Unique historic bricks have ‘conveniently’ gone missing despite promises from developers that they would be used in a new housebuild scheme.

Developers who planned to demolish the former Mango Tree restaurant in Crowthorne and turn it into flats were told they had to use the original, locally-made bricks under conditions imposed by Bracknell Forest Council.

But the land has since changed hands – and new owners say they don’t know where the bricks have gone. Crowthorne councillor Tina McKenzie-Boyle said residents are ‘angry’ that part of the village’s history has been lost.

She said: “I’m getting slightly passionate about these brickworks. They were the original bricks that we built in Crowthorne in our brickworks and they’ve disappeared.

“Residents are really angry that what used to be is not, and cannot be.”

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Bracknell Forest councillor McKenzie-Boyle also said she and others had asked council enforcement officers to visit the site. But she claims she was ignored.

She said: “We did ask enforcement on a number of occasions to go to have a look at the site and it’s been totally ignored and we’ve got to this point. The whole thing has been ignored and hoping that we’d go away and we haven’t.”

Councillor McKenzie-Boyle was speaking at a meeting of Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee on Thursday, April 18. The committee was debating an application from the new owner to change parts of the plans, including the condition that original bricks must be used.

A previous plan to demolish the old restaurant building and replace it was approved by Bracknell Forest Council in 2017.

Bracknell News: The Mango Tree in Crowthorne has now been demolishedThe Mango Tree in Crowthorne has now been demolished (Image: Google)

Plans at the time were drawn up and submitted by property developer Neil De-Mendonca, using a company called Weston House Mango Tree Limited.

The approval came with the condition that the old building’s bricks must be cleaned and re-used in the construction of the new building. This was carried forward when altered plans were approved by the council’s planning committee in 2022.

But the site has since been sold to a new developer Collaboration Homes. And planning officers told the committee that they didn’t know where the original bricks have gone since the building was demolished.

They wanted councillors to approve a new condition that forces Collaboration Homes to find ‘reclaimed’ bricks ‘that match what has previously been demolished'. A sample of the bricks will then have to be approved by the council.

Councillor Gareth Barnard said the use of original bricks had been ‘key’ to granting planning permission in the first place.

He said: “There was this very magnanimous gesture – let’s reuse the existing bricks and things like that which have ‘conveniently’ gone missing. I use that in brackets because I couldn’t possibly know in any more detail whether they’ve disappeared or not.

“That reuse of the existing bricks particularly to the front to create that uniformity was really key.”

Councillors voted to approve the new plans but with a note that they were especially concerned that matching bricks be found and approved.