New plans for plant nurseryBy Hugh Fort
July 11, 2012
A plant nursery in Binfield will be put up for sale with the aim of providing housing and accommodation for older people.
Bracknell Forest Council’s executive committee decided to market the freehold of Binfield Nursery, in Terrace Road North, after deeming the building surplus to council requirements.
The building was used to grow flowers, but that operation has moved to another part of Bracknell and as a result, the council is looking to sell the site for a mix of homes for families and the elderly.
Around 10 people living near the site came along to the meeting on Tuesday to hear the debate.
The committee discussed various items of correspondence from neighbours of the site, including one who said it had fallen into disrepair.
They claimed to have seen rats and feared the site was not safe and could be prone to an illegal traveller incursion.
Councillor Dorothy Hayes, executive member for environment, raised her own concerns at the accusation.
However, Steve Loudoun, chief officer for environment and public protection, strongly denied the accusation and said his team had reported there was no evidence of rats on the site and that it was “as secure as any site can be”.
The committee talked about the rule of “best value”, which means getting a good financial deal from the site, stressing this did not mean it would simply be sold to the highest bidder.
Cllr Gareth Barnard, executive member for education and children’s services, said the site was a “sensitive issue” and assured residents the council would do everything it could to ensure a sensible development on the site.
The committee also admitted there were limitations on what could be built there, due to limited access to the site.
Afterwards, Binfield Cllr Ian Leake, who has raised his concerns about the site, said: “I was comforted the committee said it would not just be sold to the highest bidder.
“My fellow ward councillors and I have made it clear we are in favour of a low density, sensible, development.”