Winchester House developers 'totally committed' to revamp projectBy Hugh Fort
February 18, 2013
Developers behind a plan to revamp one of Bracknell’s most unpopular buildings say they are ‘totally committed’ to the project.
Staff from Comer Homes have confirmed they are still working on plans for a new block to replace Winchester House in Market Place – better known as the former 3M building.
No new application has materialised since plans for 311 apartments were thrown out in July after the developers failed to meet a deadline for a piece of vital paperwork.
But Rob Sheppard, senior engineer for Comer Homes, said: “Comer Group remain completely committed to developing this site and are keen to expedite the remaining matters.
“Our team is in detailed discussions with the council and Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (BRP), regarding the most appropriate route to get the construction process for this site moving forward.
“Additional studies have been actively progressing in the interim to satisfy the various requirements of the council’s officers.”
Last summer, the company submitted proposals to replace the unsightly building with a block of flats and replacing the adjoining car park.
Permission is in place for a revamp of the car park but the company failed to meet a deadline set by Bracknell Forest Council for an environment impact statement, which meant plans for the apartments had to be refused.
Rob added: “We hope the final planning permission for this site will be approved without any unnecessary delay.
“We are of course aware that construction works at this site would create a substantial new job source, which is much needed in the area.”
He added the company was ‘in the hands of the council’ with regard to a timescale for the project but stressed everyone at Comer Homes was keen to start work as soon as possible if planning permission is granted.
With the long-awaited regeneration of Bracknell town centre due to start in the summer, members of the council and BRP will be keen not to have the 1970s’ office block, which 3M left in 2003, looming over the new development.
Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker, executive member for economic development and regeneration, said: “I look forward to Comer Homes working with the planning department on a new application – the regeneration of Bracknell town centre will be amazing, and I very much hope Comer Homes will submit its plans for Winchester House very soon.”