The fate of Coopers Hill in Bracknell is set to be decided today.

Developers have submitted plans to demolish the Coopers Hill Youth and Community Centre and replace it with a 52 home community.

Located just south of Bracknell train station, the community centre is currently the home of a number of youth and community focused Bracknell charities.

But developers the Bracknell Forest Cambium Partnership want to demolish it and replace it with 52 homes.

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Of those, 22 would be two-bedroom houses, 12 would be three-bedroom houses, 12 would be two-bedroom apartments and six would be three-bedroom apartments.

A total of 13 of the homes will be affordable – five through shared ownership and eight through affordable rent.

The homes would be contained in 15 blocks, which would be a mix of flats, terraced houses and semi-detached homes.

Plans include 77 car parking spaces, with 72 being for residents and five reserved for visitors, and six being allocated for the disabled.

Bracknell News: What Coopers Hill in Bracknell will look like if plans go ahead. Credit: Bracknell Forest Cambium PartnershipWhat Coopers Hill in Bracknell will look like if plans go ahead. Credit: Bracknell Forest Cambium Partnership

There are concerns over the number of trees that will be removed  at Coopers Hill. An arboricultural impact assessment by Greengage states that, of the 125 trees and two tree groups currently on site, 102 trees and part of one of the tree groups would be removed as part of the plans.

One neighbour, objecting, called the development “ruthless”.

Gillian Cheetham wrote:  “On behalf of Bracknell Forest Natural History Society I would like to raise an objection to the planning proposal of the removal of so many trees. If allowed a great many mature trees will be removed.

“Environmentally, tree reduction is not good for Bracknell or its inhabitants. It is generally accepted that habitats and green places need to be preserved. The Society is concerned that if allowed, other ruthless developments may follow.”

For its part, the developers have developed a tree planting strategy that involves replanting 169 new trees within the site.

A spirited campaign urging for the community centre to be retained was launched in 2019. At the time, neighbours said say it is “perfect” for those with no cars, older people and the disabled.

Bracknell News: Coopers Hill Youth and Community Centre in Bracknell. Credit: Google MapsCoopers Hill Youth and Community Centre in Bracknell. Credit: Google Maps

It is currently the home of the NRG Youth Centre, which assists 16-24 year olds looking for employment, education and training, and Bracknell’s Youth Council, which represents the views of those aged under 25.

The Braccan Walk Youth Centre was built in part as a replacement for Coopers Hill. Work on the  £750,000 Braccan Walk Youth Centre was completed this February.

The plan for Coopers Hill has been recommended for approval by planning officer Margaret McEvit.

Its fate will be decided at an advisory meeting of Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee at 6.30pm today (Thursday, August 19).

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You can view plans for Coopers Hill by putting reference 21/00233/FUL into Bracknell Forest Council’s planning portal here:

The scheme is being undertaken by the Bracknell Forest Cambium Partnership, which is a joint venture between Bracknell Forest Council and Countryside Properties.

Its other projects include the Market Street development, which involves building 169 homes in three tower blocks, and Jubilee Gardens, where plans have shown three tower blocks being built.