Green light for phased building of Bracknell town centreBy Becky Barnes
October 19, 2012
A new Bracknell town centre is in sight after councillors backed plans to build the development in phases.
However, officers had to amend plans at last minute yesterday when the War Memorial, in Stanley Walk, became listed meaning further reports will have to assess the impact of the application on a protected monument.
Bracknell Forest Council's planning committee last night approved the reworked proposals taking into account the changes.
The original plan, dating back to 2004, was to build a shopping centre in one phase but officers recommended it was more commercially viable in the economic climate to build the town in stages.
The plans have been changed from an ‘enclosed centre to open streets’.
Councillor Chris Turrell said: "A phased development might seem frustrating to people.
"Rather than front page news it might be a spot the difference competition when it gets reported but we need to press on with this."
Councillor Tony Virgo and Councillor Tricia Brown raised their concerns that the bus station will be too far from the rail station but both backed the plans.
Chairman Councillor Colin Dudley said it was 'a waste of time' to bring this up at this stage and said the rail station would be served by a bus stop a few yards away.
Cllr Dudley added: "We need to phase this now and we need to get it going."
Yesterday Marks & Spencer confirmed it had signed a pre-let on an 80,000 sq ft department store in Bracknell town centre, which is due to open in three years.
Cineworld confirmed last month they had signed a lease to come to Bracknell.
For more see next week's Bracknell Forest Standard.