Berkshire Golf Club has plans to build a large new reservoir to irrigate the courses at its site in Ascot.

But Bracknell Forest Council will first need to grant permission – taking into account the fact that the land is covered by rules designed to protect the environment and countryside.

Under the plans, a reservoir with a capacity of more than 23 million litres would be built to the east of the red course's 14th hole.

The club says the size of its existing, small reservoir means it still relies heavily on mains water to irrigate its golf courses. It argues that building the reservoir will therefore be more sustainable financially and ecologically.

Yet it also acknowledges that the land is located within the countryside, and also in the zone of influence of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

This is a collection of heathland sites that provide a habitat for ground-nesting birds, and has been protected under planning legislation since 2005.

A statement by consultants Solve Planning says because of this, they have considered the plans “at length” to “ensure minimal impact on the loss of heathland.”

It says planners discussed proposals with officers from the council before submitting the application. Officers suggested they could accept the proposal, as long as planners provided further information to justify the scale and location of the reservoir, and to show other sites had been considered.

Planners say they considered four other sites, but these were rejected due to their impact on trees and wildlife.