ET Planning are delighted to announce that plans have now been approved for converting part of the vacant former Bracknell Town Football Club site into a new residential development with 117 flats and associated parking and landscaping.
This is an incredible achievement and a huge win for the client who can now look to the future; regenerating an underutilised site and investing in the future of Bracknell Town Football Club at their new location shared with Sandhurst Town Football Club.
The application site is closely located to Bracknell town centre and major transport links, and thus the 1.16-hectare site is a sustainable location for new development. Given Bracknell Council’s present lack of a five year housing land supply, it will also bring much needed housing to the area.
The proposed development has sought extensive consultation and negotiations with local planning officers, nearby residents and interested stakeholders – and this has enabled the positive results and the outcome of planning approval.
The proposed 117 apartments will be located within three blocks grouped around a central communal amenity space at the heart of the development. The blocks will vary in height from two to five stories with setback top floors. The varying levels in the site allow for undercroft parking.
Some of the areas of focus during this application process were:
Available sporting provision – Whilst the new development will result in the loss of football pitch, Bracknell Town Football club now operate from Ranelagh school playing field in Larges Lane and utilise a shared facility with Sandhurst town Football Club. The Club would not have been able to continue to use the site at Larges Lane in any event as the site was so constrained that the pitch could not be extended, nor was the site grading up to the latest FA grading standards to allow the club to be promoted up the leagues. In their new location, the Club has recently achieved this notable league promotion!
Housing supply – Bracknell Forest Council do not currently have a five year housing land supply plan. This development enables a much needed supply of properties to the area including policy compliant affordable housing.
Residential amenity – The National Planning Policy Framework at paragraph 127(f) states that developments should ensure a high standard of amenity both for existing and future users. The development plans were adjusted throughout the careful consultations and negotiations in order to protect and preserve the residential amenity of the site for current and future residents. This included light, noise, space between the blocks, and privacy.
Affordable housing – The development will deliver 25% on-site affordable housing provision, in accordance with the current policy requirement and is therefore acceptable.
Highway and traffic flow – Models and calculations using extensive data have been used to show the projected impact on the local highways and traffic flow. The results were in accord with Council policy. The proposals included three car club spaces to help meet car use demand from the site.
Parking provision – Parking provision is also suitable for the development with 100% of spaces having either active or passive electric vehicle charging, and 3 x club spaces. It was noted in the proposals that the parking provision for this development was a higher percentage than other nearby developments, evidence through on site surveys of nearby developments to compare and contrast actual parking demand.
Character and Design – whilst some concerns were raised about the overdevelopment of the site the plans show that the development integrates effectively into its surroundings at a density, height and overall scale proportionate to the surroundings. Furthermore, Policy CS7 of the Core Strategy requires high quality design that “build[s]on the urban, suburban and rural local character, respecting local patterns of development”, “enhance[s] the landscape and promote[s] biodiversity”, aids movement through “accessibility, connectivity, permeability and legibility”, provides “high quality usable open spaces and public realm” and looks to “innovative architecture” which would be appropriate within the context of Bracknell’s new town heritage. The high quality designs of the site, produced by award-winning architects Ascot Design, are in support of the Core Strategy and the above principles.
This development secures the long term future of a much loved football club as well as providing new housing in a sustainable location.
The approval for this notable development proves that with time, careful consideration, good relationships with the local council and plans which responded to raised concerns, a planning vision can be made possible. The team at ET Planning is delighted to have been able to realise that for their client.
If you have a planning vision for a site and would like to discuss it’s potential with a member of the ET Planning team, please contact us today.