INITIAL development plans which could see up to 305 homes built in the Warfield countryside have been given the go-ahead.

The new homes will go up on land east of Old Priory Lane and west of Maize Lane in Warfield, north of Bracknell, and could be joined by a new primary school, too.

This comes as one plan forming part of a wider scheme outlined in 2013 to add 2,200 homes in the village.

IN DETAIL: Everything you need to know about the plans for 305 homes in Warfield

But Warfield councillors sitting on the planning committee suggested the plan they were judging last night did not match the vision outlined seven years ago.

Worries raised by councillors and resident Emma Fox included:

  • Whether the primary school tipped for the site will be needed, and whether more homes could be built instead
  • Why three-storey buildings had been included in the plan
  • Whether this level of housing was needed given the council’s seven-year land supply
  • Increased pressure on infrastructure, services and roads
  • Supposed conflict with council planning policies

Councillor Ankur Bhandari, a Binfield-with-Warfield representative, said: “I have a lot of concerns with this application. There have been changes from the agreed masterplan.

Bracknell News:

“Residents are concerned with many points. There are a lot of inconsistencies, a lot of concerns unanswered.

“We are being asked to decide on this outline planning application of quite a decent magnitude for 305 homes and potentially many more.

READ MORE: Residents have their say on plans for 305 homes in Warfield

“At this stage, I think we should not be approving this application unless all questions are properly answered and we know where we stand.”

A total of 84 objections to this plan were sent to Bracknell Forest Council before it was considered at a planning committee.

A number of residents were unhappy about the loss of the green site, which is currently a mix of horse grazing paddocks and grassland.

Cllr Dr Gareth Barnard, Warfield Harvest Ride councillor, also voiced his concerns.

He said: “I struggle with a considerable number of aspects with this development as well.

Bracknell News:

“I’m not convinced everything has been properly thought through.”

But councillor Dale Birch hit back at the scheme’s critics, telling them the plan does comply with the authority’s policies and reminding them this is an initial outline proposal, with more details to be decided through future applications.

He said: “This is an outline planning application and yet a lot of the questions are about landscaping, density, the schools when in truth a lot of that is in reserved matters, which means we get the opportunity to go over all this again and ensure that any worries or concerns can be addressed.

READ MORE: Campaigners submit petition against plans to build 4,000 homes in Warfield

“We have said it’s okay to build on this site. We put in place a masterplan. The one thing people can have faith with in a masterplan is it is an indicative plan that allows people to come back with detailed plans.

“It sets expectations, it tells people what they can expect. It lets them know something is coming. That something is likely to change over time.”

The majority of planning committee members backed Cllr Birch, as the application was voted through 12 votes to five.

The committee met on Thursday, November 12.