Residents in Crowthorne have been asked to approve the village’s Neighbourhood Plan as voters go to the polls this May.

The Neighbourhood Plan will help Bracknell Forest Council determine planning applications in the village up to 2036.

The Plan, which has been drawn up by Crowthorne Parish Council, outlines a vision for Crowthorne and a series of objectives it would like to see met.

It states: “Crowthorne has grown considerably but remains a vibrant community with a wide range of businesses and a local centre that has flourished.

“Development has been well-designed and contributes positively to the visual character of the local surroundings, including its heritage.

“The special environmental assets of the parish have been preserved and the community has benefitted from enjoyment of the countryside.”

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The objectives of the plan are:

A. To promote high quality design and ensure the design of new development

contributes positively to the visual heritage and landscape character of the

local surroundings

B. To sustain the range of shops and businesses that are essential to the local area

C. To encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport in and around the parish to better manage the harmful effects of road traffic

D. To maintain and enhance the quality and abundance of environmental

assets and ensure no significant effects on the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area (SPA)

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According to the referendum document, the parish council has written up the plan with the input of the Crowthorne Village Action Group, Crowthorne Traders and neighbours within the village.

The referendum asks: “Do you want Bracknell Forest Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Crowthorne Parish to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

Neighbours are invited to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the referendum question. Any existing registered voter living withing the designated area of the Crowthorne

Neighbourhood Plan can vote in the referendum on Thursday, May 6.

If more than half of voters respond ‘yes’ in the referendum, Bracknell Forest Council must make it part of the statutory development plan for the area to be used in determining decisions on planning applications up to 2036.

You can view the full Neighbourhood Plan here.

Notably, the plan does not cover the  Wokingham Without ward of Wokingham Borough. Therefore, many neighbours living north of Duke Ride may not vote in the referendum.

Bracknell News:

Much of Crowthorne is not available for development, as land in the parish is protected by Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designation and

being within the Thames Basin Heaths SPA.

The two major developments in Crowthorne are Buckler’s Park, a proposed development for approximately 1,500 new homes at the former TRL site on land to the east of Nine Mile Ride, and 219 homes at unused land in the grounds of Broadmoor Hospital. Patients at the hospital were moved into newly-built facilities in December 2020.  Recommendations in the Neighbourhood Plan would apply to any new development at Broadmoor if its approved by voters.

Neighbourhood planning was introduced under the Localism Act 2011, with the aim of helping communities play a direct role in planning areas in which they live and work in by showing how the community wants land to be used and developed in its area.