The masterplan for the future of Bracknell which involves building over 3,000 homes could have been torpedoed.

The consultation for the Bracknell Forest Local Plan ended in May, and includes a vision to demolish and redevelop The Peel Centre and The Point and replace it with a 900 home mixed use development.

The plan also involves the creation of a new garden village with 2,000 homes at Jealott’s Hill in Warfield, which has been strongly rebuked by campaigners.

The Local Plan has a total of 3,343 homes included in it, with two other substantial development sites identified at Beaufort Park in Nine Mile Ride (226 homes) and Derby Field in Crowthorne (217 homes).

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Everything that went into the plan could have been torpedoed due to a change in the Government’s planning law.

The Government has established planning rules called the National Planning Policy Framework – the NPPF, which governs how applications and Local Plans are considered.

On Tuesday, July 20, the NPPF on Local Plans was changed. Typically, Local Plans are drawn up to cover a minimum of 15 years. But a change has meant that, if a plan includes large scale new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns, the plan should be drawn up with a 30 year timescale instead.

Recently, Councillor Richard Somner, executive member for planning at West Berkshire Council (Conservative, Tilehurst South & Holybrook) announced that his council will have to take their plan back to the drawing board as a result of the changes.

But Bracknell Forest Council will not have to change its Local Plan because the rule changes only apply to plans which have not reached the ‘Regulation 19 stage’ – which is reached once the consultation for the plan has been completed.

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The Bracknell Forest Local Plan will set the agenda for planning in the area for the next 15 years until 2037, and will be submitted to the Government’s planning inspectorate for review.

The consultation that was conducted, which ended in May, was undertaken under Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations established in 2012.

The NPPF rule changes do not impact the Bracknell Neighbourhood Plan either.

The Neighbourhood Plan is going to a referendum on Thursday, September 9.