Blue Mountain Golf Course will be open for years to come despite housing plans
December 21, 2012
Blue Mountain Golf Club will remain open ‘for years to come’ despite looming plans to build hundreds of homes on the site.
Blue Mountain Golf and Conference Centre’s manager James Elster was keen to reassure customers as Bracknell Forest Council’s plans for 10,780 homes to be built by 2026 were scrutinised by a Government planning inspector last week.
The club in Wood Lane, Binfield, is earmarked for 400 homes and is one of the sites listed in the council’s Draft Submission Site Allocation Development Plan Document (SADPD).
But Mr Elster claims it is only included in the draft planning document as a ‘long term zone’ where the council may decide to build in the next 20 years.
He said: "The rumours are flying but much of the local gossip about Blue Mountain isn’t true.
"Whether you’re a member or a visiting golfer, or perhaps looking for a wedding venue, or planning a meeting or a function, we say come to Blue Mountain, enjoy yourself, and then come back again – and again."
But despite Mr Elster’s reassurances the council could choose Blue Mountain as a site for houses, schools and other community facilities as soon as next March.
He gave an assurance that the club’s immediate future was safe, stating that in the event of
any housing development an application would have to be submitted and residents would be consulted.
Inspector Michael Hetherington examined the draft SADPD at the Hilton Bracknell Hotel, in Bagshot Road.
The SADPD highlights development sites at Amen Corner in Binfield; Broadmoor Hospital in Crowthorne and the old Transport Research Laboratory in Crowthorne which were discussed during the four-day hearing which started on Wednesday, December 12.
During the hearing developers were questioned on six key issues including the sustainability of the borough, the consistency of strategy, whether the amount of land used is justifiable, whether there are safeguards to protect nature conservation, whether the allocations are deliverable and whether enough consideration has been given to residents’ uncertainty.
Local groups were invited to the hearing to share their opinions on the proposed development.
Members of the Northern Arc Action Group (NAAG), which campaigns for sensitive development in Bracknell Forest, are concerned that if all of the development plans surrounding Bracknell go ahead, smaller areas such as Binfield and Warfield will lose their ‘village status’.
Nigel Rennie, NAAG chairman, said there was a large public turnout at the hearing.
He claims that during the meeting it was said the council wish to turn the Blue Mountain area into an ‘urban extension to Bracknell’.
He added: "It would seem that, Binfield and Warfield have already lost their village status and have become urban extensions to Bracknell."
The council has until March next year to prepare plans which suit the inspector’s requests.
There will then be a public consultation before another hearing with the inspector.