A document that will set the planning agenda for the next 15 years in CROWTHORNE has been adopted.

In May, a referendum was held on whether Crowthorne should adopt a Neighbourhood Plan. During the vote 1,185 people -86 per cent of those who voted- chose to adopt the plan.

The result of the referendum has been ‘made’ by Bracknell Forest Council’s executive committee. The decision means the plan has been accepted and adopted.

READ MORE: Crowthorne referendum and Bracknell by-election results 2021

Part of the reason why the plan was popular with voters is that it gives more investment to parishes that adopt them in the form of community infrastructure levy (CIL) payments.

CIL payments are paid by developers to the local authority to help them deliver the infrastructure needed to support development in the area.

The adoption of the plan means Crowthorne Parish will now receive 25 per cent of future CIL payments, rather than the standard portion of 15 per cent.

Councillor Dale Birch (Conservative), the deputy leader of the council, said: “Once a Neighbourhood Plan is made, the contribution from CIL is increased and the community infrastructure levy contribution will go to the local community and allow for the mitigation of the effects of any development. But CIL in particular allows for a broader use of that money for the community’s benefit and I am sure that the residents of Crowthorne will have a very effective list of things they feel that, should they receive more housing, they would want to see income spent on.”

The Neighbourhood Plan will now be used to set the planning agenda in Crowthorne until 2036.

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Much of the land in Crowthorne is protected from development as it falls within  the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area (SPA). Development in Crowthorne is focused in two locations. The first is the massive former TRL development site in Nine Mile Ride, which is set for approximately 1,500 new homes. The second is on unused land in the grounds of Broadmoor Hospital, which has been identified as a location for 219 new homes.

The plan has four key objectives which will Bracknell Forest Council’s planning department must consider when determining future plans in Crowthorne. These are:

A. To promote high quality design and ensure the design of new development contributes positively to the visual heritage and landscape character of the local surroundings

B. To sustain the range of shops and businesses that are essential to the local area

C. To encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport in and around the parish to better manage the harmful effects of road traffic

D. To maintain and enhance the quality and abundance of environmental assets and ensure no significant effects on the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area (SPA).

You can view the full Neighbourhood Plan here.

The plan was officiated by Bracknell Forest’s executive committee on Tuesday, June 1. The committee is made up entirely by Conservative councillors.

Only 26 per cent of eligible voters turned out in the Crowthorne Neighbourhood Plan referendum, with 184 people (13 per cent) voting against it.