Crowthorne Village Action Group

CVAG protecting our village against urbanisation

Transport Research Labatory (TRL)

At its Crowthorne site since 1960, the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) continues to be an important part of the local community. Now, activities are scaled back, many of the original buildings and banked test track are disused, creating an opportunity for redevelopment.

In 2008 the site owners, Legal and General, submitted an application to build 975 homes on the site. Bracknell Council refused the application saying  “It would result in major development inappropriate and harmful to the character appearance and function of this countryside location and to the strategic gap between Bracknell and Crowthorne.”

The site does have disused buildings suitable for redevelopment, but also has large areas of woodland. Some of that woodland, where it adjoins the Crowthorne-Bracknell road, is protected from residential building as it lies within the 400m exclusion zone around the special protection area of Crowthorne Heath.

Now, in 2012, Bracknell Council has identified TRL as a strategic area, suitable for a new mini-town of 1,000 homes. Such a large development would mean building over the whole site, except the area not so protected, with an estimated loss of 20,000 trees and eroding the gap between Crowthorne and Great Hollands. CVAG has asked the council for an alternative plan which would just involve building on the currently built up area, but Bracknell planners have refused.