Rival political parties are clashing over a controversial plan to build a 2,000-home ‘garden village’ at Jealott’s Hill.

The proposal is a key part of the Bracknell Forest Local Plan, which was submitted last year and would set the agenda for development in the area until 2037.

The vision for a new ‘garden village’  has been opposed from the outset by the ‘Save Jealott’s Hill’ campaign.

Now, the Windsor Liberal Democrats have joined forces with the Save Jealott’s Hill campaign to fight the proposal, raising concerns about the impact the new development could have on the environment and the surrounding area.

READ MORE: Blow for Jealott's Hill plans as neighbouring council voices concerns

Julian Tisi, a Windsor Lib Dem activist, said: “This sort of development should never be approved if we are serious about tackling climate change and protecting our Green Belt.

“It’s far too many houses for a site with inadequate transport links. Leaving aside the years of construction traffic, this could add 5,000 more cars to our already overstretched roads in the area.

“There is no credible justification for this.”

You can read their full reasons for opposing the development here.

Bracknell News: Julian Tisi, from the Windsor Liberal Democrats (left), with members of the Save Jealotts Hill campaign. Credit: Windsor Liberal DemocratsJulian Tisi, from the Windsor Liberal Democrats (left), with members of the Save Jealotts Hill campaign. Credit: Windsor Liberal Democrats

The clash is poignant because Jealott’s Hill is located in Windsor parliamentary constituency.

Mr Tisi has criticised Adam Afriyie, the Conservative MP for Windsor who appeared to support the plan, which is being spearheaded by Syngenta, the agricultural science company which owns the land in question.

In a letter written by Mr Afriyie in May 2021 acquired by the campaign, he appeared to support the scheme.

Mr Afriyie wrote: “I paid a visit to the site and made the concerns of residents clear and urged them to continue to work with local residents, councillors and the local authority.

“I am pleased to hear that following representations the scale of the development has been significantly reduced, access to green spaces has been increased for local people, and I very much hope the concerns around traffic and the allocation of green belt land, which is tightly regulated, will be resolved.

“Syngenta is a high tech and innovative company that provides hundreds of jobs locally and I am keen that they remain in our area and thrive.

“They will need to develop their site and services to remain internationally competitive.”

READ MORE: How Bracknell masterplan including The Point demolition and Jealott's Hill could've been torpedoed

He also encouraged residents to make their views known to local representatives, Bracknell Forest Council and Syngenta.

When asked for further comment, Mr Afriyie said: "As ever the Lib Dems are talking nonsense locally. Although planning sits with the local authority I have met with Syngenta on behalf of constituents to make our views known to them in no uncertain terms.

"I would urge constituents to make their views known to Syngenta, local councillors and the local authority where these decisions are made and to ignore silly Lib Dem propaganda."

Bracknell News: Jealott's Hill as it is currently, dominated by the Syngenta site.Jealott's Hill as it is currently, dominated by the Syngenta site.

The garden village plan has been devised by the Jealott’s Hill Consortium, made up of Syngenta, investment company the Commercial Estates Group and housebuilders Taylor Wimpey.

Previously, the consortium sought to build 4,000 homes, before revising the amount to 2000 last year.

Defending the proposal, a spokesperson for the Jealott’s Hill Consortium said: “An innovation cluster at Jealott’s Hill International Research Centre focused on technology, tackling climate change and feeding the world more sustainably would deliver significant, ongoing, economic benefit to the UK.

“As part of the proposals Syngenta will invest in multimillion pound new buildings and facilities for its business.

“Alongside the £200million research and development budget Syngenta invests annually into Jealott’s Hill, this would continue to protect 850 local jobs.

READ MORE: The four developments for 3,343 homes that could change the face of Bracknell

“A garden village, providing much-needed housing, transport improvements and the new education, extensive country park, woodland, habitat creation and community facilities proposed, would help to underpin this vision through a coordinated and strategic development in this location, supported by required infrastructure.

“Together this exceptional environment, along with its transformed local transport network, will attract science companies, start-ups and innovators collaborating to deliver solutions to address climate change, sustainable food production and clean energy, creating thousands more job opportunities and wider benefits within the region.”

The Bracknell Forest Local Plan which contains the Jealott’s Hill proposal was submitted to the Government in December 2021 for consent.