A new block of ‘luxury’ flats would be a ‘blot on the landscape’ of a Berkshire village recently branded one of the UK’s poshest, a neighbour has warned.

The Elliot Charles Group wants to build 14 flats along with new offices on London Road in Sunningdale – recently branded one of the UK’s ‘poshest’ villages by the Telegraph newspaper.

Plans involve demolishing an old redbrick office building, New Boundary House – a move slammed by one of its current occupants.

Angie Tomkins of Sunningdale Managed Office Solutions told council planning officers: “It will be a blot on the landscape of Sunningdale.

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“Why demolish an original Victorian building which is in good condition and currently providing employment to the local community for an unsavoury looking newbuild?”

The scheme has also come under fire for an agreement with the council that developers will not have to build any ‘affordable’ homes if planning permission is granted.

Planning rules at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead say 30 per cent of new developments of 10 homes or more should be provided as ‘affordable’ housing. This can mean that they’re let as social housing or at less than market rates.

However developers say providing any homes would mean the plans aren’t viable – that they wouldn’t make a profit. Council planning officers have agreed that developers should pay it some £241,000 towards affordable housing elsewhere instead.

Bracknell News: New Boundary HouseNew Boundary House (Image: ADG Architects)

But conservation group the Society for the Protection of Ascot and Environs says it is ‘surprising’ that developers say they can’t afford to provide cheaper homes among the ‘luxury flats’.

It told council planning officers: “The claim is made that it is not economically viable to provide affordable housing on-site, a very surprising claim given the very high price the luxury flats being proposed could be expected to command.”

Sunningdale Parish Council has also asked for the plans to be refused, arguing that it is ‘important to have a balanced community in the heart of the village'.

Councillors on a Royal Borough planning committee were set to make a decision on Thursday, May 5. Planning officers are recommending they approve the plans.

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They say the design of the new building is ‘very similar’ to nearby apartment building Ambassador House. And they say the scale and appearance is ‘in character with the surrounding area.’

Officers also accepted a viability assessment provided by the developer showing that it cannot afford to provide affordable housing.

The council refused a previous scheme to build 28 flats on the site in 2022. A government planning inspector backed the council’s decision in October last year – saying the loss of office space was unacceptable, and that the flats wouldn’t have enough private outdoor space.

Council officers say the new plans – which include replacement offices – have overcome those problems.