Offices in Bracknell WILL be converted into 150 flats because no one objected to the changes.

Now, the owners of Atrium Court, a seven-storey office block in Bracknell town centre, can begin its conversion from offices into apartments in earnest.

The building is owned by developers Hart Investments, who want to convert the offices into 150 one-bedroom apartments.

Of those, 102 will be studio apartments and 48 will be one bedroom flats.

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The plan was meant to be discussed at Bracknell Forest Council’s advisory planning committee meeting on Thursday, September 17.

However, because there were no objections to the plan from officers or members of the public, it will go ahead.

Councillor Colin Dudley (Conservative, Crown Wood) the chairman of the committee, explained: “That didn’t come to committee, because there were no objections and as it’s a prior approval application, it can go through without coming to committee.

“I would have loved for members to be able to consider and debate it but because there were no objections we could not.”

Bracknell News: Atrium Court in Bracknell town centre. Credit: Google MapsAtrium Court in Bracknell town centre. Credit: Google Maps

That’s because the Government allowed office to residential conversions as ‘permitted development’ in 2013. That means the conversions can be done without the need for planning consent.

However, with large conversions, developers do have to submit plans to the council for prior approval.

While the principle of converting offices into flats cannot be disputed, the plan itself can be scrutinised based on what impact it will have on traffic and transport, contamination and flooding issues, any noise impact which could affect future occupiers of the apartments and whether enough light would be provided.

But in the case of Atrium Court, neither planning officers nor residents objected.

You can observe the Atrium Court plans by typing reference 21/00763/PAC into Bracknell Forest Council’s planning portal here:

Here is where the 150 flats will be on each floor:

Ground – 27

1st floor – 29

2nd floor – 27

3rd floor – 28

4th floor – 13

5th floor – 13

6th floor – 13

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Parking will be provided within three existing basement levels in the building which provides 135 spaces. Of those, 11 would be used to for electric vehicle charging, and 15 would be reserved for disabled access. There would also be 163 bike storage spaces and a refuse store would be provided on the basement levels.

A similar ‘prior approval’ application has been submitted to add 35 apartments within two floors at the L’avenir building. In that case, 44 objections have been received from neighbours, including current tenants of the building.

L’avenir itself was converted from offices into 69 flats in 2017.

You can observe the extension plan for L’avenir by using reference 21/00361/PAR into the Bracknell planning portal.