Ambitious plans to build 2,000 homes and a new science park in Warfield have suffered a blow as a neighbouring authority has voiced concerns.

The development of Jealotts Hill in Warfield Parish is a major part of the Emerging Bracknell Forest Local Plan, which has identified sites for development in the area going forward.

The Local Plan will set the planning agenda in Bracknell Forest until 2036, and is currently being prepared for submission to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.

But serious concerns about the development of Jealotts Hill have been expressed by Bracknell Forest’s neighbours, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM).

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The concerns were written in a consultation letter by the RBWM’s planning policy manager.

They focus on the impact the development could have on the greenbelt, the impact on nearby roads and described the development as being in an ‘isolated’ and unsustainable location.

Five key areas of concern were raised:

  1. Green Belt
  2. Economic Justification
  3. Transport and sustainability
  4. Environment
  5. Housing need

The letter points out that 116 acres of land will be lost from the Green Belt – which can only be built on if ‘exceptional circumstances’ for development can be justified.

The loss of this greenspace, which is currently made up of fields and woodland, is a key reason why activists from the Save Jealott’s Hill campaign have objected to the development.

The policy manager also called the economic justification for the development ‘weak’ and that it would have a detrimental impact on the nearby Thames Basin Heaths SPA and Windsor Forest.

On transport and sustainability, the letter states: “The site is isolated and not sustainable in its location.

“For the scale of development, it is not served well by public transport or active travel modes, which will result in high levels of car use.

“The proposal would therefore have a detrimental impact on the roads in the surrounding areas of Hawthorn Hill, Holyport, Bray, and Ascot.

“The scale of development means that this proposal gives significant cause for concern in terms of its likely impact on highway and transport networks within the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.”

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The letter was obtained via a Freedom of Information request by the Save Jealott’s Hill campaign, which has consistently opposed the development plans since their fruition.

Patrick Kennedy, the chairman of the campaign, said: “It is a damning indictment, by a neighbouring borough, of Bracknell Forest Council’s proposal for Jealott’s Hill and sounds like a death knell for both the Jealott’s Hill proposal and possibly the entire draft plan. This entire fiasco amounts to a scandalous waste of the public’s money by the elected council leadership in Bracknell.”

A planning boss at Bracknell Forest Council said the letter from the planning policy manager at the RBWM was a normal part of the local planning process.

Andrew Hunter, the council’s executive director or place, planning and regeneration said:  “The council received many hundreds of comments on its submission version Local Plan and continues to work collaboratively with adjoining local authorities on the points they have raised.  This is a standard process in the formulation of a local plan.”

The scheme is being pursued by Syngenta, a multinational agricultural science company which already has its base at Jealott’s Hill; housebuilders Taylor Wimpey and investment company CEG – which together form the Jealott’s Hill consortium.

A spokesperson for the consortium said that the Jealott’s Hill development would allow Syngenta to build a world leading science park attracting new businesses to the area, securing the careers of 850 people who currently work with Syngenta, and that building new homes is a key component of the whole project.