Work to build a controversial new housing scheme between Bracknell and Wokingham is set to begin this spring or summer – after being taken on by a new developer.

Plans to build 54 homes were approved by a government planning inspector in a field next to the north east edge of Buckhurst Meadows in September 2022. The inspector overturned a decision by Wokingham Borough Council to refuse the scheme planning permission.

Now a new developer Antler Homes has bought the land – and says it plans to start work on the development this year with only minor changes to the design of the houses.

An Antler Homes spokesperson told the News: “We can confirm that Antler Homes has acquired the land to the west of St Annes Drive in Wokingham, which benefits from full planning permission for the development of 54 homes.

“We anticipate that work will commence on the development in late Spring / early Summer this year with our show home launching in early 2025.”

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The plans were originally drawn up by housing developer Beaulieu Homes. Councillors on Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee rejected them in January 2022.

The councillors feared the development would bridge the gap between Bracknell and Wokingham, and harm protected trees and green space in the borough.

But Beaulieu Homes appealed to the government’s planning inspectorate to overturn the decision.

The inspector Ian Jenkins agreed with the councillors that the scheme would harm green spaces and was outside of the boundaries the council had earmarked for development.

But he said this harm would only be limited – and was outweighed by the benefits of providing affordable housing.

Mr Jenkins said: “Whilst the scheme would have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the Green Route and the local area, the harm would be limited.

“It would not materially alter the experience of the gap between Wokingham and Bracknell or diminish its integrity to any significant degree.”

Beaulieu Homes appears to have sold the land to Antler Homes some time in 2023 – although neither developer confirmed when the sale took place.

Antler applied for permission this month to put up signs at the site advertising that it has acquired the land. However it began sending construction management plans to Wokingham Borough Council from December last year.

The Antler spokesperson told the News the scheme would contribute to local infrastructure as part of the planning arrangement.

They said: “As well as the provision of much needed new homes to the borough of Wokingham, the site will also contribute just under £3 million pounds towards local infrastructure, highways improvements, education and other community facilities in the local area.”