‘Absurd’ plans to build a large new industrial building where the John Nike Leisure Centre used to be could lead to lorries coming and going all through the night, a neighbour has warned.

Bracknell Forest Council has already granted permission to build the industrial unit and warehouse on John Nike Way. The building would replace the much-missed ice rink, which closed in 2020 and was later demolished.

Councillors on Bracknell Forest’s planning committee approved the plans at a meeting on Thursday, January 18. But Alicia Bunker, who lives on North View behind the site, told them HGVs could arrive day and night in the yard ‘literally opposite my front windows.’

She added that North View residents enjoyed living on a quiet road. She said: “All of our neighbours along the road are very, very concerned. Our main concern is the sound.

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“It’s somewhere that you can practice your kids riding their bikes. It’s really quiet at the weekends. The area is so lovely and quiet at the weekends it doesn’t feel anything like a commercial area.”

Site owners Bracknell Investment LLP told council officers the new building wouldn’t be viable unless it could operate 24 hours a day. But Ms Bunker said that ‘just seems absolutely absurd right next to our houses'.

Andy Riley of Bracknell Investment LLP said the company had considered how noise might affect neighbours. He said it had agreed plans with council officers to reduce noise, including a three-metre high noise reducing fence along the southern edge of the site, next to North View.

Mr Riley said: “We have been mindful of concerns about potential noise raised by a few residents.

“We’ve sought to address these and through discussions with your officers have agreed that the three metre high acoustic fence included along the southern boundary together with the measures set out in the operational management plan will help to alleviate the potential issues.”

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And a council environmental health officer said that predicted sound levels, when taken into account with measures to reduce noise, would be below the recommended levels.

But they said future owners of the building would have stick to a noise management plan. This includes keeping engines off, and no outdoor loading and unloading between 11 at night and seven in the morning.

Councillors on the planning committee voted to approve the plans, with one abstaining. Councillor Patrick Smith, who works as an acoustician, said he was ‘professionally satisfied’ that noise assessments ‘had been through an appropriately rigorous process’.

He added that planning permission would only be granted on conditions that require the owner to keep noise below a certain level. He said that this would give the council more power to take enforcement action.