Bracknell Forest Council is moving ahead with plans to build temporary accommodation for those struggling with homelessness – but there will be quite a wait for the new builds.

The council has recently approved a project to develop up to seven new temporary homes for homeless households on council-owned land in Opladen Way.

It was agreed that the council will provide four one-bedroom flats and two three-bedroom townhouses provided as affordable temporary accommodation to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping.

The project also involves creating a service road and a safe accessible footpath to local bus stops on Opladen Way, as well as the construction of the accommodation.

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However, this new accommodation will not be available until May 2025, which is when the project is expected to be completed.

This detail was revealed in a presentation by Kamay Toor, the council’s assistant director for property.

In order for the project to move ahead, the council must select a contractor to build the temporary houses, which will be selected through a bidding process.

It is expected that the bidder will be selected in March 2024.

Assistant director Toor’s report noted that the Bracknell Forest Cambium Partnership would not be the builders for these homes, as the project is too small in scope.

The partnership is a joint venture between the council and developers Countryside.

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Members of Bracknell Forest Council’s executive committee unanimously agreed to begin the search for a building contractor at a meeting.

Councillor Megan Wright (Labour, Town Centre and the Parks), executive member for housing, said: “This proposal is urgently needed as there is a shortage of one and three bedroom housing in the borough.”

Bracknell News: Megan Wright (Credit: Bracknell Forest Council)Megan Wright (Credit: Bracknell Forest Council)

However, the long wait for the project to be completed was not lost on cllr Paul Bidwell (Labour, Easthampstead & Wildridings), the executive member for economic development and regeneration.

Commenting on the May 2025 date, cllr Bidwell said: “The only shame of it is that it won’t come on stream until 2025, by that time I suspect we’ll have more homelessness, but it’s very good anyway.”

A strategic procurement plan to begin a bidding process was made at an executive committee meeting on Tuesday, June 20.

The executive committee under the council’s previous Conservative administration approved spending from the council’s capital budget at a meeting in February.

At the time, former councillor Peter Heydon (Conservative, Old Bracknell) told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the temporary homes would be built on a council-owned site located near the BP petrol station between the A322 Bagshot Road and Opladen Way.