The day was the last leg of a three-day inquiry which saw townsfolk and parish councillors fight Bancroft Developments Ltd, which wants to build up to 35 homes along the High Street.

The inquiry was called after Bancroft appealed against Bracknell Forest Borough Council's decision to refuse planning permission on two occasions.

But now residents face an agonising wait to hear the inspector's decision, which could change the face of Sandhurst High Street.

Speaking on behalf of the council was James Strachan, who told the inquiry the development would be damaging to the character of Sandhurst and would be severely detrimental to road safety.

But Bancroft barrister Richard Glover argued the development would be making good use of a brownfield site.

At one point, Mr Glover hit out at the council, calling its case a "shambles" and disputing each of its arguments.

But resident Ruth Smith, of McKernan Court, voiced the concerns of the people who will be most affected if the plan goes ahead.

Mrs Smith, who is disabled, fears the increased traffic from a new development would make life very difficult for her and other elderly residents.

She told the inquiry: "I wish you could see the obstacles I have to negotiate, even just to get to the post office.

"The traffic in the High Street does not abate and unless someone stops their car I find I have problems crossing.

"The planned estate would mean additional traffic and movements into and out of the internal distribution road, especially at a point where visibility is restricted - this would be a total nightmare to me.

"Visibility is poor in that area because of two almost blind bends. To me it would be an accident waiting to happen.

"I would be terrified every time I needed to cross this distribution road."

She concluded: "For all of us oldies who have retired here to Sandhurst to spend our remaining years in tranquillity, as was the case when we first came here, would you [the inspector] please give this matter your most serious consideration."

The inspector's decision is expected to be known in June.