Bracknell Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)

CVAG have always​ had a representative on the Biodiversity Forum.​ Bracknell Forest Council are asking for submissions from interested parties in preparation of updating the plan. As you may see from the attached submission below our concern for the environment goes along with our aim to prevent the urbanisation of our village.

​When, in the not too distant past, a Government Planning Inspector refused a planning application he wrote that​ ​in part his reasoning was a need to save Crowthorne village’s "character".​ ​On the subject of Biodiversity, CVAG’s aim is to maintain and enhance this feeling of verdant serenity through our ​recommendations that follow below under the headings "Main Priorities", "Actions" and our "CVAG Actions". View pdf below for full details.

Biodiversity Document

CVAG Annual General Meeting 2015

We will be delighted if you could join us at our AGM. This will be at Woodmancote Day Centre, Pinewood Avenue at 7.30 on the 10th June 2015.

The AGM will start with annual reports and procedures and the voting on of the committee and officers.

Then at approx. 8pm we will open the meeting to general discussion about any concerns you may have about village issues.

Mr Mark Sanders from HealthWatch Bracknell will speak on "The Future of Health and Social Care in our Community".

A spokesperson from the Broadmoor Development Team will be present to answer your questions.

L&G have been invited to answer questions or speak at the meeting but at this stage they have declined.

The full agenda can be downloaded below

AGM 2015 Agenda

Assisted Living Homes at 48-50 Dukes Ride

PA 14/01073 FUL Map

There is no official date for this to go to the planning committee, but it could be as early as the end of April even though there have been a very large number of objections submitted to this plan to build over thirty residences where there are currently just two.

Pinewood Festival

Waterloo Hotel

CVAG will have our usual stand at the bi-annual Pinewood Festival on Sunday the 5th July 2015. If you were unable to get to the Broadmoor exhibition in April we will include Broadmoor’s Redevelopment exhibition and other developer plans and maps on our stand. This could give you another opportunity for further discussion.

Charities Land

New date of the 24th June 2015 is now scheduled for Wokingham Borough Council Planning Committee to debate on the Bewley Homes application for over 100 more residences opposite the TRL development.

If you still have comments on the newly amended (1st April) planning application F/2014/1561 please send them to ashley.smith@wokingham.gov.uk. You do not necessarily need to resubmit any comment you have made before on this planning application, as these will still be valid.

Broadmoor local stakeholders group meeting 3rd March 2015

CVAG attended the Broadmoor local stakeholders group meeting and have the following to report

Redevelopment is on schedule and on budget. All foundations are complete and walls are going up.

Cricket field Grove will be on the market in 4-8 weeks. It’s important for them from the cash flow point of view as its one of the few things they can sell at an early stage in the project.

They are working on a plan for providing alternative accommodation for rugby and football but they may have to hand over CFG before the alternatives are available, so there may be a gap when no facility is available

On the main building they’ve got at least 9 months preparatory work before they can even put it on the market. The kitchen garden will be included in the sale of the main building. They are still hoping for 210 houses there although English Heritage are opposing.

Much discussion about the sports centre. It includes a swimming pool, gym and full size sports hall and is in really good condition. Crowthorne Parish council are interested to see it can be made available for public use. However there is a section 106 obligation to demolish it which would have to be renegotiated with BFC before it could be reallocated.

Wellington College gave us a quick update on their plans for both Bowman court and the new performing arts centre, which will include a 1400 seat theatre and art gallery. They are having a transport consultant look at the implications.

Major Developments Group meeting February 2015

Several members of the CVAG committee attended the latest meeting of the major developments group in February 2015. Among the items discussed were the care homes that are both seeking to come just a short distance from each other in Crowthorne. One is in Dukes Ride and has a great deal of objections already on the Bracknell planning web site. Parking has been cut on this site from 19 to 17 despite planning officers asking for more spaces, not less!

The other is the McCarthy and Stone plan to build flats for the elderly on the site of the Waterloo Hotel. CVAG will be contacting English Heritage to get the hotel listed in the near future. This matter was raised at the Crowthorne Parish Council last year but nothing has been done about it so far.

McCarthy and Stone tell us that they do not need many parking spaces for the homes they build, but John and I met a lady who told us that when her parents were in a McCarthy and Stone home, parking was always an issue, with nothing like enough spaces! She pointed this out at the meeting we attended when we saw the early plans for the site.

Councillors at the meeting are concerned that our voices should be heard as our village is being picked apart by developer led changes, when we were told that this would not be the case after attending the Land Allocation inspection meetings.

Other matters discussed were the plans by the college to build homes in the field by the gym and setting up the new forum with Legal and General about developing the TRL site. We are contacting both Nick Baker from Legal and General and Cllr. Turrell with a view to getting this started. Cllr Turrell is of the view that there is no interest in such a forum in the village so he will hopefully learn that this is not the case.

48-50 Dukes Ride Planning Application ref: "14/01073/FUL"

CVAG have sent the following letter of objection to Bracknell Forest Council with reference to the above application for a care home at 48-50 Dukes Ride.

Objection Letter Re Care Home Dukes Ride 23rd Feb 2015

Wellington College Housing Development Update

A document has been supplied of the Exhibition Boards displayed at the public exhibition for the Bowman Field development.

Public Exhibition Boards

Wellington College Housing Development

CVAG have very recently received a letter from Wellington College with information about a public exhibition to show their proposed plans for the Bowman Field. This is just opposite Fincham End Drive on the way up Dukes Ride towards the station. This old orchard is also bordered by the entrance road to the Wellington College Sport and Leisure Centre (The Gym).

The exhibition is at the ‘Great School’, Wellington College on Monday 16th and Wednesday 18th February at 2pm to 7pm both days and Wellington College are asking for comments. We would suggest our members attend and voice their opinions.

Please note that the land allocation agreed by the Government Inspector in 2013 notes that the site would be suitable for up to 23 dwellings. The proposed development is for 36 dwellings which is an over 50% increase on the proposal agreed just two years ago.

If this planning application is passed when it goes before the Planning Committee then this sets a precedent which means that every agreed number in the land allocation is allowed to go up by a similar increase. It is frightening what could happen at the TRL, Broadmoor and any other new planning application for other sites.

Wellington are suggesting just nine (9) of the dwellings are for the open market and will be accessed from Dukes Ride and the remaining 27 are for staff accommodation to be accessed from south of the site.

You now have your chance to put your opinions forward.

Is a 50% increase over the numbers in the Land Allocation documentation by BFC acceptable? Would the extra traffic generated by the 50% more dwellings be sustainable?

Ravenswood plans

CVAG are also aware that part of Ravenswood is currently being offered to developers. At this stage no more details are known about size, use etc., but we will inform members via the newsletter of any updates as they appear.

Cross-border forum

At the CVAG meeting in November, there was unanimous support for a formal community forum to be established to cover both Bracknell Forest and Wokingham Borough development issues concerning Crowthorne. An initial outline of how the proposed "Triangle Forum" would work was discussed at a meeting, open to all, this Tuesday with good representation from CVAG and both Borough & Parish Councils.

The three points of the ‘Triangle’ can be defined roughly as Crowthorne Village, South Wokingham and Western Bracknell. The proposal was that an initial remit of the ‘Forum’ was to co-ordinate cross borough border traffic concerns. Both Wokingham and Bracknell Borough transport and planning senior representatives assured the meeting that they DO use the same software to map future traffic but this statement might be examined in more detail in the ‘Triangle Forum’. One very sage remark from the floor was that motorists do not consider borough boundaries when planning their journeys.

On the more wider cross border forum issue it was noted that Cllr Turrell executive member of the BFC Planning and Transport said that "if local demand was there" Bracknell could also have a ‘TRL and Broadmoor Forum’ similar to South Wokingham Forum when non-traffic issues like housing, medical facilities, social services and local shops could be discussed with local residents groups.

We might see this as a ‘Crowthorne Forum’. And it could be possible with cross-borough cooperation the forum could include the Charities Woodland development in Wokingham Without that borders on to TRL.

It was accepted that less close developments like Amen Corner, Arborfield, Blue Mountain etc. might also come into the equation later.

TRL Status

Bracknell Forest granted Outline Planning Permission to Legal and General for the TRL site last Friday. PA 13/00575/OUT Full the details can be found by going to the Bracknell Forest Council Website and searching the planning applications for ref: 13/00575/OUT and going to the Documents.

My visit to the prototype Broadmoor bedroom - John McNab (CVAG).

On Tuesday 27th January I visited the prototype Broadmoor bedroom on behalf of CVAG. I was a member of an invited tour, but in fact there were only two of us, the other being councillor Richard Price.

The bedroom is situated on a piece of spare ground right in the middle of the old hospital, so that patients can be (and have been) shown it and give their views.

We were asked to attend 15 minutes early to complete the security checks – and it took 15 minutes including the taking of electronic finger prints – then our guide Anne Hoffman took us through countless locked gates before reaching the site.

The bedroom is created outside and brought onto site in modules, so that it can be quickly assembled and lined up with many similar rooms on more than one storey. There will be a wide corridor on the inside and the window of every room will face the outside world, albeit mostly looking towards the rooms on the opposite side of the V shaped block. The windows are large and do not have bars (though they are of very thick unbreakable glass and have no means of being opened.) The outlook will be green space, albeit bounded by the security wall.


The room is light and airy and in many ways like a hotel room with a single bed in it. Apparently patients who have viewed it think that it will be a wonderful improvement.

Because of the overall plan to have V shaped blocks the side walls are very slightly not parallel. In the corner to the side of the door is a wet room containing shower, toilet and washbasin, exaggerating the "not quite parallel" effect. The bed is located with its foot nearest the door and the head under the window, with about a three or four foot space along each side. On the side containing the wet room is a blackboard for the resident to draw on with chalk and in the corner there are shelves for clothes (etc.) .On the opposite wall is a writing shelf with a blue notice board above it. The main room colour is a gentle pastel shade, which apparently can be different in different rooms. The plan is also for the external walls to be of varying colours to give a more pleasing visual effect.

It all looks very nice, but on closer scrutiny the security aspects are very apparent, There are no handles, knobs, hooks etc. There is a curtain into the wet room but no door. The room door has a panel through which food (etc.) would be passed. There are observation windows into the main room and the wet room. The blackboard and notice board are in fact really painted rectangles on the wall so there is nothing to be unscrewed and used as a weapon.

… And so on – as one would expect in such an institution.

So – a big step forward in comfort and humanity to the patients, but not a "hotel" one would choose for more than a day or so.

Feedback from the public meeting

On the 8th October we held a public meeting to inform people about proposed development in and around Crowthorne. We were pleased to welcome 66 people to this meeting who were able to look at the many plans and discuss the issues that are of concern to us all.

Matters raised at the meeting were:
  • The lack of health care provision once we get all the new residents.
  • The problems that will be caused due to the increase in traffic.
  • Road systems and changes proposed . For example, we were informed that improvements to the junctions around TRL are to be made before any building starts.
  • Bus routes.
  • Whether the traffic modelling figures should be up-dated since the ones used are now completely out of date, pre dating the Jennett's Park junction.
  • The possibility of having a Neighbourhood Plan for the whole of Crowthorne.
  • Having a community forum to oversee the developments like the ones in Wokingham.
  • Whether the green gaps between Crowthorne and Wokingham, and Crowthorne and Bracknell are considered important areas to both Councils.

Borough and Parish Councillors attended the meeting and were there to answer questions and to note all the concerns that people expressed about these issues. Representatives from all the major developers were invited but it was only Bewley Homes, who are currently hoping to build on part of the Charities Land opposite the entrance to the proposed Legal and General development on the TRL site, who sent a representative

After hearing what the councils "hoped" to do in regard to the developments, one comment stood out as being an important thought we should take away from the meeting

"Hope is not a strategy"

It is clear that Crowthorne is going to be swamped by all the new development in and around the village so CVAG aims to have a public meeting at least once a year so that villagers can be better informed about what is happening. Please attend these and also join CVAG so we have a better chance to speak for the whole of the village.

Application to build 2000 new dwellings on the Arborfield Garrison ref: "O/2014/2280"

Traffic from such a large development will surely be a problem as it will probably add to the East/ West transition in mornings and evenings to and from to M3 and M4 junctions. Details of Public Exhibition Sat 22 Nov at Nine Mile Ride School 3-5pm about the Arborfield Strategic Development Location (3,500 homes, secondary school etc.)
Deadline for Comments: 05/12/2014

To view the planning application go to Wokingham Borough Council Search planning applications online and use reference above.

O/2014/2280_Map

Bracknell Planning department

BFC, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to stop sending out weekly list of planning applications. This does seem to be a retrograde step in terms of open government and consultation with the community. The information is available on the web but the onus is now on residents to check regularly. They can be accessed via the Bracknell Forest web site. www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/viewplanningapplications Please alert us to any applications that you are concerned about.