Fears that a field in Sindlesham could be used to build houses have been raised after its owners built an “unconventional” new gate and walls that neighbours say are out of keeping with the agricultural area.

Mr Jamie Tranckle has applied for retrospective planning permission for the gate at the junction of Mole Road and Ellis’s Hill. His application says the gate is to facilitate the land’s current agricultural use.

But some neighbours have written to Wokingham Borough Council to object – with some saying it looks more like the access to a residential property.

Mark Gerard of Mole Road said: “I'm finding it difficult to reconcile the level of work carried out so far compared to the stated proposed use of the land.

“A new access (the field has a perfectly useable access further up the lane) 2m brick pillars, 2m gates, an extensive area of hardstanding, an extensive area of 2m close board fencing to form a compound, a caravan and a cargo container all for use of the land as an agricultural field. Pull the other one!

“Visually the site is looking far more like a site more closely related to one use for habitation or non-agricultural storage.”

And R Peterson of Eversley said the gate and walls “have an unwelcome, urbanising effect on the character of the prevailing landscape in this location.” They added: “It is difficult to understand what legitimate agricultural activity can be conducted on such a modest parcel of land.”

READ MORE: Warfield ‘monstrosity’ barn will become become garage

Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee is set to debate the application on Wednesday, September 13. It was referred to the committee by councillor Gary Cowan.

Councillor Cowan described the gate as “an inappropriate retrospective development in the countryside.” He added: “How it can contribute to a sustainable rural enterprise is open to question as is how it can contributes to recreation and enjoyment of the countryside.”

Agents from ET Planning say that the site is for agricultural use, and that the new gate is needed after the land was split off from the neighbouring larger field after Mr Trankcle bought it.

They argue that its design is “in keeping with the wider agricultural character of the area, allowing the proposal to effectively assimilate into the wider backdrop.”

Council officers say the walls and gate “deviate from the conventional characteristics of a traditional agricultural use.” But they also say the design is “modest in scale” and the materials are generally in keeping with the area.

They also note that speculation about future use of the land can’t affect the decision on whether to grant planning permission to the gate. Any future developments would also need planning permission.