A hotel in Popeswood is set to be converted into flats, despite neighbours’ concerns that plans would lead to their road becoming blocked up with traffic.

Fines Bayliwick owner Sundeep Nath wants to change the hotel on London Road into 11 two-bed flats. He says he can no longer carry on running the hotel as the rise in home working and video conferencing means the number of business people who stay there has fallen.

Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee agreed to give permission for the conversion to go ahead, at a meeting on Thursday, December 14.

But residents of a neighbouring private, gated road – Nevelle Close – objected, arguing that the parking plans could still block up their road with traffic.

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Councillor Nazar Zahuruddin asked planning officers what the council could do to protect residents against overspill parking.

He said: “Given it’s a private road, in case of overspill, what sort of arrangements or enforcement would the council have in such cases?”

Planning officer Margaret McEvit replied that the plans met the council’s rules for how many parking spaces need to be provided – including visitor spaces.

And highways officer James Turner said that as Nevelle Close is a private road, it wouldn’t normally be up to the council’s highway authority to impose traffic controls. But he said the council could still do this if the owner of the road asked it to.

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Mr Turner said: “Should there be issues of unsafe parking, depending on who is the rightful owner of that road, they could still approach the highway authority to seek the imposition of effectively parking controls as long as they gave their undertaking to allow the highway authority to enforce.

But he added: “I don’t foresee that necessarily happening due to the fact the site has adequate parking within it for the demands that it should create.”

This was the second time that Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee considered proposals to convert the hotel into flats. Councillors on the committee rejected a previous application in December 2021 on the grounds that the layout would damage tree roots.

But planning officers said the new application had fixed this, with proposals for root protection under the surface of the road, and by rearranging parking and bin storage within the grounds.