Plans to build a 42-apartment ‘eyesore’ in Bracknell were refused after it received more than one hundred complaints from residents. 

Councillors unanimously rejected the prior approval application to build two additional floors above L’avenir on Opladen Way, a three-storey former office building that now contains 69 flats, following 152 objections being lodged against the application.  

A current resident of L’avenir described the plan to build more floors on top of occupants as “inhumane” and argued that children “shouldn’t be expected to live on a building site”. 

“The maintenance of the building already isn’t kept up to scratch, fire engines have had to be called out time after time for people getting stuck in the lifts that the developers do not want to spend money on to fix,” they added. 

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L’avenir was built in 1988 and contained offices before it was converted into residential dwellings in 2017. 

A similar plan to add 45 apartments to the building was ultimately rejected in August 2019 and was upheld on appeal last year. 

The latest proposal was deferred from an advisory committee meeting in August of last year, so a construction management plan could be submitted and considered by officers. 

The application was reviewed again in March of this year, when the recommendation for approval was not upheld by the advisory planning committee, before going back before the planning committee for a decision. 

If approved, the development would have seen a mix of one and two-bedroom housing units built, extending the building height by 50 per cent – from 14 metres to 21 metres. 

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As it is a prior approval application, the council was also not able to request any affordable housing in what Cllr Turrell called a “highly sustainable” location with many transport links. 

Residents pointed to the “significant increase” on traffic the plan would have, with one noting that nearby roads were already “seriously congested”. 

“Large residential developments in other areas in the borough have already added to this problem. Most days during rush hour, Bagshot Road is already nearly gridlocked,” they said. 

Other concerns were raised by the local community in relation to excessive noise levels during construction, a lack of infrastructure and disturbances to people’s working patterns. 

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One occupant of L’avenir added: “This proposal will have a significant impact on my ability to continue to work from home, and therefore my quality of life.” 

The chair of the planning committee, Cllr Colin Dudley, said it was the council’s “duty to protect residents” and noted that any additional height would be “overbearing” and inevitably cause “overlooking”.  

“It’s going to be an eye-sore,” he added. 

Councilors subsequently supported an alternative motion to refuse the plan.