Inspectors examine plans for 2,000 homes neighbouring Bray

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Proposals to build 2,000 homes and a science park on greenbelt land bordering Bray have taken a potential step closer – with plans being examined by independent inspectors.

Syngenta, a multinational agricultural science company, seeks to bring together multiple related businesses on one site in Jealott’s Hill to make a ‘science and innovation park’.

The Royal Borough’s planning team last year told the relevant local authority, Bracknell Forest Council, that it has ‘strong concerns’ over the ‘detrimental impact’ on the openness of the borough’s greenbelt and increases in traffic on roads in Bray.

Bray Parish Council (BPC) and residents’ associations in the parish, as well as the Windsor Lib Dems group, have also voiced concerns for the same reasons.

In response, Syngenta has said its development would deliver ‘significant, ongoing, economic benefit to the UK.’

“Syngenta will invest in multi-million pound new buildings and facilities for its business,” it said.

“This, alongside the £200million budget Syngenta invests annually into Jealott’s Hill each year, which supports 850 jobs.

“The garden village would cross-subsidise the new schools, health provision, leisure and sports provision, transport improvements and the wider science and innovation park.”

The first stage of examination hearings for the Bracknell Forest Local Plan concluded on Wednesday, June 15 after 10 days of hearings.

A list of action points from the hearing sessions is being published.

Attending the hearings were representatives of the Save Jealott’s Hill campaign group, which seeks to challenge the plans.

It has formed ‘a strong team of professional advisers’, including a planning consultant, barrister, transport consultant and a chartered surveyor.

The group is now set to meet with the viability advisers for the Syngenta team and the advisers to the council.

“[The aim is] to reach some kind of agreement on matters on which [we] can agree (not many) and where [we] cannot agree (quite a few),” wrote the campaign committee in an update.

The result of this is set to be submitted to the inspectors by June 30.

Bracknell Forest Council is set to conduct a consultation on the updated housing supply and housing trajectory figures in early September.

A list of the major modifications to the Local Plan – which arose from the Stage 1 hearings – is to be prepared, with a full consultation later in the year.

Stage 2 hearings are set for two three-day sessions in late October or early November. The provisional dates for these are October 18-20 and November 1-3.

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