REGENERATION, regeneration, regeneration.

It has been the buzzword in Bracknell for at least some part of each of the past four decades.

And with all councillors set to approve latest redevelopment plans later this week (after the executive gave proposals their blessing earlier this month), we thought we would take a trip down memory lane and revisit how Bracknell’s revamp came about.

Bracknell News:

(source for entries up to September 2018: The Lexicon — Making it happen by Henley Business School)

1995 - Council publishes an urban design framework for the town centre as a basis for future development. Legal and General is selected as a developer-partner.

Bracknell Forest Council and Legal and General and the other major landowner in Bracknell, Allied London, submit competing planning applications to revamp the town.

1999 - Secretary of State John Prescott calls in both applications, and an inspector rejects them recommending instead that the council should adopt a new approach for the redevelopment of the town centre based around a comprehensive masterplan.

2002 - Council approves a new town centre masterplan after deciding to work with both major landowners in the town.

Bracknell News:

The masterplan proposed development around the existing town pattern, with 600,000 square foot of retail development set to be complemented by 600 new homes and another 600,000 square foot of business space.

2003 - Bracknell Regeneration Partnership is incorporated as the joint venture partnership set to lead the town’s redevelopment.

This move led to BRP taking over work on developing a planning application for the town centre, taking over from the council.

2004 - BRP submits its planning application for the new town centre which is nicknamed ‘The Eye’.

Bracknell News:

READ MORE: Five big borough projects which didn't go to plan, including 'The Eye'

It proposed a five-storey building featuring two levels of shopping, two levels of restaurants, bars and leisure and an extra level for housing.

2006 - ‘The Eye’ application gets planning permission, with work progressing right up until 2008

Bracknell News:

2008 - The global financial crisis forces a re-think of regeneration plans, with ‘The Eye’ largely abandoned in favour of taking on some of what was originally proposed in the 2002 masterplan.

READ MORE: How we got here - a brief history of Bracknell

Instead of a five-storey development, a pattern of open streets with some cover was proposed — similar to what we see at The Lexicon today.

Bracknell News:

2010 - By 2010 the revised masterplan had been endorsed by the council’s town centre regeneration committee. The modifications were approved as part of the original planning application in March 2011.

November 2011 - New Waitrose opens on Bond Way as the first part of town-centre regeneration.

Bracknell News:

July 2013 - Demolition of the town begins with a soft strip-out, followed by the physical demolition of buildings in September of that year.

January 2015 - After the demolition of the town centre began in July 2013, one of the partners involved in the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership took the decision in October 2013 that year to dispose of their town centre assets after the retail market continued to get worse.

Bracknell News:

BFC responded with a rescue package of £12.4 million which encouraged the partner to stay on board, meaning a ‘development agreement’ could be rubber-stamped in January 2015 and building work could commence.

April 2017 - Planning permission for The Deck, a public space complete with shops, bars and restaurants which will link The Lexicon and Princess Square, is given.

Bracknell News:

READ MORE: The Deck opening date, shops, restaurants, costs and more

July 2017 - Marks and Spencer store opens in advance of The Lexicon

Bracknell News:

September 2017 - The Lexicon opens on 7 September 2017 to shoppers following £240 million of investment.

Residents flocked to the town centre for the official opening of the new shopping centre.

Bracknell News:

READ MORE: The Lexicon in numbers

By September 2018 Bracknell had increased its town centre visitors from five million in 2013 to 16 million five years later.

Bracknell News:

March 2019 - A further £30 million of investment is announced to refurbish Princess Square and develop The Deck.

READ MORE: Council leader reflects on town centre regeneration journey

Bracknell News:

May 2019 - BFC launches search for a joint venture partner to regenerate Coopers Hill, Market Street and Jubilee Gardens in bid to provide 700 new town centre homes as part of next phase of regeneration.

October 2019 - Refurbishment of Princess Square begins

Bracknell News:

July 2020 - Contract awarded to developers Countryside to enter into a joint venture to regenerate Coopers Hill, Market Street and Jubilee Gardens.

By August 2020 it was revealed these plans had been scaled back so around 400 new homes would be created rather than the 700 originally proposed.

Bracknell News:

November 2020 - Refurbishment of Princess Square is complete and upgrades are unveiled.

READ MORE: Here's what revamped Princess Square looks like

Bracknell News:

November 2020 - The Deck gets a cash injection of £1 million after developers express doubts over the viability of the scheme.

The future…

January 2021 - It is anticipated work on The Deck will start at beginning of the new year.

Bracknell News:

READ MORE: The new regeneration partnership which will shape Bracknell for years to come

2021 - Work to redevelop Coopers Hill could start next year, as could work on Market Street.

Bracknell News:

April 2022 - This is when the council hopes work will be complete at The Deck

2024 - This is when it is hoped all units will be filled at The Deck

Bracknell News: