The Coopers Hill Youth and Community Centre in Bracknell will be gone for good as a plan for 52 homes has been approved at the site.

The centre used to be the home of a number of charities and a day nursery.

But now it will be knocked down and replaced with 52 homes, which will be a mix of mix of flats, terraced houses and semi-detached homes.

The scheme has been devised by the Bracknell Forest Cambium Partnership, a joint venture between Bracknell Forest Council and Countryside Properties which is also in charge of developments in Market Street and Jubilee Gardens.

READ MORE: Changes to historic Binfield House given the go ahead

The plan was opposed by seven Bracknell residents who objected to the designs and tree loss.

Jennifer Bloy, in her scathing objections to the designs, wrote: “I came to Bracknell in 1962. It was a small, quiet, friendly town with a great sense of community. Its locally made red bricks gave the place a warmth that was reflected in the temperment of the residents.

“Then Bracknell new town was built. It was iconic 1960’s design, visited by students of design throughout the world but alas without the benefit of modern materials which such a vision required. It was designed however to be a series of satellite villages that encircled the main shopping centre. Each of these villages had their own sense of community.

“Now we have the next new Bracknell where money would appear to be king! Design seems to go out the window and ‘ram in as many houses you can into the smallest space’ appears to be mandatory.”

Bracknell News: What the street scene will look like in the Coopers Hill development if plans are approved. Credit: Bracknell Forest Cambium PartnershipWhat the street scene will look like in the Coopers Hill development if plans are approved. Credit: Bracknell Forest Cambium Partnership

There was great concern over the loss of trees. Of the 125 trees and two tree groups currently on site, 102 trees and part of one of the tree groups will be removed as part of the plans.

Councillor Colin Dudley, the chairman of the committee (Conservative, Crown Wood) pointed out that more trees will be replanted within a five year tree management scheme as part of the plan. The developers have formed a tree planting strategy that involves replanting 169 new trees within the site.

Members of Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee were generally supportive of the scheme.

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Cllr Tricia Brown (Labour, Priestwood and Garth) said: “Whilst I’m really unhappy about the removal of the 77 per cent of the trees and the fact that it’s a historic building being removed from Bracknell town centre, I think the major point here is that people across Bracknell, families, that desperately need affordable and social housing, and they are in overcrowded conditions, and the stress of that is so damaging to families, so I’m really pleased we’ve got more affordable housing going up and we need to do more.”

Of the 52 homes, 13 (25 per cent) will be affordable – five through shared ownership and eight through affordable rent.

Bracknell News: What Coopers Hill in Bracknell will look like once built. Credit: Bracknell Forest Cambium PartnershipWhat Coopers Hill in Bracknell will look like once built. Credit: Bracknell Forest Cambium Partnership

In praise of the plan, Cllr Thomas Parker (Liberal Democrat, Wildridings & Central) said: “It’s a site I know very well, and I’ve been following the stages of the consultations, and when we consider this is a site right in our town centre, and all the other development going up, it’s really great to see how sympathetic this application is to the street it sits on and the surroundings. What we’ve got in front of us is a really good application.”

The scheme was approved unanimously at a virtual advisory meeting of Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee on Thursday, August 19.

You can see a list of all the decisions made at the meeting in this Twitter thread: 

You can view what’s included in the scheme in full by typing reference 21/00233/FUL into Bracknell’s planning portal here: .

Cllr Peter Heydon (Conservative, Old Bracknell) recused himself from voting, as he serves as the executive member for transformation and finance.