BRACKNELL Forest’s new local plan could affect development in the borough for years to come if it gets the go-ahead later this year.

The latest version of the council's draft strategy, which was published yesterday, features several proposals including building 2,000 homes at Jealott’s Hill in Warfield and 900 homes at The Peel Centre in Bracknell.

It also contains a number of policies around climate change, affordable housing, office space and more, all of which will help the council to judge planning applications when they arrive in the years up to 2037.

The policies in Bracknell Forest’s local plan are preceded by a vision for development in the borough over the next decade-and-a-half.

Time Square houses Bracknell Forest Council

Time Square houses Bracknell Forest Council

It reads: “By 2037, the borough will have positively and sustainably embraced the need to build new homes, create new jobs and improve and develop new infrastructure, services and facilities.

“New development will have been focused on Bracknell, optimising the use of available brownfield sites, supporting the continued regeneration of the Town Centre and enabling it to thrive as a destination for retail, leisure and cultural activities.”

Here are some of the most important policies in the plan.

READ MORE: 900 homes set to be built at The Peel Centre in Bracknell

Affordable housing

Developments of more than ten houses (or developments on an area of greater than 0.5 hectares) will need to provide affordable homes totalling 35 per cent of the total homes being built.

For example, a development of 100 homes should include 35 affordable homes.

House building

House building

The affordable homes should be ‘distributed appropriately across the site’ and should be ‘indistinguishable in appearance from the market housing on site’.

Affordable housing should normally be provided on-site, but where it cannot be, developers can pay a ‘communted sum’ equivalent in value to on-site provision so affordable housing can be built elsewhere in the borough.

Housing for older people

According to the local plan, the number of people in Bracknell Forest aged 65 and over is estimated to increase by 10,400 people by 2037.

As a result of this, the council says “there is likely to be a need for a range of specialist housing” for older people.

Bracknell News:

READ MORE: Number of homes planned for Jealott's Hill slashed from 4,000 to 2,000

Therefore, the Local Plan outlines that big sites earmarked for development will need to contribute towards a range of ‘attractive housing options for older people.’


Although the need for gypsy and traveller sites within Bracknell Forest is said to be ‘small’ compared with ‘wider housing needs’, eight new pitches for travellers are needed in the coming years.

The local plan indicates three pitches will be needed up to the year 2025, with another five required by 2037.

Travellers at Hughenden Park

Travellers at Hughenden Park

Four pitches have recently been given retrospective permission by the council, which solves the authority’s short-term issue.

Another eight pitches are set to be added at the Jealott’s Hill development where 2,000 homes are set to go up at the site of multi-national chemicals company Syngenta in Warfield.

Office space

According to a study on how much employment land is needed in Bracknell Forest, there is a requirement for a further 19,125 metres squared of office floorspace in the borough by 2037, with an extra 48,875 metres squared needed for storage and warehouse space.

READ MORE: Plans to sell booze until late at watersports centre in Bracknell Forest

But this study was published just before the coronavirus pandemic, which may result in a shift in the way people work.

The local plan addresses this issue. It reads: “The extent to which these changes might become permanent is not yet clear. It appears that some employers are likely to make more agile working practices permanent.

How the office space upstairs looks now

How the office space upstairs looks now

“Some are likely to conclude that they do not need the amount or type of floorspace which they currently occupy.”

In light of this, the local plan has combined the need for office space with the need for warehouse space to create an overall need for ‘business, industrial and warehousing’ uses totalling 68,000 metres squared.


No new roads or big highway changes are outlined in the Bracknell Forest local plan, but the council has set out a number of transport principles in its strategy.

“Development must prevent, minimise and mitigate negative impacts on the transport network and road safety”, it reads.

READ MORE: Schools, care homes and businesses rated in latest Bracknell food hygiene scores

There’s also a big focus on emphasising that any transport proposals must reduce the risk of flooding, greenhouse gas emissions and emissions to air.

There is heavy traffic in both areas

There is heavy traffic in both areas

Proposals should also provide an appropriate level of parking and not worsen highway safety.

Developments will be approved which provide vehicle and cycle parking, as well as electric vehicle charging facilties

Climate change

A number of new environmentally-friendly policies are included in the local plan, which could help the council to achieve its goal of eradicating its net contribution to climate change by 2050.

These include:

  • Demanding all major new residential developments have net-zero carbon emissions
  • Permitting the development of structures that generate energy from low-carbon or renewable sources as long as they don’t have an impact on historic buildings, amenity space or the natural environment
RBWM has received a petition calling for climate change

RBWM has received a petition calling for climate change

  • Major developments must include sustainable drainage systems
  • Ensuring development proposals should seek to reduce and minimise pollution, such as noise, light and air pollution

What next?

You can have your say on these proposals over the coming months.

READ MORE: Driving range bays set to make way for clubhouse at golf club in Binfield

The council is set to approve a consultation on the new draft local plan at a meeting on Tuesday, March 16.

Time Square, home of Bracknell Forest Council

Time Square, home of Bracknell Forest Council

Should this be approved, the consultation will run from Tuesday, March 23 to Tuesday, May 11.

Following an examination from a planning inspector over the summer and winter of this year, and any subsequent changes, it is expected the local plan will be adopted by Spring 2022.