RESIDENTS will know more about major plans to shape Bracknell Forest in the new year.

The council’s draft local plan, which outlines policies on housebuilding, shopping centres, office space, protecting the countryside and more, has been delayed several times already this year.

The latest version will likely include an update on plans for 4,000 homes in Warfield, as well as details on the potential future of The Peel Centre.

READ MORE: Could new homes be built at The Peel Centre?

Asked when residents could expect to see the changes at a meeting last week, Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) chief executive Timothy Wheadon said: “With the local plan, we are expecting that to go in front of the executive in January now, with the consultation draft being agreed for the first quarter of next year.”

A revised version of the plan was initially published in September 2019, with a consultation following shortly after.

Changes to the plan based on consultation responses have been in the pipeline ever since, with the publication of the updated plan originally proposed for summer 2020.

It was initially hoped the council would adopt the plan in early 2021.

READ MORE: Responses to plan for 4,000 homes in Warfield revealed

But instead, it appears the pandemic has significantly shifted BFC’s timetable.

At a council meeting held last week, councillor Tony Virgo asked if the government’s planning reforms and new housing-need formula, which could now be scrapped after a Tory backlash, also helped cause the delay.

Mr Wheadon responded: “That’s certainly part of the delay.

READ MORE: 4,000 Warfield homes plan explained

“There other things about testing individual sites which might be included in the plan, as well, but when you do get the plan in January, I think you’ll find it’s a very thorough plan and a very well thought through one.”

Earlier this month, pro-countryside campaigners gathered outside BFC’s Time Square offices to hand in a petition with more than 4,600 signatures on it.

The petition calls on the council to drop plans for 4,000 homes at Jealott’s Hill in Warfield.