknell News:

The applicants had pushed for a decision on the proposal but were met with a blunt response from planning chiefs. 

READ MORE: The 164 homes which could go up at Bracknell Town FC's home ground

In emails seen by the News, a representative from designers ET Planning writing on behalf of BTFC chiefs claimed they were ‘not receiving adequate customer service from the council’ after an ‘undue delay’ in the application process. 

They suggested escalating their complaints, but planning officers at BFC hit back after indicating the application was “not in a form” which could be approved and should therefore be refused. 

BFC planners claimed they would not go ahead with this proposal because of the loss of a playing field, concerns about the impact on neighbours and transport from the redevelopment of the site, and more. 

A response from ET Planning outlined the ‘heavy financial pressure’ BTFC is facing due to the coronavirus pandemic as a key reason for the club’s eagerness to get the planning process moving forward. 

Despite hoping for a meeting with a council to discuss issues with the proposal following the scheme’s potential refusal, planning officers suggested any changes to the designs would have to come through a new application.

Bracknell News:

BFC’s officers also hit out at the “lack of transparency” over the application’s “elephant in the room” — an objection comment about the loss of the stadium from Sport England.

Commenting on the lack of information about replacement facilities at Larges Lane, a planning officer wrote to ET Plannning: “I am very concerned about the lack of transparency in this matter which needs to be in the public domain when an application like this is being considered.

“I must say that I was also somewhat surprised to find out from Sport England that your client was prepared to talk about this to SE officers “off the record” when no information has been provided to the council.”

READ MORE: Here's what could be next for Bracknell Town FC could be moving if Larges Lane is redeveloped

They continued: “Given that this matter goes to the heart of the principle of this proposal I am of the view that your client should either provide this information immediately or, preferably, if it wishes to take the initial consultation on this out of the public arena, to withdraw the current application and commence pre-application discussions with this information on the table.”

Following this email exchange, the application was withdrawn on Friday, September 11.

A meeting has been set up between BFC and BTFC representatives to discuss how the plans can be taken forward.

The proposals were unveiled in June when the News revealed BTFC would move away from Larges Lane to set up three bases elsewhere in the borough.

Bracknell News:

READ MORE: First verdicts on plans for 164 homes at BTFC ground revealed

Two of the new sites would be at Ranelagh School and used by BTFC’s youth team and school students.

The third site’s location is still under wraps, but this would be where the first team plays in future if the move gets the go-ahead.

This would leave Larges Lane free to be knocked down and converted into 164 new homes.

Before the application was withdrawn, almost three dozen residents lodged objections to the scheme.

In July, a petition against the plans was signed by more than 60 residents from Winterbourne Court and the surrounding areas.