Calls for Blue Mountain Golf Club homes plans to be scrappedBy Hugh Fort
March 20, 2012
Housing campaigners in Binfield are calling for plans for 400 homes on a popular local golf course to be completely dropped from a controversial housing plan.
The Northern Arc Action Group (NAAG) is urging Bracknell Forest Council to keep to a legal agreement which states the Blue Mountain Golf Course in Wood Lane must remain a golf course or recreational facility.
They say it is an important gap between Bracknell and Binfield and want the council to honour the initial agreement by removing it from the Site Allocations Development Plan Document (SADPD).
NAAG and the Crowthorne Village Action Group (CVAG) have both sent detailed responses to Bracknell Forest Council’s consultation on its SADPD.
Both groups say the council’s proposal to have 10,780 houses built in Bracknell by 2026 is based on out-of-date information and breaks several of the council’s own policies.
The two groups have been working together to go through more than 2,000 pages to submit their responses.
Key development sites in the plan include the golf course in Binfield, 400 homes at Amen Corner in Binfield, 2,200 homes on land near Cabbage Hill in Warfield, 400 homes at Broadmoor Hospital in Crowthorne and 1,000 homes on the old TRL site in Lower Wokingham Road, Crowthorne.
Anne Lee, acting chairman of NAAG, said: “We were very surprised by just how many conflicts and flaws were shown up by such a detailed search.
“It was an excellent co-operation with CVAG and hopefully it will ultimately prove to be a successful one. We want to make sure the inspector is fully aware that many aspects of the SADPD are being imposed by the council without taking the views of the community into account and against the strong objections of more than 2,500 residents in a petition.”
Andy Holley of CVAG added: “The council have ignored their own agreed strategy by proposing development in rural areas. We believe the problem is that the planners are being led by the developers rather than listening to residents.
“For a developer, regenerating an urban area is more expensive as it involves demolishing the old disused buildings before they can start.
“By contrast, building in a rural location costs less to build, and the resulting homes can be sold at a higher price as they are in more attractive locations.”
The consultation, which asked for comments on the legality of the plans, finished on Monday.
Around 300 people responded and the council will now go through those responses before putting forward a final version of the document to be viewed by an independent planning inspector later this year.