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RESIDENTS fighting an ongoing battle to save Sandhurst High Street from developers have "accepted the inevitable" after a plan for more than 20 homes was given the green light.

Bracknell Forest Borough councillors last Thursday agreed that Bancroft Developments had made suitable amendments to previous plans.

The site has an area of approximately 0.6 hectares and is currently occupied

by four detached houses standing in large gardens, with separate accesses on to the High Street.

The application is for four two-bedroom flats, five two-bedroom houses, 14 three-bedroom houses and one four-bedroom house and will go ahead following the demolition of the four existing dwellings.

At the meeting of Bracknell Forest Planning and Highways Committee vice chairman Cllr Dale Birch, said this had been a "somewhat difficult" issue and thanked residents for their support throughout this "long battle".

He said: "It is now acceptable and the developer has been very conscious of the comments and has brought about a new application taking on board the concerns."

After the meeting resident Ruth Smith, of McKernan Court, explained the battle was now over and Bancroft had made a considerable effort to resolve residents' concerns.

She said: "We have had three meetings with Mr Bancroft since the public inquiry back in May and he has really listened to our comments.

"We are now a lot happier with the plans.

"The company has reduced the number of houses to be built and offered to pay for a zebra crossing to help us cross the High Street safely."

Nine letters of objection were written to the council pointing out potential problems including an increase in traffic, highway safety concerns on a dangerous bend, the development would be out of character for the area and inadequate onsite parking.

Since the inquiry amendments have been made to the plans such as increased forward visibility for right turning vehicles by providing a ghost island turning lane, which allows cars to pull into a central lane on the main road before entering the site; a reduced number of houses to be built and adding surface water control measures to

prevent increased risk of flooding.

The battle began after Bancroft put forward two applications, one for 32 homes and another for 35.

Bracknell Forest Borough Council refused permission in both cases, which prompted Bancroft to appeal.

Residents joined forces with Sandhurst Town Council and successfully fought off the appeal at a three-day public inquiry in May.

Residents celebrated after a planning inspector once again threw out the plans in June.

Building is expected to begin in the summer months.


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