THE REDEVELOPMENT OF BRACKNELL TOWN CENTRE

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					 THE REDEVELOPMENT OF
BRACKNELL TOWN CENTRE



             A REPORT TO
       CONSIDER APPLICATIONS
                BY THE
 BRACKNELL REGENERATION PARTNERSHIP




                   References:

   Council Refs:   04/01129/OUT & 01130/LB
   Our Ref:        ITP/CLS/4264/Projects/Bracknell/Reports
Planning & Highways Committee                                                 9 February 2006



                                           CONTENTS


1.       Executive Summary                                                              4

2.       Application Titles                                                             23

3.       Site Description                                                               24

4.       The Application Proposals                                                      29

5.       The Environmental Statement                                                    36

6.       Planning History                                                               39

7.       Consultations & Responses                                                      46

8.       The Development Plan                                                           48

9.       Supplementary Planning Guidance                                                55

10.      Other Material Plans & Government Guidance                                     60

11.      Planning Analysis                                                              63

               (i)           Land Use Principles                                        64
               (ii)          Retail Considerations                                      75
               (iii)         Transportation & Access Issues                             103
               (iv)          Housing                                                    147
               (v)           Employment                                                 154
               (vi)          Balance & Mix of Uses                                      162
               (vii)         Built Environment                                          167
               (viii)        Listed Buildings & Archaeology                             186
               (ix)          Public Spaces, Art & Trees                                 192
               (x)           Natural Environment                                        200
               (xi)          Combined Heat & Power Plant                                212
               (xii)         Sustainability                                             224

12.      Implementation & Comprehensiveness                                             235

13.      Section 106 Agreement                                                          241

14.      Conclusions                                                                    247

15.      Human Rights Considerations                                                    255

16.      Recommendation & Conditions                                                    257




Redevelopment of Bracknell                       2            Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                           9 February 2006



                                             APPENDICES



Appendix 1        -          Schedule of Plans and Modifications


Appendix 2        -          Schedule PA2B - Proposed Floorspaces, and Table of Floorspaces by
                             Land Use in each Zone

Appendix 3        -          Plan of Buildings to be Demolished


Appendix 4        -          Secretary of State Decision Letter – May 2001


Appendix 5        -          Schedule of Representations from Local Authorities, Statutory
                             Organisations, Utilities, etc.


Appendix 6        -          Schedule of Responses from Third Parties


Appendix 7        -          Schedule of Responses from Council Departments


Appendix 8        -          Berkshire Structure Plan – Policy S1


Appendix 9        -          Proposals PE1(i) and (ii)


Appendix 10       -          Appropriate Assessment for the Special Protection Area


Appendix 11       -          Policies for the Combined Heat & Power Plant


Appendix 12       -          Report on The Delivery of Comprehensive Development


Appendix 13       -          Section 106 Agreement – Heads of Terms


Appendix 14       -          Heads of Terms for Third Party Sites




Redevelopment of Bracknell                           3                  Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                          9 February 2006



1.0      EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


1.1     There are two applications for consideration in this report, namely an Outline Planning
        Application proposing the redevelopment of Bracknell town centre, and an application
        for Listed Building Consent to remove a short section of brick walling adjacent to the
        Old ManorPublic House.


1.2     The application site covers the entire town centre of Bracknell, a total area of
        39.8 hectares bounded by Millennium Way, Church Road, the railway lines and the
        Peel Centre/Skimpedhill Lane.       The main body of the report includes a detailed
        description of the town centre and the access routes to it. Attention is also drawn to the
        proximity of the town centre to the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area as
        this is a particularly important consideration in this case.


1.3     The report lists all of the application documents and plans, as well as the illustrative
        material submitted in support of the proposals. It also provides a list of all the existing
        buildings that would be demolished, amounting to 83,411 square metres of floorspace.


1.4     The planning application is presented as a series of parameter plans which identify
        development sites around the town centre.          The limits of each site represent the
        maximum proposed extent of new building, although it is possible that a development
        may only occupy part of a site. The plans also define the minimum and maximum
        height of the new buildings and a floorspace schedule on each plan ascribes land uses
        within each development zone. The amount of floorspace and its use in each zone is
        constrained by the figures specified on each plan, and further constrained across the
        town centre as a whole by figures specified in a schedule included with the application.


1.5     The following land uses are proposed for each zone:
             •   North-West Zone - Residential, business, health centre, hotel, retail and energy
                 centre
             •   North Zone - Retail, leisure (A3 and D2) and residential
             •   East Zone - Replacement of Langley Hall
             •   Central Zone - Extensions to existing retail premises fronting High Street and
                 Charles Square, residential redevelopment of Enid Wood House, additional car
                 parking




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



             •   South Zone – New supermarket, leisure uses, college, civic centre, hotel and
                 residential
             •   West Zone – Retail, leisure, business floor space and residential. Facilities are
                 also proposed for the Police, Magistrates Court and British Legion.


        The land uses allocated on the parameter plans for each zone are not site specific, but
        an Illustrative Composite Plan (ICP) has been submitted in order to provide an
        overview of the proposals, and to aid an appreciation of building relationships across
        zonal boundaries.       The ICP includes a schedule to illustrate possible land uses
        associated with each development site and the floorspaces that could be developed.
        The ICP is also colour-coded to show the extent of development initially proposed by
        the applicants in yellow (referred to as BRP Development A).                   Other BRP
        developments and sites in third party ownership are also shown in pink and blue
        respectively. The applicants’ proposals for works to the public realm are shaded in
        brown on the plan.


1.6     The application proposals also include extensive works to the public highway within
        the application site and beyond. Details of proposals within the site are shown on one
        of the parameter plans; and beyond the site boundaries the details are included in the
        Transport Assessment which accompanies the application.


1.7     The application is also accompanied by an Environmental Statement covering 15
        topics. The content of the ES has been rigorously assessed by consultants acting on
        behalf of the Council, and their initial report in January 2005 concluded that it was
        essentially satisfactory. However a few omissions were identified and so additional
        information was requested from the applicants.          This was received in May and
        September 2005, and again this was subject to review by the Council’s consultants.
        The review report concluded that the applicants had submitted sufficient information in
        the ES to enable the Council to properly assess the likely significant environmental
        effects arising from the development, and consequently the Council could determine
        the planning application.     The submissions of additional information in May and
        September last year were subject to public consultation as required by the regulations.
        However, with regard to the SPA the ES was considered barely adequate. However,
        the involvement of English Nature and the Council’s preparation of an Appropriate
        Assessment has provided additional information.




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Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                      9 February 2006




1.8     The planning history of the site reveals that there have been a number of proposals
        relating to large sites in the town centre over the past 15 years or so. These have
        included a scheme for an office development on the bus station site which was allowed
        on appeal in 1992; a shopping centre redevelopment by Swan Hill on the Town Square
        site approved in 1996; and a number of proposals for the redevelopment of the
        Winchester House site and its car park approved between 1998 and 2002. There have
        also been several refusals of planning permission for redevelopment on the Gowring
        House site on Market Street, and indeed there is a current planning application for the
        redevelopment of that site.


1.9     None of the approved schemes for development in the town centre have been
        implemented.


1.10    The most notable planning history record concerns three applications submitted in
        1997. Two of the applications were submitted by Legal & General proposing the
        redevelopment of the north and south sectors of the town centre; and the third
        application was submitted by Bracknell Regeneration Trust for the redevelopment of
        the entire town centre.       All three planning applications were “called-in” by the
        Secretary of State for determination and, following a Public Inquiry in 1999, all of
        them were refused in a decision letter dated May 2001. It was concluded that the
        proposals would all, by virtue of their scale, conflict fundamentally with the provisions
        of development plan policies in terms of the amount of additional shopping floorspace
        that should be accepted.


1.11.   Section 7 of this report details the consultations that have been carried out in
        connection with this application. An extensive consultation exercise with statutory
        bodies, adjoining local authorities, parish councils, utility providers, internal Council
        departments and the general public was carried out upon receipt of the planning
        application in November 2004. This exercise was repeated in March 2005 following
        receipt of revisions to the parameter plans, and again in May 2005 upon receipt of
        further revisions. In addition to the above, the Environmental Statement has been
        subject to consultation in May and September 2005 following receipt of supplementary
        information. Details of all the responses received are included at Appendices 5, 6 and
        7 at the end of the report.




Redevelopment of Bracknell                      6                  Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006




1.12    A local planning authority is required to determine a planning application in
        accordance with the provisions of the development plan unless material considerations
        indicate otherwise. In this case the development plan comprises the Regional Spatial
        Strategy for the South East of England, the Berkshire County Structure Plan of July
        2005, the Waste Local Plan for Berkshire 1998, and the Bracknell Forest Borough
        Council Local Plan of 2002. Section 8 of the main report provides a listing of the
        relevant policies from each document.


1.13    An added consideration in this case is the Supplementary Planning Guidance produced
        and adopted by the Council in July 2002. Following the Secretary of State’s decision
        in 2001, the Council resolved to take a lead in the regeneration of the town centre by
        producing a Masterplan in collaboration with a wide range of stake-holders, including
        the key town centre landowners. The Council committed significant resources and
        time to this process, resulting in the Bracknell Town Centre Masterplan.                This
        document develops policies contained in the Local Plan and outlines the form of
        development that will be acceptable in the town centre, without being overly
        prescriptive.    It provides important detailed guidance against which to assess the
        application proposals, and sets out a series of principles which are re-stated at Section 9
        of the report.


1.14    In addition to the development plan policies and the Masterplan referred to above, the
        local planning authority must also take into account various other planning documents
        that are material to a decision. These include Planning Policy Guidance notes and
        Circulars issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the emerging draft South
        East Plan issued by the South East England Regional Assembly, and other
        supplementary planning guidance documents produced by the Council dealing with
        Affordable Housing, Accessibility, Limiting the Impact of Development and the
        Bracknell Town Centre Urban Design Framework.


1.15    Section 11 of the report analyses the planning merits of the proposals under 12 topic
        headings. For each of these sub-sections a consistent format has been adopted as
        follows:




Redevelopment of Bracknell                      7                    Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



        (i)      A brief review of the relevant policy context within which the issue must be
                 considered.

        (ii)     A resumé of the proposal or relevant part of it to highlight what is being
                 considered.

        (iii)    Where applicable, a summary of the findings of the ES.

        (iv)     Details of any representations received.

        (v)      Analysis of the merit of the proposals in light of the above.

        The intention in adopting this format is to ensure that all material considerations are
        taken into account in reaching a decision.


1.16    The first sub-section considers the broad land-use principles of the application which
        fall to be considered against Proposals PE1(i) and (ii) of the Local Plan.             These
        proposals relate to land in the north and south of the town centre and require as follows:


        (i)      Land in the north of the town centre is allocated for a comprehensive mixed use
                 development to bring about the regeneration of Bracknell, redevelopment and
                 townscape enhancement. Any scheme for the site must strengthen retailing,
                 add to diversity, vitality and viability and improve environmental quality.


        (ii)     Relating to the southern section of the town centre, this proposal also seeks a
                 comprehensive mixed use development to include a public transport
                 interchange and a significant open space of public value. The scheme for this
                 site must also comprise a mix of appropriate town centre uses, environmentally
                 enhance the area and improve approaches to the town centre from the south.


         These proposals represent the Council’s fundamental planning policy requirements for
         the town centre. Amongst the consultation responses it is notable that SEERA consider
         the proposals comply with current and evolving regional policies, and the Joint
         Strategic Planning Unit broadly welcome the application as it corresponds with the
         Masterplan and it is central to the realisation of the vision for Bracknell set out in the
         Berkshire Structure Plan. This report sets out an overview of the planning application
         proposals and concludes that the Council’s requirements are fulfilled as follows:




Redevelopment of Bracknell                       8                   Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                          9 February 2006



         (i)      A comprehensive approach has been adopted in the application, although it
                  cannot be assumed from this that the entire scheme will actually be developed.
                  The application site covers not only the two proposal sites, but the entire town
                  centre area within The Ring (excluding the Peel Centre).


         (ii)     The geographical comprehensiveness of the site area is matched by
                  development proposals that comprehensively redevelop the northern and
                  southern areas of the town centre in a way that integrates with the remaining
                  core of the town. The scheme also puts forward proposals for other sites
                  around the periphery (some in third party ownership).


         (iii)    The entire scheme is predicated on the basis of a comprehensive package of
                  highways and public transport measures, including proposals for cycling and
                  pedestrian improvements.      These measures are underpinned by a funding
                  stream generated from parking activity to support public transport to ensure a
                  long term sustainable solution.


         (iv)     A mix of uses is proposed that will include a significant amount of retail
                  floorspace, appropriate town centre uses, business, housing and other key town
                  centre facilities such as the market, health centre, civic offices, etc. This is
                  intended to establish the conditions necessary to regenerate the town centre as
                  a whole, and although the Council cannot require full implementation of the
                  scheme, it is important at this stage to ensure that a mix of uses is secured.


         (v)      A significant revamp of public realm in the town centre is proposed, as shown
                  in the Illustrative Public Realm Statement, involving the creation of new
                  spaces and the revitalisation of existing routes. This will result in a significant
                  improvement to the environment of the town centre through a high standard of
                  design and continuity of treatment throughout the public realm.


         (vi)     New buildings and spaces should, through their detailed design, produce an
                  attractive town centre with its own identify, thereby resolving current issues
                  concerning the appearance and image of Bracknell.




Redevelopment of Bracknell                          9                  Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                            9 February 2006



         (vii)    The redeveloped town centre should facilitate better links with the surrounding
                  areas and particularly the Peel Centre.


         (viii)   A linear bus interchange is proposed in the central area of the town centre at
                  the western end of the High Street. This is supplemented by a public transport
                  interchange at the southern end of the town, consistent with the Masterplan
                  proposals.


1.17    Local Plan Policy E1 also provides criteria against which to assess these proposals and
        in this regard the report concludes in respect of each criterion as follows:


         (a)      the proposal will materially add to retail floorspace and introduce additional
                  Class A and D2 uses that would significantly enhance the towns’ retail offer,
                  promoting diversity, vitality and viability. New buildings, uses and public
                  realm will bring about a renewed and attractive urban fabric and environment.


         (b)      large parts of the 1960’s town centre will be demolished, particularly in the
                  northern part of the site, to make way for new development of high design
                  quality if the principles set out in the Illustrative Design Statement are adhered
                  to.


                  (i)        No adverse consequences are anticipated in respect of the
                             environment, highway safety, labour or housing markets (detailed
                             analysis set out below in Transportation and Employment sub-
                             sections).


                  (ii)       The application proposals include public transport measures and
                             improved facilities for pedestrians/cyclists.


                  (iii)      Detailed design is a reserved matter but the Illustrative Design and
                             Public Realm Statements signal an intention to incorporate high
                             standards for buildings and open spaces.


                  (iv)       A mix of uses is proposed, including A3, A4, B1, D2 and housing, to
                             promote activity in the town centre after retail hours.




Redevelopment of Bracknell                          10                   Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                              9 February 2006




                  (v)        Private and affordable housing is included and can be secured by
                             Section 106 obligation.


                  (vi)       Existing residential accommodation is to be retained, with the
                             exception of Enid Wood House which is proposed for a residential
                             redevelopment. Other key town centre uses will, in some cases, need
                             to be provided with replacement accommodation. The re-provision of
                             other uses can be secured by an obligation in a Section 106 Agreement.


                  (vii)      The redevelopment is well integrated with existing urban fabric and
                             would have no adverse impact upon other parts of the town centre.


                  (viii)     Existing listed buildings will be retained.


         It is concluded that the criteria of this policy are satisfied, or capable of being satisfied
         through appropriate planning mechanisms.


1.18    The analysis of the retail element of the proposal is of particular importance in this case
        because the applications rejected in 2001 were basically considered excessive in this
        regard.


1.19    The key to the consideration of this element of the scheme is the Masterplan itself. In
        developing the Masterplan, the Council produced robust retail capacity and impact
        assessments to guide the level of retail development which would serve the natural
        catchment of Bracknell town centre, whilst not causing undue harm to surrounding
        centres. A brief for this work was shared with surrounding local authority and key
        stake-holders and no objections were raised. A transport assessment was also integral
        to the development of the Masterplan.              The Masterplan was then produced in
        conformance with these assessments to produce a robust vision of how regeneration of
        the whole of the town centre could take place.


        The assessments that form the foundation for the Masterplan have also been taken into
        account in the Environmental Statement that supports this application. The ES accepts
        the conclusion of the Colliers CRE impact assessment that no significant negative




Redevelopment of Bracknell                          11                     Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                       9 February 2006



        impact is likely for any other retail centre in the catchment area other than The
        Meadows near Camberley.         Therefore the proposed development would have no
        significant effect on existing retail centres, and it is unnecessary to propose measures to
        mitigate any likely effects. Any likely adverse effect on the vitality and viability of
        existing shops in Bracknell town centre would be offset by the OPA providing for the
        comprehensive regeneration and redevelopment of the whole town centre.


1.20     This report thoroughly assesses the retail component of the application and concludes
         that the proposed additional comparison floorspace, at 56,171m² gross lettable area,
         (39,319m² net) is the same as the capacity identified in the Colliers CRE 2002 Study.
         Therefore in terms of its scale the proposal is wholly in accordance with BFBLP Policy
         E1. The scale of the proposals is in line with emerging RSS advice to direct investment
         to middle to lower order centres. The RSS states that the Masterplan proposals are in
         accordance with its policies. The Structure Plan states that Bracknell needs to serve its
         catchment area better to perform its role and function. Therefore, it is considered that
         the scale of the proposals is wholly appropriate for the town, for the performance of its
         role and function, and for its regeneration. This scale of development is in accordance
         with adopted RSS, emerging RSS, adopted Structure Plan, Local Plan and SPG
         policies. In terms of impact on nearby centres, the figures have been set out in the
         report. They demonstrate no undue impact on any town centre such as would threaten
         their vitality and viability. The Meadows would incur an impact of 13.32%. However,
         this is an out of centre development and therefore policy for the protection of the
         vitality and viability of town centres does not apply. It is considered that the scale of
         the proposals would have no adverse impact on any of the nearby town centres
         identified.


1.21    The application has also been assessed against national guidance contained in Planning
        Policy Statement 6. Para 2.10 advises that changes to the status of centres of more than
        local importance i.e. primary and secondary regional centres, should come forward
        through Regional Spatial Strategies. The status of Bracknell as a Secondary Regional
        Centre in the emerging RSS is consistent with that advice. The status of Bracknell has
        been defined as recently as July last year in the adopted Structure Plan.            In the
        emerging RSS the town has been defined as a secondary regional centre. In the
        Structure Plan the town has been identified for “significant redevelopment for
        comparison, convenience and specialist shopping as well as incorporating a greater




Redevelopment of Bracknell                      12                  Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                      9 February 2006



        variety of town centre activities to improve the service to its existing catchment”. This
        is exactly what the proposal aims to do, i.e. implement the role and function set out for
        the town in the Structure Plan. In the emerging RSS the town is designated for, inter
        alia, major retail development, uses which attract large numbers of people including
        major cultural, tourism, social and community venues. The proposals seek to achieve a
        major mixed use development in accordance with the RSS. The status of the town has
        therefore been defined in the Structure Plan and the emerging RSS. This OPA seeks to
        implement that status not to define it or alter it in any way. This approach is wholly in
        accordance with the advice of PPS6 paragraph 2.10 in relation to the role and function
        of the town centre. The proposal would promote the vitality and viability of Bracknell
        through growth and focussing development on the centre to strengthen and regenerate
        the town.      The proposals would promote social inclusion by ensuring that the
        community in the town catchment area and hinterland have good access to a range of
        town centre facilities and that deficiencies in provision, which are well documented and
        understood, are remedied.


         It is considered therefore that the proposals are fully in accordance with the advice of
         PPS6 in relation to the role and function of the town and the regeneration proposed for
         it. The impact assessment accords with the advice of paragraph 3.20 and 3.23 of PPS6.
         The impact assessment concludes no significant adverse effect on existing identified
         town centres. It is concluded therefore that the proposals are fully in accordance with
         relevant advice in PPS6.


1.22    The highways and transportation aspects of the scheme are of considerable importance
        in this case because of the emphasis in ODPM guidance upon linking development and
        transportation decisions with a view to promoting sustainability, and the policy
        requirement to provide an accessible town centre served by a range of means of
        transport. The Highways Authority is supportive of the proposals, but reliance is
        placed upon securing implementation of a comprehensive package of highway
        improvements through a Section 106 Agreement. In a few respects conditions will be
        necessary to ensure that some details of the scheme are revised and improved, and
        other conditions are recommended to ensure that details of the scheme are delivered.


1.23     The inclusion of a substantial amount of new housing in the development is to be
         welcomed to the extent that it reflects national and local policies, makes good use of




Redevelopment of Bracknell                     13                  Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                      9 February 2006



         existing developed land within a town centre well-served by public transport, and will
         promote life and activity in the town centre throughout the day.          The proposed
         floorspace would more than fulfil the SPG objective to provide ‘over 950 homes’, and
         in policy terms it would also help create a better balance between jobs and workers. As
         this is an outline application, the form and size of dwelling units can be controlled
         through planning conditions but, importantly, agreement has been reached on the
         provision of affordable housing to be developed by a registered social landlord.
         Significantly also, the applicants have agreed to develop a proportion of the private
         dwelling units at the same time as the retail scheme, and further units in the south of
         the town centre within 3 years of completion of a specified amount of Class A
         floorspace in the same area. This will contribute to the achievement of a truly mixed
         use development.


1.24     The outline planning application makes provision for new and replacement
         employment floorspace, but on a lesser scale to that suggested in the SPG. This is not
         considered to be an issue, as it would help create a better balance between jobs and
         workers, but further reductions in floorspace may give rise to concern. To the extent
         that an imbalance may remain causing an in-migration or workers, an Employment
         Strategy is proposed as a Section 106 obligation.


1.25     An employment issue also arises in the consideration of the Balance & Mix of Uses,
         because the new floorspace, unlike the Masterplan proposal, is largely concentrated in
         the west and north-west zones. It is also clear that the construction of new employment
         floorspace on the applicants own sites will be market led, as no new floorspace is
         proposed in BRP Development A. The conclusion drawn in Section 12 is that BRP
         Development A will facilitate the delivery of a comprehensive re-development
         framework and favourable investment conditions to encourage third party sites to come
         forward.     These sites could provide approximately one-third of the maximum
         employment floorspace in mixed use developments, particularly along Market Street.
         In other respects the distribution of new uses and development around the town centre
         broadly accords with the Masterplan, and the character areas can be achieved. It is
         important, however, to create and maintain vibrant and interesting public thoroughfares
         and nodes of activity, and this can be secured through planning conditions and the
         Section 106 Agreement.




Redevelopment of Bracknell                     14                  Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



1.26     In the Built Environment sub-section a review is carried out of building relationships in
         and around the site, and the urban design aspects of the application. In most respects
         the juxtaposition, siting and height of built form as defined in the parameter plans is
         considered acceptable, but there are some instances where new buildings could
         potentially have an undesirable impact upon the street scene or existing properties.
         Conditions are therefore recommended to ensure that parameters are limited in specific
         locations so that these impacts are mitigated. The application is also tested against the
         Urban Design Framework for the town centre, which has been largely superseded by
         the Masterplan.     In the main it is concluded that the application is broadly in
         accordance with these documents at outline stage, and the detailed elements can be
         drawn out in the reserved matters. The issue of the bus stations’ relocation is explained
         through the evolution of the Masterplan. The outline application provides adequate
         information to assess the proposed bus station adjoining Market Square, and a
         condition is recommended to secure the necessary details and implementation of the
         scheme. A further condition requires detail of interchange facilities at the railway
         station to ensure it is also delivered to the Council’s satisfaction. In other respects
         there are few remaining areas of concern from an urban design perspective, and it is
         considered that the matters raised can be resolved at detailed design stage through
         quality design and the imposition of conditions and obligations.


1.27     Turning to the issue of listed buildings, it is the statutory duty of a local planning
         authority when considering applications relating to listed buildings to have special
         regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting, or any features of
         architectural or historic interest which it possesses. It is also a requirement of planning
         policy and the Masterplan that the five listed buildings in the town centre be retained.
         This is achieved by the application proposals, and the accompanying Environmental
         Statement recommends that a number of principles be followed at detailed design stage
         to ensure a satisfactory relationship between new built fabric and those buildings. A
         condition has been proposed to this effect, but additionally consultation responses have
         raised concern about the potential over-dominance of new buildings behind The Bull
         PH and Boots Opticians. For this reason further conditions are suggested to limit the
         height of some new buildings, to ensure that a satisfactory setting is maintained for the
         listed buildings. Also in this sub-section it is recognised that archaeological issues are
         unlikely to be a major concern and the matter can be covered by condition.




Redevelopment of Bracknell                      15                   Bracknell Forest Borough Council
Town Centre
Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



1.28     The issue of public realm provision is also of considerable significance in this case
         because of its importance in the perception of the town centre and the
         policy/Masterplan objectives to secure substantial improvements to the existing
         situation.   The analysis focuses upon the existing and proposed spaces and the
         thoroughfares that will link them. The report concludes that in simple quantative terms
         there is no major difference between the amount of space existing and that proposed,
         but the proposals would establish a clear hierarchy and distribution of spaces around
         the town centre, and facilitate different characters and uses. The Masterplan
         emphasises the importance of these spaces in terms of activity and interest which will,
         in part, be created by the land uses surrounding them.            A condition has been
         recommended to ensure that suitable uses are introduced in these key areas. High
         quality treatment of spaces and thoroughfares in all areas affected by the development
         will be secured through the legal agreement.


1.29     The provision of public art is integral to the public realm issue, and the extent of work
         proposed in this case dictates that consideration be given to the preservation of existing
         works of art as well as the provision of new. Given the complexities of public art
         retention, re-instatement and new provision arising from these proposals, the issue has
         been covered by Section 106 obligations in order to ensure that development plan
         policy is fulfilled.


1.30     Existing trees are also an important feature of the public realm. Although there are
         quite a few of them within the application site, it is concluded that some tree loss has to
         be contemplated if the town centre is to be comprehensively redeveloped. A few
         individual trees and small groups that are particularly beneficial in the street scene have
         been identified for retention by condition. In other areas, certain development blocks
         in key prominent locations need to be constrained by condition, to ensure that adequate
         space is available for new landscaping.


1.31     A number of issues are considered under the heading of Natural Environment, chief
         amongst them the potential impact of new residential development on the Special
         Protection Area. Although English Nature subsequently withdrew their objection to
         the proposals, it remains to be considered as a planning issue in its own right, and it is
         also incumbent upon the decision making body to ascertain with certainty that the
         proposal will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the SPA before it may grant




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                          9 February 2006



         planning permission.       (By virtue of the parallel requirements under the Habitat
         Regulations).       The full and thorough Appropriate Assessment carried out by the
         Council established that the development would possibly have an adverse effect on the
         SPA.     However, by adopting a precautionary approach, it was concluded that the
         delivery of appropriate mitigation in advance of residential development being
         occupied would preclude the possibility of the development contributing, in
         combination with other projects, to an overall effect which might conceivably be
         harmful. A package of mitigation works has therefore been agreed as a Section 106
         obligation.


1.32     In respect of ground contamination, micro-climate and signal transmissions, the
         Environmental Statement found no cause for concern, and any impacts arising could be
         adequately dealt with by planning condition or obligation. The issues of air quality and
         noise, particularly during the construction phase, would give rise to impacts on local
         residents and business/shop occupiers. Although the matter can again be dealt with by
         planning conditions, it will be important to ensure that the details submitted are
         comprehensive and effective in resolving the impacts, and that proper monitoring will
         take place.


1.33     The proposed Combined Heat & Power Plant has emerged as the issue that has
         produced most objections. There have also been numerous expressions of support for
         the idea in principle. In particular objections have been made to the proposed location
         of the CHP, but neither government advice nor planning policy, of which there is a
         considerable amount in favour of such developments, seems to indicate that a CHP
         must be consigned to an industrial estate or some other discreet location. Rather, CHP
         developments are positively encouraged in conjunction with mixed use developments
         as a sustainable source of power, and they need to be located in close proximity to the
         developments they serve in order to optimise the benefits derived. Residents’ concerns
         have been taken into account in considering this issue and conditions are recommended
         to constrain the footprint of the building, external uses, noise from machinery and type
         of fuel to be used etc, in order to mitigate these impacts.


         The appearance of the CHP is also a major concern to objectors, however, because of
         the location of the site. The visibility of the site itself does not make it unacceptable. It
         is axiomatic that an industrial building of the size and appearance of that in




Redevelopment of Bracknell                       17                    Bracknell Forest Borough Council
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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



         Southampton would be totally unacceptable in this location. The Illustrative Design
         Statement accompanying the application requires that a high standard of design be
         incorporated in the redevelopment proposals, and this site is no exception. There is no
         reason why the applicants could not design an iconic building for the CHP on this site,
         and although the design will need to take account of operational requirements, your
         officers are satisfied at this stage that a satisfactory design can be achieved. It is
         expected that this element of the application will set an example for others to follow,
         and the introduction of a sustainable energy source for the town centre will make a
         worthwhile contribution to achieving regional and national targets.


1.34     Turning to the issue of sustainability, in all aspects of planning policy new
         developments, especially on a significant scale, are expected to demonstrate
         sustainability credentials. In some respects the very location of this development in a
         highly accessible town centre will fulfil policy objectives, but there are many other
         ways in which resources and energy can be used to optimum benefit, and these are
         highlighted in the report:


         (a)      This is a comprehensive mixed use development for Bracknell town centre that
                  entails significant amounts of retail, commercial and residential floorspace.
                  These uses are major generators of travel. The development is in a town centre
                  location with access to alternative modes of transport, and to be developed on
                  brownfield land. Importantly, the proposals would regenerate and enhance the
                  town centre. These locational considerations fulfil the basic principles of
                  planning policies intended to secure sustainable development.


         (b)      The detailed analysis of the transportation aspects of the scheme have been
                  described in this report, but in essence these proposals would enable Bracknell
                  residents to fulfil their needs within the town, thereby reducing car journeys to
                  other centres. A single trip to the town centre could potentially fulfil several
                  purposes, and opportunities are created to encourage the use of public
                  transport.


         (c)      There are significant opportunities to manage and recycle construction waste
                  on a project of this magnitude, and the ES mitigation requires production of an




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



                  assessment prior to demolition commencing.           This can be secured by
                  condition.


         (d)      The design and construction of new buildings would provide an opportunity to
                  conserve natural resources through careful materials selection. Whilst much of
                  this detail is controlled through the Building Regulations, a sustainability
                  strategy can be required for the different aspects of the development.


         (e)      The development will be expected to achieve high standards of energy saving
                  through, amongst other things, orientation of buildings and energy efficient
                  materials. Again, these details can be secured via a sustainability strategy.
                  The generation of renewable energy from the CHP is innovative and to be
                  welcomed, as it would reduce reliance on other sources of power.


         (f)      In the ES there is a recommendation that a sustainable urban drainage strategy
                  be implemented for the redeveloped town centre, and this is also a requirement
                  emanating from the consultation with Thames Water. A condition to this
                  effect will be imposed. The sustainability strategy for the development must
                  also include proposals for water efficiency to help reduce water demand.


         (g)      The measures described in Chapters 7, 8 and 11 of the ES, to be secured by
                  conditions, will ensure that the development does not result in material impacts
                  on contamination of air, noise or land.


         (h)      The applicants have produced an Illustrative Waste Management Strategy in
                  accordance with advice in PPS10, and a planning condition is required to
                  ensure that this is worked up in more detail at reserved matters stage, and
                  implemented thereafter.


1.35     Overall, although the application is in outline form only, it is considered that there is
         significant potential to achieve a sustainable development that accords with the very
         fundamental principles of planning policy. Much will depend upon the submission of
         detail required by various conditions, but the indications are that the applicants are
         committed to achieving a sustainable development for Bracknell town centre.




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1.36     As far as the planning merits are concerned, this report concludes that the proposals
         accord with adopted policies, but in broader terms an important consideration in the
         determination of this application is the likelihood of implementation, and the creation
         of the right conditions for a comprehensive redevelopment of the town centre to occur.
         The applicants have commissioned the preparation of a report to consider these issues.
         (Appendix 12 to this report).     The overall conclusion of the report is that the
         implementation of BRP Development A would be consistent with the objective of
         creating a comprehensive re-development of the town centre.          In particular, BRP
         Development A would:-


         (a)      be consistent with the overall framework for comprehensive town centre re-
                  development
         (b)      provide the main infrastructure and public realm elements required for
                  comprehensive re-development, and
         (c)      be likely to provide an environment in which other development will be
                  encouraged.


         The delivery of the comprehensive framework by BRP Development A is therefore an
         essential precursor to the regeneration of the town centre as a whole and, based on
         experience elsewhere, it is likely that these improvements will increase economic
         confidence in Bracknell and help retain expenditure in the town, thereby generating
         increased attraction in terms of employment and living opportunities.                 BRP
         Development A will act as the catalyst for further development and investment,
         producing the comprehensive solution desired.


1.37     The creation of planning obligations by Section 106 Agreement is vital to achieving the
         Council’s planning aims and objectives for a redeveloped town centre. In line with
         ODPM Circular 05/05, the Development Plan and “Limiting the Impact of
         Development” guidance approved in October 2001, Section 106 planning obligations
         can be sought where directly and reasonably related to development. It is reasonable to
         expect developers to provide or contribute towards infrastructure and facilities which
         would not have been necessary but for their development.


1.38     The application is for major and comprehensive town centre redevelopment such that if
         development takes place as proposed, a much more successful, lively, accessible and




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



         attractive town centre will be the outcome.        In addition to transport and retail
         improvements, a mixture of development/uses is intended and the proposed
         commercial uses, residential development and community facilities included in the
         application will all add to town centre vitality and enhance the quality of the proposed
         redevelopment. Such major redevelopment will have an impact on infrastructure and
         facilities by creating an extra demand not met by existing provision, and to enable the
         redevelopment to go ahead that impact must be appropriately mitigated. The timely
         provision of infrastructure and facilities as development progresses is vital.          The
         applicant’s have acknowledged this by the submission of initial proposals for Section
         106 obligations, and throughout 2005 your officers have been discussing these matters
         with them.     It has been accepted that certain key elements, as well as necessary
         infrastructure and facilities, should be secured by Section 106 planning obligations.
         Agreement has been reached on the Heads of Terms, and a copy is included at
         Appendix 13.


1.39     Section 106 planning obligations are required to secure the timely provision of
         infrastructure, facilities and contributions made necessary by the development. The
         proposed development is considered satisfactory subject to a legal agreement to secure
         infrastructure works and other contributions towards the provision of local facilities.
         Other Section 106 obligations will enhance the quality of this major development.


         An agreement under Section 106 can only be entered into by the owner of the land.
         The applicant does not own all of the application site and therefore cannot enter into
         planning obligations so as to bind those sites not in their ownership. However, if
         granted, the planning permission will permit development consistent with the terms of
         the permission to be carried out within the application site, whether or not the owners
         have entered into planning obligations with the Council.         Although the planning
         obligations proposed to be entered into by the applicant would secure the main
         elements of the infrastructure necessary to facilitate a comprehensive re-development
         of the whole town centre, it is still considered appropriate that there should be planning
         obligations in respect of other parts of the application site. The proposed Heads of
         Terms for those obligations are set out in Appendix 14. In order to preclude
         development being carried out on other sites (i.e. on land within the town centre not
         owned by the applicant) without the Council securing planning obligations in respect of
         those sites, it is proposed that a condition be imposed preventing development being




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



         carried out until such time as the owners have entered into a planning obligation, as set
         out in the Schedules attached to the planning permission in accordance with the Heads
         of Terms for third party sites. Also, it is proposed that the Section 106 Agreement
         between the Council and the applicant will require the applicant to enter into a Deed of
         Adherence should they acquire other land in the town centre, binding those other areas
         of land with the planning obligations.


1.40     In conclusion, the need for the regeneration of the town centre has long been
         recognised and was reflected in the 2001 decisions by the Secretary of State, who
         accepted the need for redevelopment and regeneration in Bracknell Town Centre to
         improve and increase the retail provision through a significant amount of investment.
         The Council’s initiative in producing the Masterplan to promote town centre
         redevelopment is supported by ODPM advice, and positive expressions of the
         development potential of the site are to be found in local, county and regional policies.
         This report concludes that the application proposals comply with the adopted policies
         and, subject to the prior completion of a Section 106 Agreement and numerous
         planning conditions, it is concluded that these outline proposals will successfully result
         in the redevelopment and regeneration of Bracknell Town Centre and approval is
         recommended accordingly.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                                    9 February 2006



2.0      APPLICATION TITLES


2.1      Reference – 04/01129/OUT.


2.2      Outline application (including siting¹ and means of access) for the demolition of
         buildings and redevelopment within Bracknell Town Centre for a mix of uses including
         retail uses, food and drink uses, leisure uses, residential accommodation, business uses,
         police station, magistrates court, British Legion building, civic facilities including
         library and Council offices, community health centre, hotels, education facilities,
         energy centre, new bus station, car parking spaces, new means of access, public open
         space, associated servicing, highway works and integrated transport measures,
         landscaping and improvements to the public realm.


2.3      Location – Land within Bracknell Town Centre, Millennium Way, Bracknell.


2.4      Reference – 04/01130/LB.


2.5      Application for listed building consent for removal of modern wall which is attached to
         an old wall which forms part of the Old Manor Public House. Works required to allow
         the comprehensive redevelopment of Bracknell Town Centre.


2.6      Location – The Old Manor Public House, Grenville Place, Bracknell.




¹ The siting of Blocks C1-C5 is specified on Parameter Plan 5B received on May 24 2005. For all other
  development blocks coloured orange on the parameter plans siting is a fully reserved matter.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                       9 February 2006



3.0      SITE DESCRIPTION


3.1      The application covers the entire town centre of Bracknell, a total area of 39.8 hectares
         (98.35 acres), bounded by Millennium Way (A329) to the north, Church Road (A3095)
         to the east, the railway lines and Bracknell Station to the south, and the Peel
         Centre/Skimped Hill Lane to the west.


3.2      Members will, of course, be familiar with the layout, uses and nature of the town centre
         but, for completeness, the site was described in the following terms by the Inspector
         who considered the previous planning applications at an Inquiry in 1999 (with
         appropriate up-dating where necessary):-


         “Bracknell Town Centre lies at the heart of the new town which was developed in the
         1950s and ‘60s. It is based around the High Street of what was originally a fairly small
         settlement and this remains one of the principal shopping streets. A primary objective
         of the town centre design was to secure pedestrian and vehicular segregation. The
         main retail and commercial area consists of a compact arrangement of buildings
         encircled by The Ring, a largely 2 or 3 lane one-way road system which gives access to
         a number of public and private car parks and service yards both within and outside the
         central core.


         The principal street in the northern sector of the centre is Broadway which runs east-
         west. For much of its length on both sides it comprises a series of small shops
         interlaced with a number of medium-sized units, while at the eastern end of the
         shopping frontage is a larger store. This street currently provides a limited range of
         shops and services and, although many are of a secondary or tertiary nature,
         Woolworths and Iceland are represented. The upper-floor accommodation appears to
         consist mainly of ancillary storage space but there is a section comprising business and
         service units. At the far eastern end of Broadway is a group of civic buildings
         including the multi-storey offices of the Borough Council (Easthampstead House), a
         library, police station and magistrates court.    At both ends of this street there is
         pedestrian access, by way of underpasses beneath The Ring, to the urban areas beyond.
         The rear façade of the properties along the northern side of Broadway, and their
         associated car parking areas and service yards, face The Ring.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



         At roughly the midpoint along the southern frontage of Broadway there is another
         shopping street, Crossway, which leads southwards and provides a short link to High
         Street and the geographical core of the town centre. Crossway too comprises mostly
         small shops and service units with mainly storage accommodation over.


         High Street runs more or less parallel to Broadway. On both sides there is a range of
         small and medium-sized units which provide a variety of shops and services; in
         particular towards the eastern end there is a noticeable number of banks, building
         societies and other service uses as well as a large post office. At the western end stands
         a Bentalls department store, while directly opposite is the Bull Inn. The upper-floor
         accommodation includes residential units, offices and storage.         Eagle House and
         Highview House (both multi-storey office blocks) and Enid Wood House, a tall
         building providing several floors of mainly living accommodation, are other significant
         features of this particular streetscape. At the eastern end of High Street there is
         pedestrian access by way of an underpass beneath The Ring to the urban area beyond;
         at the western end a surface-level, signalised crossing-point provides similar access and
         egress to and from the town centre.


         The central section of High Street opens out into Charles Square which is a sizeable
         public space containing an attractive water feature and seating area. It is bordered on
         two sides by small shops with mostly service units at first-floor level. Above the shops
         in the south-east corner of this square is the Grange Hotel, formerly Honeywell House.
         To the south Charles Square leads into Stanley Walk, a relatively narrow thoroughfare
         bordered by mainly small or medium-sized shops which have storage or office space
         above.


         Towards the southern end of Stanley Walk is the entrance to Princess Square, a
         covered shopping mall built in the modern style. The accommodation is mostly at
         ground-floor level and comprises a range of shops in a variety of sizes; these include a
         small Sainsbury’s foodstore. At one end of the mall there is access direct into Bentalls
         whose retail area is on two floors. At the focal point of Princess Square is an open
         public space surrounded by shops at ground level and with further shops, a restaurant
         and display area at first-floor level. Attached to the southern side of the mall is a large
         multi-deck car park.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                      9 February 2006



         Opposite the entrance to Princess Square is a church and a British Legion club
         building, while further east, but still within The Ring, is a substantial multi-storey
         office block (the Oracle Centre) and a multi-deck car park. The only other feature in
         this vicinity contained by The Ring is Jubilee Gardens which is an attractive, planted
         open space. A footpath runs alongside these gardens, through an underpass and into
         the area of the bus station.


         Outside The Ring to the north is a narrow parking area and a dual carriageway, part of
         the A329. At each end of this section is a major roundabout and these link into the
         surrounding principal road network; there are subways beneath each roundabout which
         give pedestrian access to the surrounding area. On the eastern side of the town centre,
         between The Ring and another section of dual carriageway (Church Road), are several
         buildings including offices, a public house and a church, while beyond the main road
         lies Bracknell College with sports grounds and mainly residential properties further to
         its south.


         Virtually all the buildings are relatively modern in their general appearance although
         five statutory Grade II listed buildings remain, namely Red Lion Inn, Bull Inn, Boots
         Opticians’ premises, Whynscar and The Old Manor. All f these are situated along or
         just beyond the end of High Street.


         As for the pedestrianised areas, none of the shopping streets (Broadway, Crossway and
         High Street) are open to vehicular traffic; nor are Charles Square and Stanley Walk.
         During daytime visits to the town centre there is usually considerable pedestrian
         activity in High Street, Charles Square, Stanley Walk and Princess Square. However
         Broadway and Crossway appear to be significantly less busy. During the evenings
         most parts of the centre are virtually deserted.


         In terms of the major road network, Bracknell is situated roughly midway between the
         M4 and M3 motorways, the nearest junctions of which lie some 8km and 9km
         respectively from the town centre. The primary route westwards from the centre,
         leading to the M4 (Junction 10) and Reading, comprises the A329 dual carriageway
         and the A329(M); the start of this motorway-standard section is some 4.5km from the
         town centre. Leading south-eastwards to the M3 (Junction 3) and Woking/Guildford is
         the A322 dual carriageway; the M25 interchange is only a short distance east of




Redevelopment of Bracknell                       26                Bracknell Forest Borough Council
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Planning & Highways Committee                                                         9 February 2006



         Junction 3. To the east, leading to Ascot, Windsor and Staines, is the A329 which is
         initially dualled but mostly a single-carriageway road. The A3095, which also is
         initially dualled and then reverts to single carriageway, runs southwards to Camberley.
         The northern, single-carriageway stretch of the A3095 leads from the town centre
         towards Maidenhead. An extensive network of modern distributor roads serves the
         Bracknell urban area, while a series of secondary roads give access to outlying villages
         and the rural hinterland.”


3.3      The main difference between the site area considered in 1999 and the current proposal
         is the inclusion of land and buildings west of The Ring and flanking Market Street and
         Skimped Hill Lane. Market Street is a busy thoroughfare linking the bus and rail
         stations to the north-west quadrant of the town centre. There are a number of office
         buildings of varying age, height and design along both sides of the street, some vacant,
         and two large unused parcels of land immediately west of the bus station and to the east
         side of The Point. There is also a short parade of vacant shops, a car tyre and exhaust
         centre and a tool hire centre, giving the area a rather run-down feel. These buildings
         back on to High Street car park, a large multi-storey structure with space for 1000 cars,
         and accessed directly from The Ring on its eastern side. The Point is also included
         within the site. This is the principal entertainment centre for the town and includes a
         bowling alley, multi-screen cinema and restaurant uses. To the north of Skimped Hill
         Lane/High Street there are a number of large buildings that dominate this corner of the
         town centre. These include Fitzwilliam House, a six storey office block facing The
         Point; the heavily vandalised 14 storey landmark building known as 3M or Winchester
         House, and Imation House fronting Millenium Way to the north. This area also
         includes a market in the podium beneath Winchester House, a small parade of shops,
         the Red Lion PH and the Health Centre, all of which abut Market Square. There is a
         further large multi-storey car park overlooking the 3M roundabout at the junction of
         Millenium Way and Binfield Road, and the latter, which includes a network of
         subways and pedestrian/cycle routes, is also part of the application site.


3.4      One other factor not mentioned by the Inspector is the general fall in land levels across
         the site from a high point along Church Road in the east to the lowest point in the
         vicinity of the 3M roundabout, amounting to a difference of approximately 18m.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



3.5      The above paragraphs describe the location of the site itself and its general
         characteristics, but it is important in this case to note the proximity of the town centre
         to open areas of land to the south which have been identified for statutory protection by
         virtue of the EC Birds & Habitats Directive and the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &
         c.) Regulations 1994.


3.6      The Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area covers an area of approximately
         8,400 hectares, consisting of thirteen Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
         scattered from Hampshire in the west, to Berkshire in the north and throughout parts of
         north-west Surrey. A total of 1,248 hectares of the SPA is located within Bracknell
         Forest. There are two heathland SSSIs of particular relevance:


         • Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths SSSI

         • Sandhurst to Owlsmoor Bogs and Heaths (also known as Wildmoor Heath) SSSI


         English Nature has stated that development within 5 kilometres of the SPA is likely to
         have a significant impact on the integrity of the site. The Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods
         and Heaths SSSI falls within that distance from the town centre.


3.7      The Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) was proposed in October
         2000, and full SPA status was approved on 9 March 2005. It is an example of a former
         heathland landscape based within a highly active economy. The SPA is of international
         importance for its heathland birds; nightjar, woodlark and Dartford warbler. The SPA
         supports the second largest concentration of Dartford warbler in Great Britain, the third
         largest number of woodlark, and the fourth largest population of breeding nightjars.
         The site consists of both dry and wet heathland, mire, oak, birch acid woodland, gorse
         scrub and acid grassland with areas of rotational conifer plantation.


3.8      The Thames Basin Heaths SPA is of European importance because the site qualifies
         under Article 4.1 of the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) as it is used by 1% or more of
         the Great Britain population of a species listed in Annex 1 to the Directive in any
         season.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                                      9 February 2006



4.0       THE APPLICATION PROPOSALS


4.1       The planning application comprises a number of documents and plans, some of which
          have been amended and updated in the course of discussions with Officers. The
          following list defines and describes the proposals:


          (i)       Documents forming part of the outline planning application


                •   Covering Letter
                •   Planning Application Form
                •   Certificate C and Notices
                •   Schedule of Owners Notified²
                •   Press Notice
                •   Agricultural Holdings Certificate
                •   Red Line Plan (Plan RL1)
                •   Parameter Plans:
                         -         Schedule of Plans and Changes Since Submission
                         -         PP1           Development Zones Plan
                         -         PP2B          North Development Zone
                         -         PP2.1B        Sections
                         -         PP3B          North West Development Zone
                         -         PP4B          East Development Zone
                         -         PP5B          Central Development Zone
                         -         PP6B          West Development Zone
                         -         PP7B          South Development Zone
                         -         PP8           Demolished and Retained Buildings
                         -         PP9B          Finished Levels Plan
                         -         PP9.1B        Existing Levels Plan
                         -         PP10          Utilities Plan
                         -         PP11B         Detailed Transport Plan



²   The applicants notified all owners with an interest in land within the site upon submission of the application in
    November 2004 and, although there is no statutory requirement to do so, a further notification was sent by the
    applicants when the plans were revised in May 2005.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006




                •   Schedule of Existing Land Uses (PA1)
                •   Schedule of Proposed Land Uses including retained, replacement and net
                    additional floorspace (PA2B).
                •   Plans forming part of Planning Application (as listed in Schedule PA3B)
                •   Planning Application Fee
                •   Site Wide Access Review


         (ii)       Documents accompanying the outline planning application, but submitted
                    for illustrative purposes only.


                •   Illustrative Design Statement
                •   Proposed Framework of Planning Obligations
                •   Tree Survey
                •   Public Realm Strategy
                •   Site Waste Management Plan
                •   Illustrative Composite Plan
                •   Illustrative Phasing Diagrams


         The planning application was also accompanied by an Environmental Statement and
         Non-Technical Summary (including Transport Assessment and Retail Impact
         Assessment). An addendum to the ES has also been submitted. (Refer to Section 5.0
         below)


         The parameter plans accompanying the application were modified in March and May
         2005. An additional parameter plan (PP12B) was included in the Illustrative Public
         Realm Statement showing access routes and gradients. The Schedule explaining the
         modifications is included at Appendix 1 to this report. In Appendix 2 a copy of
         Schedule PA2B is included, showing the floorspaces proposed in this application. Also
         included is a separate table showing the floorspaces for different land uses in each
         zone.


4.2      In describing the application proposals it may be helpful first of all to note that a
         considerable number of buildings are proposed to be demolished to make way for the




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                      9 February 2006



         new development. Parameter Plan 8 shows the total extent of demolition, and this is
         included at Appendix 3, although it is important to bear in mind that not all of the
         demolished properties are under the control of the applicants and, in any event, the
         development would occur in phases, and so not all of the demolition would occur at the
         same time. The principal areas of demolition are as follows:-


         North West Zone         Fitzwilliam House
                                 Health Centre
                                 Winchester House and adjoining shops/market
                                 Imation House

         North Zone              All shop units/buildings fronting Broadway and Crossway
                                 Easthampstead House
                                 Library
                                 Police Station
                                 Magistrates Courts

         East Zone               Langley Hall

         Central Zone            McDonalds and adjoining high level walkway
                                 Canopies fronting High Street & Charles Square
                                 Enid Wood House and adjoining shops

         South Zone              Canopies fronting Stanley Walk
                                 British Legion
                                 Bus Station and Associated Buildings
                                 Goose Inn Public House
                                 Shop units fronting the Bus Station

         West Zone               First House
                                 Amber House
                                 Gowring House
                                 HSS Hire Premises
                                 Humphries Exhaust Centre and adjoining shops

         The total floorspace to be demolished is 83,411 sq m, comprising 18,000 sq m Class
         A1, 7,655 sq m A2/3, 42,426 sq m B1, 4,386 sq m D1, 6,000 sq m C3 and 4,944 sq m
         other land uses. The War Memorial is proposed to be re-provided at the new Legion
         Square.


4.3      With regard to the new development, the key to understanding the formulation of the
         application is the concept of parameter plans. The town centre area has been divided
         into six development zones and one parameter plan has been provided for each. On the
         plans individual development sites are identified, and all of these are coloured orange




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         (where residential uses are proposed, cross hatching has been added). The orange
         coloured area of each site represents the maximum extent of new building, although it
         is possible that the development for which detailed approval would need to be sought
         later on could be smaller, or occupy only part of a site. The parameter plans provide
         details of the minimum and maximum heights of all the new buildings, and cross
         sections show the building heights relative to adjoining sites.


         With reference to floorspace and use, these are also described in tables on each
         parameter plan, allocated on a zonal basis. Uses are not ascribed to individual blocks
         (except residential uses) although inferences as to the likely disposition of uses can be
         drawn from the illustrative material provided. However, importantly, the amount of
         floorspace and its use to be developed in each zone is constrained by the minimum and
         maximum figures specified on each plan, and further constrained across the town
         centre as a whole by the minimum and maximum figures specified in Schedule PA2B.


         By presenting the application in this way, a degree of flexibility is afforded to the
         applicant’s and, indeed, any third party owner, as to the detailed design of each
         individual site, subject to the assessment carried out to inform the Environmental
         Statement. Whilst the purpose is to provide flexibility, the applicant must test the
         maximum parameter for possible environmental effects through the submission of an
         Environmental Statement. This is described in more detail in Sections 5 and 11 below,
         but the information provided in the application is sufficient to enable the local planning
         authority to assess the likely significant environmental effects arising from the
         proposals.


         The following paragraphs briefly describe the proposals for each zone.


4.4      North-West Zone – The main land uses identified for this area are residential,
         business, health centre, hotel, retail (including replacement market) and an energy
         centre. Although these uses are not specifically allocated to individual sites, the
         Illustrative Composite Plan indicates that the new health centre would occupy its
         existing site, a hotel could be accommodated on the present site of Fitzwilliam House,
         residential units would be primarily located in a redevelopment of Winchester House,
         offices would occupy land adjoining Millennium Way and the energy centre would be
         positioned in the 3M roundabout.




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4.5      North Zone - The principal land uses are retail, leisure (A3, A4 & D2) and residential.
         This zone is the location of ‘The Eye’, the new retail heart of the town centre, and so
         there is a fair measure of certainty as to the location and scale of the uses. All four
         development blocks flanking the pedestrian routes through the zone would comprise
         retail floorspace, with residential components above The Eye and in tower blocks
         flanking the North and East Gates. The location of leisure uses remains unspecified.
         There would be 2 levels of parking provision beneath The Eye.


4.6      East Zone - The only development proposed for this zone is a replacement of Langley
         Hall.


4.7      Central Zone – In this zone also the uses and floorspaces are clearly defined, primarily
         because retail blocks C1 to C5 have a fixed siting for which approval is sought at this
         stage. The residential component is a replacement of Enid Wood House, and the
         additional car parking is represented by a 400 space upward extension of the existing
         Charles Square car park.


4.8      South Zone – A number of new developments are proposed in this zone including a
         new supermarket, leisure uses, (A3, A4 & D2), college and Council accommodation,
         an hotel and residential flats. A limited amount of car parking is also proposed. The
         only site specific land uses are the supermarket and hotel, both of which are to be
         located on the east side of a new public square. The Illustrative Composite Plan (ICP)
         indicates that the new building on the north side of the new square could accommodate
         a college, the Council facility is shown to the west, with residential blocks to the south.
         Additional residential blocks are shown facing Church Road and The Ring.


4.9      West Zone – This zone also includes a wide range of uses including retail, leisure and
         business floorspace, and new residential accommodation. Replacement facilities are
         also provided for the Police, Magistrates Court and British Legion. None of the uses
         except residential are site specific, but the ICP shows the currently vacant plot between
         The Point and Market Street for the Police/Magistrates Court building, business and
         retail uses on the site of Amber House, and retail/business/residential uses on the
         Gowring House, HSS and Humphries sites opposite.




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4.10     The Illustrative Composite Plan (ICP) has been submitted in order to provide an
         overview of the proposals, and to more readily assess the relationships between
         existing and proposed buildings within and around the site, and across zonal
         boundaries. It is also colour coded to show in yellow the extent of development which
         the applicants have indicated they initially propose to undertake (referred to as BRP
         Development A), other BRP development coloured pink, and third party sites coloured
         in blue. Areas shaded in brown show the extent of public realm works that the
         applicants propose to undertake in conjunction with BRP Development A, within the
         site.   A schedule has been added to the plan to illustrate the possible land uses
         associated with each block and the floorspaces that could be developed.                 The
         illustrative phasing diagrams suggest that development could occur over a six year
         period, and show the sequence of highway, building and public realm works during
         each period.


4.11     In addition to the development described in the paragraphs above, the application also
         has significant implications for the provision of new, and modification of existing
         highways infrastructure both within the application site and beyond. Much of the detail
         is shown on Parameter Plan 11B, and it is important to bear in mind that Access is not
         a reserved matter. The application includes modifications to existing roundabouts, a
         new junction between Church Road and The Ring, a new bus station facility, bus lanes,
         cycle routes, footways and pedestrian crossings. There are also a number of highways
         improvements proposed off-site.


4.12     The Transport Assessment submitted by the applicants shows an overall requirement
         for approximately 7,200 public parking spaces. Approximately 3,700 existing spaces
         will be retained, primarily at Charles Square, High Street, Princess Square and the Peel
         Centre, resulting in a requirement for 3,500 new spaces. These will be distributed
         around the town centre to obtain a balance relative to the key land uses reliant upon
         that parking. It is estimated that 2,800 spaces will be provided beneath The Eye, 400 at
         Charles Square and 300 spaces for the new food store in the South Zone.


4.13     Significant alterations are also proposed to the public realm within the application site,
         namely the pedestrian thoroughfares and open spaces that define and surround the
         buildings. Charles Square is shown reduced in size to provide a shopping street, and
         Jubilee Gardens is included in the South Zone as a development site. The space




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         presently occupied by the Bus Station and the open grassed areas to the east are also
         largely taken up by new development. Alternative open spaces are proposed in The
         Eye and adjacent to the Council offices, (New Jubilee Gardens) and to the rear of The
         Point (Legion Square). The existing space at Market Square is shown as significantly
         extended on its eastern side, taking up the land presently occupied by the parade of
         shops and its service yard, and a section of The Ring. A new pedestrian link is also
         proposed between Princess Square and the Peel Centre, via the High Street Car Park
         and Legion Square. The treatment of all these spaces is a very important consideration
         in the determination of these proposals.


4.14     Finally, the application is accompanied by a preliminary schedule of Planning
         Obligations, intended, amongst other things, to mitigate impacts of the proposals, to
         promote transport sustainability, to effect the replacement/re-provision of existing
         facilities, to promote the long term management and operation of the scheme, to secure
         comprehensive development and to comply with development plan policies (eg
         affordable housing). This schedule has now been superceded following discussions
         with the applicant’s, and a more detailed commentary is set out in Section 13.0 below.


4.15     The second application to consider in this Report seeks listed building consent for the
         demolition of a short length of a modern brick wall which is attached to an old wall
         forming part of the Old Manor Public House. The application comprises the completed
         form and certificate, together with a location plan and photographs.


4.16     The wall is located adjacent to Church Road, above the underpass leading to the
         college premises. Its demolition would facilitate the provision of a pedestrian crossing
         facility.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



5.0      THE ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT


5.1      At an early stage in the process of preparing this application, it was recognised that the
         proposals would fall within the remit of the Town & Country Planning (Environmental
         Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, (the EIA Regulations)
         specifically paragraph 10(b) of Schedule 2, a major mixed use urban development
         project in excess of 0.5 ha. Accordingly an Environmental Statement is required in
         conjunction with the application.


5.2      The applicants prepared a Scoping Report for the purposes of consultation with the
         Council and various statutory bodies (a separate Scoping Report was prepared to deal
         with the Transport Assessment) and the Council’s response, in September 2002, largely
         concurred with the applicant’s intended assessment of relevant topics, but also
         highlighted a number of issues arising from consultations, to which particular attention
         should be paid.


5.3      The Environmental Statement (ES) accompanying the application comprises Volumes
         1A and 1B, Volume 2 (Non Technical Summary) and Volumes 3A & 3B (the
         Transport Assessment) and it considers the likely environmental effects of the
         development, both during construction and thereafter, and proposes, where necessary,
         measures to mitigate any adverse effects that may arise. The following topics are
         considered:


         (i)      Scheme Justification & Alternatives
         (ii)     The Proposals, Land Use & Planning Policy
         (iii)    Townscape and Visual Impact
         (iv)     Transport
         (v)      Air Quality
         (vi)     Noise & Vibration
         (vii)    Ecology
         (viii)   Water Resources
         (ix)     Soil Conditions and Contamination
         (x)      Archaeology and Built Heritage
         (xi)     Microclimate
         (xii)    Socio-economics




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         (xiii)   Construction Environment Management
         (xiv)    Sustainability
         (xv)     Television and Radio Interference


         Mitigation measures are proposed where necessary, and these should be secured by
         means of planning obligations or conditions.


5.4      The ES was subject to a review by consultants acting on behalf of the Council and their
         report, received in January 2005, concluded that the ES was basically satisfactory
         despite some omissions and inadequacies.       A number of aspects of the ES were
         identified where additional information would assist in a fuller understanding of the
         potential impacts of the proposals. The report was assessed by Council Officers and,
         following further discussion with the applicants, additional details were requested by
         letter dated April 25th 2005, pursuant to Regulation 19 of the EIA Regulations.


5.5      On May 24th and September 14th the applicants submitted the requested
         supplementary information and again this was subject to a review by the Council’s
         consultants. The review report was received on October 17th and it concluded that the
         applicant’s had submitted sufficient information in the ES, with one reservation noted
         below, to enable the Council to properly assess the likely significant environmental
         effects arising from the development, and consequently to allow the Council to
         determine the application.


5.6      In one respect the Council considered that the ES was only just adequate, even having
         received the additional information pursuant to the Regulation 19 request, and this
         concerns the applicant’s assessment of the impact of the proposals upon the SPA.
         However, the information available to the Council in this respect has been
         supplemented by the close involvement of English Nature, and their co-operation in the
         preparation of an Appropriate Assessment. It is therefore concluded that the Council
         also has sufficient information on this issue to enable the likely significant
         environmental effects arising from the development to be assessed and a decision
         issued on this planning application, (acting in its capacity as local planning authority)
         AND, to enable the authority to consider the likely and reasonably foreseeable effects
         and determine whether the proposal would have an adverse effect on the integrity of
         the SPA, in accordance with the requirements of the Habitat Regulations.




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5.6      At this point it is important to note that the requirements of the Directive and the
         accompanying 1994 Regulations operate as a separate statutory regime to planning
         control, but in this case one that can be considered in parallel to the application.


5.7      The likely effects and mitigations proposed are considered in greater detail at Section
         11 of this report.




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6.0      PLANNING HISTORY


6.1      Although much of the town centre was developed in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s,
         there have been several planning applications of note over the last 15 years or so.
         Some of the more significant decisions are tabulated below:


Date      Reference      Proposal                                                 Decision
1988      614436         Redevelopment comprising 27,000sqm business Deemed refused.
                         space, public open space, public house, bus Appeal dismissed.
                         station with associated roads. (Bus Station site).
1992      617632         Redevelopment to provide 27,000sqm B1 office Refused.
                         space together with ancillary parking, public Appeal allowed.
                         open space, public house, bus station with
                         ancillary facilities (including shops, café, bus
                         station office and public conveniences and
                         associated road works). (Bus Station site).
1995      621003         Relax condition to extend time for submission Deemed withdrawn.
                         of reserved matters. (Bus Station site).
1995      621204         Reserved matters details. (Bus Station site).            Deemed withdrawn.
1996      620350         Outline    application   for     shopping        centre Approved.
                         comprising    32,090sqm        retail   (Class    A1)
                         floorspace, 1,000sqm food and drink (Class A3)
                         floorspace, 1,560sqm library, 620 car parking
                         spaces and alterations to service yards B and C
                         following the demolition of Easthampstead
                         House, Seymour House, Library, Police Station,
                         Magistrates Court and the Post Office (relates
                         to land at Town Square, Bracknell) (Swan Hill
                         Scheme)
1996      620352         Outline application for the erection of a Approved.
                         Magistrates Court and Police Station and
                         ancillary car parking.




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1996      621334         Erection of a weather watch visitors attraction Approved.
                         and associated weather tower (relates to land at
                         Charles Square).
1998      622931         Outline application for the extension of and Approved subject to
                         alterations    to   existing   office   building S106 Agreement.
                         (Winchester House).
1998      623060         Outline application for the erection of an office Approved subject to
                         building (20,632sqm) including car parking S106 Agreement:
                         retail space, residential units, a restaurant and 14-02-00.
                         car parking following the demolition of an
                         existing office building and multi-storey car
                         park (relates to Winchester House and multi-
                         storey car park).
1998      623579         Erection of 8 storey office building (7,404 sq Appeal against Non
                         m) with 137 car parking spaces (Gowring Determination
                         House site).                                       dismissed.
1998      624041         Change of use from offices (Class B1) to Hotel Approved.
                         (Class C1) (relates to the former Honeywell
                         building, Charles Square).
1999      624977         Erection of 8 storey building comprising 6,290 Refused: 25-05-00.
          (99/00239/     sq m offices, coffee bar (116 sq m), fitness
          FUL)           studio (1,050 sq m) and 199 car parking spaces
                         (Gowring House site).
2001      625452         Outline application for extensions to and Approved subject to
                         recladding of car park to provide 1,459 sq m S106 Agreement.
                         Class A3 use together with additional car
                         parking, cycle parking and landscaping (Car
                         park adjacent to 3M roundabout)




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                             9 February 2006




2001      625453         Outline   application     for   the   erection     of Approved subject to
                         extensions and recladding to provide an S106 Agreement
                         additional 15,927 sq m floorspace.         Use of 02-12-02.
                         resulting building for 22,649 sq m Class B1,
                         1,469 sq m Class A1, 191 sq m Class A3, 2,416
                         sq m Class D2 and 5,924 sq m Class C3 (42
                         units) together with ancillary parking (5 spaces)
                         and landscaping, and demolition of bridge link
                         to Imation House (Winchester House).
2001      01/00868/      Redevelopment of existing building to provide Approved subject to
          FUL            a 16 storey mixed use building for 22,649 sq m S106 Agreement.
                         Class B1, 1,469 sq m Class A1, 191 sq m Class
                         A3, 2,416 sq m Class D2 and 5,924 sq m Class
                         C3 (42 units) together with ancillary car
                         parking (5 spaces) and landscaping, and
                         demolition of bridge link to Imation House
                         (Winchester House).
2002      02/00780/      Outline application including details of siting Withdrawn.
          OUT            and means of access for the erection of a 17
                         storey building comprising 2 no. ground floor
                         units (756 sq m) for Class A3 or D2 use, and
                         182 residential units above with ancillary
                         basement car parking (150 spaces). Erection of
                         a 15 storey building comprising 1 no. ground
                         floor unit (756 sq m) for Class A1, A3 or D2
                         use and 22,904 sq m Class B1 above with
                         ancillary basement car parking (50 spaces) and
                         landscaping (Winchester House).
2002      02/00781/      Outline   application     for    extensions      and Withdrawn.
          OUT            recladding of car park.
2003      03/00113/      Erection of part eight storey (4,789 sq m of Withdrawn
          FUL            Class B1) and part eleven storey building (60 x
                         2 bed flats) with 264 sq m retail floorspace and
                         basement car parking (Gowring House site).




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                           9 February 2006



2005      05/0103/       Demolition of existing buildings and erection Current
          OUT            of three 9 and 11 storey buildings comprising
                         155 flats, 1524 sq m A1/2 use, 811 sq m D2
                         use, 6624 sq m offices, with associated parking
                         and access. (Gowring House/HSS/Humphries
                         site)




6.2      However, the three most significant planning applications submitted to the Council
         were all lodged in 1997, and were detailed as follows:-


       (i)    622560         Major redevelopment of site for a mixed use scheme to provide a
                             covered shopping centre comprising retail units, leisure, restaurants and
                             food courts, professional and financial services, banks and building
                             societies, children’s education and weather watch visitors attraction and
                             also a new covered market and market square, market street shops,
                             health centre with ancillary parking, residential accommodation and
                             associated open space (including two public squares), landscaping,
                             public art, a bus port, highway works, service facilities and car parking
                             (7,100 spaces) including a multi-storey car park in Market Street,
                             following demolition of existing buildings. (Relates to land between
                             the Meteorological Office Roundabout and the 3M Roundabout south
                             of the by-pass (A329), north and east of Skimped Hill Lane and north
                             of High Street including Broadway, Crossway, Bond Way, Town
                             Square and land at Market Street, Bracknell. (Legal & General)


       (ii)   622561         Redevelopment of the site for Civic Centre (including Council offices,
                             Library and Registrar’s office), Police Station, Magistrates Court, hotel
                             and conference facilities, bus station and extension to Jubilee Gardens
                             together with highway works, new landscaped civic square and car
                             parking following demolition of existing buildings and structures.
                             (Relates to the site at the southern end of the town centre known as
                             Sites C, D and E - Legal & General)




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       (iii)   622810        Major town centre redevelopment involving demolition, refurbishment
                             and construction of new buildings to provide the following
                             components:     covered shopping centre comprising retail units,
                             restaurants and foodcourts and ancillary floorspace with relocated bus
                             station and public open space and mixed use development of other parts
                             of town centre to provide retail units, foodstore, leisure (to include
                             restaurants, cafes and bars), offices, residential, hotel, library,
                             community facilities, a church, relocated market hall, a British Legion
                             hall, shopmobility facility, crèche and associated car parking, public
                             art, landscaping, highway and access works. (Relates to land south of
                             the Town Centre By-Pass (A329), east of Skimped Hill Lane, north and
                             east of Market Street and west of Church Road, Bracknell - Bracknell
                             Regeneration Trust)


6.3      In December 1997 the Planning Control Sub-Committee resolved to approve
         Application 622651 subject to the Secretary of State not directing that the application
         be referred to him, the prior completion of a Section 106 Agreement and planning
         conditions.    A year later the Committee also resolved that it supported Application
         622560, although by that time all three applications had been called in by the Secretary
         of State for decision. Finally, in February 1999, the Committee resolved that, had the
         application not been called in, Application 622810 would not have been considered
         acceptable by the Local Planning Authority.


6.4      A Public Inquiry opened on March 9th 1999 to consider all three planning applications,
         and the Inspector’s report, which also included consideration of representations on the
         town centre policies in the emerging local plan, was made available to the principal
         parties in October 2000. Following further written representations by all sides, the
         Secretary of State’s decision was issued on 8 May 2001. All three applications were
         refused.


6.5      A copy of the decision letter is included as Appendix 4 to this report. The key reasons
         for the refusal of the applications are set out below:




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         (i)      By virtue of their scale, all the proposals fundamentally conflicted with
                  Structure Plan Policies S1 and S2 in that they would have elevated Bracknell
                  beyond its position in the retail hierarchy.


         (ii)     If Bracknell was to be elevated beyond a major town centre, this should have
                  been achieved through a review of RPG and/or the Structure Plan and based on
                  an assessment of need.


         (iii)    There was no support for any of these schemes in the wider-regional context
                  and they would have conflicted significantly with PPG6.


         (iv)     The town centre policies in the Local Plan as then proposed to be modified
                  carried more weight than those before the Inspector at the time of the Inquiry
                  and, in the absence of a fresh retail demand and capacity assessment, the
                  proposals did not comply with those modified policies.


         (v)      In relation to Wokingham an initial trade diversion of 17.7% was not
                  insignificant, and the potential loss of 75 jobs is not the only factor to take into
                  account when assessing the effects on the vitality and viability of the centre.
                  Although the impact of the BRT proposal would be less, a trade diversion of
                  11.8% was a cause for concern and would also have caused demonstrable harm
                  to Wokingham town centre.


         (vi)     The development arrangement in the L & G scheme would have acted as a real
                  disincentive for those shoppers seriously contemplating using public transport
                  in preference to the private car, and even if the proposed bus-port proved
                  popular, much of the existing centre would be by-passed, to the detriment of
                  existing shops.


         (vii)    Both schemes provided for a predominantly car-borne development and the
                  public transport packages would have potentially had most beneficial influence
                  on the travelling behaviour of those living nearest to the town centre rather
                  than further afield. Even if the Broadway Direct initiative or an alternative was
                  to have been implemented, the schemes would have drawn heavily on trade
                  from beyond the 10 minute drive-time area, notwithstanding the savings in




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                       9 February 2006



                  travel distances, new trips would have been generated because of the scale and
                  likely attraction of the schemes.        There would not have been any
                  overwhelming benefit in terms of travel saving from the proposals.


         (viii)   The scale of parking provision in the L & G scheme, like the proposed
                  shopping, was not in keeping with the size of the centre. Revised PPG13 did
                  not provide support for parking provision in this case above the maximum
                  recommended.


         (ix)     The need for a scheme of the scale proposed by L & G to produce the critical
                  mass required to attract investment was not accepted.


         (x)      Under the heading of ‘other planning matters’ there were detailed objections
                  about mixed use development and design.




Redevelopment of Bracknell                      45                  Bracknell Forest Borough Council
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Planning & Highways Committee                                                         9 February 2006



7.0      CONSULTATIONS


7.1      The Council carried out an extensive consultation exercise upon receipt of the
         application proposals in November 2004 including various statutory bodies, adjoining
         local authorities, Parish Councils and utility providers, etc. This exercise was repeated
         in March 2005 following receipt of revisions to the parameter plans, and again in May
         2005 upon receipt of further revisions. Attached at Appendix 5 is a schedule of the
         representations received.


7.2      Extensive consultations have also been carried out with the public and particularly
         local residents in the vicinity of the site. Again this has been done on three occasions,
         and each consultation has involved approximately 400 individual letters, 50 notices
         around the site and statutory notices in the local press.         Given the scale of the
         proposals, it is considered that the public response has been surprisingly muted, and
         this may be testimony to the consultations carried out during the preparation of the
         Town Centre Masterplan. The exception, however, is the extent of objection to the
         Combined Heat & Power Plant at the 3M roundabout. Details of all the responses
         received are included at Appendix 6, and the responses to the CHP element of the
         scheme are summarised at paragraph 11.450.


7.3      Thirdly, consultations have been carried out with various Council departments, and a
         schedule of responses is included at Appendix 7.


7.4      The applicants have fulfilled their statutory obligations in submitting the planning
         application by serving notices upon approximately 290 landowners/lessees within the
         application site itself. In addition, notices have been placed in the local press as this is
         a required ‘reasonable step’ to notify any unidentified landowners. This notification
         exercise was repeated in May 2005 when revised plans and details were submitted,
         although there is no obligation to do so. The applicants also presented a public
         exhibition of the proposals from premises in Charles Square over a period of 5 days in
         November/December 2004.


7.5      In addition to the above, it should be noted that the Council has carried out separate
         consultations and advertisement procedures in May and September 2005 pursuant to




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                    9 February 2006



         the Regulation 19 publicity requirements. Details of all responses received are also
         included in Appendices 5-7.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                            9 February 2006



8.0      THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN


8.1      Since 1991 Local Planning Authorities have been statutorily required to determine
         planning applications in accordance with the provisions of the development plan unless
         material considerations indicate otherwise.         Section 38(6) of the Planning &
         Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 has recently reaffirmed that requirement, and also
         extended the definition of the development plan to include the Regional Spatial
         Strategy for the area in which the site is located. The development plan thus comprises
         the RSS for the South East of England, the Berkshire County Structure Plan July 2005,
         the Waste Local Plan for Berkshire 1998 and the Bracknell Forest Borough Local Plan
         2002. The following paragraphs set out a summary of the relevant policies set out in
         the development plan, and Section 11 below describes in more detail the policies
         relevant to each planning issue and the extent to which they are complied with.


8.2      Regional Spatial Strategy – This comprises the Regional Planning Guidance for the
         South East (RPG9 – March 2001) as amended at Chapter 9 by the Regional Transport
         Strategy (July 2004), and in part at Chapter 10 Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
         (2004). The main document sets out twelve key development principles, including the
         following that are particularly relevant to this application:


         1.       Urban areas should become the main focus for development through making
                  them more attractive, accessible and better able to attract investment.
         3.       The pattern of development should be less dispersed with more sustainable
                  patterns of activity allowing home, work, leisure, green spaces, cultural
                  facilities and community services to be in closer proximity.
         6.       Sufficient housing, and in particular affordable housing, should be provided
                  for all who need to live and work in the region, to encourage social inclusion
                  and avoid pressure for housing in adjoining regions.
         7.       The development of housing should be more sustainable providing a better mix
                  of sizes, types and tenures, having regard to the structure of households and
                  people’s ability to access homes and jobs.
         8.       Developments should be located and designed to enable more sustainable use
                  of the Region’s natural resources, in the supply of food, water, energy,
                  minerals and timber, in the effective management of waste, the promotion of




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                  renewable energy sources and to assist in reducing pollution of air, land and
                  water.
         9.       There should be continued protection and enhancement of the Region’s
                  biodiversity, landscape and built and historic heritage.
         11.      Access to jobs, services, leisure and cultural facilities should be less dependent
                  on longer distance movement and there should be increased ability to meet
                  normal travel needs through safe walking, cycling and public transport with
                  reduced reliance on the car.


8.3      The document sets out a number of relevant planning policies which are summarised as
         follows:


         Q1       Focus of development in urban areas.
         Q2       Raising the quality of life in urban areas
         Q3       Making better use of land
         Q5       Larger town centres the focus for major development.
         Q6       Health, Education & Social infrastructure
         E7       Pollution control and air quality
         RE4      Sustainable business development
         RE8      Western policy area
         RE11 Encouraging tourism, arts and culture
         H1       Housing targets
         H2       Housing distribution
         H3       Monitoring of housing provision
         H4       Range of dwelling sizes
         H5       Increasing housing development in urban areas
         T1       Management and investment in transport
         T2       Key management issues
         T5       Regional transport spokes
         T9       Public transport
         T10      Mobility management
         T12      Parking
         T13      Travel Plans
         INF2     Sustainable water provision and remediation of contamination
         INF3     Management of waste




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         INF4     Energy efficiency and renewable energy
         INF5     Combined heat and power
         INF8     Location of renewable energy development
         INF9     Development criteria


         Attention is drawn in particular to Policies Q5, INF4 and INF5. Regional policy seeks
         to ensure that larger town centres should be the focus for major retail, leisure and office
         developments in order to support an urban renaissance, promote social inclusion and
         encourage more sustainable development. The INF policies strongly emphasise the
         importance of incorporating high standards of energy efficiency in all developments,
         and incorporating CHP in large scale developments in mixed use.


8.4      The waste and minerals policies in Chapters 10/11 of RPG 9 are currently subject to
         review, but this is unlikely to be completed before early this year.


8.5      Berkshire County Structure Plan – The revised Berkshire Structure Plan 2001-2016
         was adopted by the First Secretary of State on July 15th 2005, and so the 1997 version
         of the Plan is superseded.


8.6      Chapter 3 of the Plan sets out a vision of Berkshire as the Unitary Authorities would
         like to see it by the year 2016. The key principles of the Plan are set out at paragraphs
         3.03 to 3.11 and, with specific reference to Bracknell, paragraph 3.13 of the Plan states:


         “By 2016 Bracknell will be a culturally self-confident centre, hosting a wide range of
         shopping and leisure activities. It will be the home of a number of major national and
         international companies but will also be a place where new businesses can easily be
         created and grow.      The town’s accessibility will be increased by connections to
         Heathrow and improved links to London and other areas including the Blackwater
         Valley. There will be a rebuilt town centre easily reached by public transport and
         enabling a good standard of short-term access by car. The new centre will contain
         expanded shopping, leisure and office employment together with a major housing
         element. Between now and the end of the Plan period the town will continue to grow,
         building on the investments made in the 1970’s and 1980’s. New housing areas will be
         developed so as to maximise the opportunity for public transport use.”




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8.7      The policies of relevance to this development are as follows:


         DP1 :    Spatial Strategy
         DP4 :    Provision of Infrastructure, Services & Amenities
         DP5 :    Quality of Urban & Suburban Areas
         EN3 :    Biodiversity
         EN4 :    Historic Environment
         EN5 :    Air Pollution & Nuisance
         EN7 :    Development & Water Resources
         EN8 :    Renewable Energy & Energy Conservation
         H1 :     Overall Housing Provision
         H2 :     Housing Distribution & Phasing
         H3 :     Location of Housing Development
         H5 :     Affordable Housing
         E1 :     Location of Employment Development
         E2 :     Acceptability of Employment Development
         E3 :     Diversity of Employment
         S1 :     Major Retail & Leisure Development in Town Centres
         T1 :     Transport Strategy
         T4 :     Travel Impacts
         T5 :     Car Parking
         T6 :     Park & Ride
         W1 :     Providing for the Management & Treatment of Waste
         W4 :     Providing for Waste in New Development


8.8      With reference to Policy S1, the Structure Plan includes a schedule setting out the
         existing and proposed role of each of the main town centres in the County. For
         Bracknell this states:


         “Bracknell - Function and Scale: the town centre currently serves predominantly the
         residential population of Bracknell town and immediately adjoining areas, such as
         Sandhurst and Crowthorne, along with a substantial population working in the town
         centre and its industrial areas. It currently provides mainly for their convenience
         shopping needs, with a relatively poor choice of comparison, convenience and
         specialist shopping.




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         Future strategy: It is not currently serving its catchment population well, due to the
         need for regeneration, and has failed to keep pace with other centres in the area in this
         respect. Opportunities exist for significant redevelopment for comparison, convenience
         and specialist shopping, as well as incorporating a greater variety of town centre
         activities, to improve the service to its existing catchment and to benefit from any
         improvements in communications: (a) between the town centre and its immediate
         residential and employment catchments and (b) with other parts of the Blackwater
         Valley.”


         This policy is of considerable importance to the assessment of these proposals, and so
         it is re-produced in full at Appendix 8.


8.9      Waste Local Plan for Berkshire – Adopted in December 1998, this plan remains
         extant policy guidance on waste management issues in the County. The plan includes
         policies to control the types of waste management development, to limit the amount
         and nature of such development in locations causing the least environmental impact,
         and policies to minimise the effects of necessary development. Importantly for these
         proposals, the plan also includes policies which seek to secure waste minimisation and
         recycling objectives through the control of new development.


8.10     The relevant policies concerning waste minimisation and recycling are:


         WLP6: Waste Collection & Disposal Implications
         WLP7: Minimisation & Re-use of Waste
         WLP8: Recycling of Materials
         WLP9: Provision of Waste Collection/Recycling Facilities


8.11     A review of the WLP began in 2003, but this ceased following the introduction of the
         Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.           The replacement plan will now be
         produced as part of the new Local Development Framework, which is currently at a
         very early stage of preparation.


8.12     Bracknell Forest Borough Local Plan - The fourth limb of the Development Plan is
         the local plan, adopted in January 2002. The local plan interprets national, regional




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         and county level policies and applies them at a local level to the Borough, providing
         further detailed development control policies, against which this proposal must be
         assessed.


8.13     The relevant policies in the local plan are as follows:


         EN1 :    Protecting Tree & Hedgerow Cover
         EN2 :    Supplementing Tree & Hedgerow Cover
         EN3 :    Nature Conservation
         EN7 :    Other Important Archaeological Remains
         EN13: Water Quality
         EN20: Design Considerations in New Development
         EN21: Crime & Design
         EN22: Designing for Accessibility
         EN24: Public Art
         EN25: Noise & Other Pollution
         EN26: Energy
         E1 :     Development in Bracknell Town Centre
         E4 :     Small Businesses
         E5 :     Hierarchy of Shopping Centres
         E6 :     Shopping
         H1 :     New Residential Development
         H7 :     Dwelling Types
         H8 :     Affordable Housing
         H14 :    Accessible Housing
         M1 :     Traffic Management & Highway Schemes
         M4 :     Highway Measures Expected in Association with New Development
         M5 :     Service Road Schemes
         M6 :     Cycling & Walking
         M7 :     Access for People with Disabilities
         M8 :     Public Transport
         M9 :     Vehicle & Cycle Parking
         R1 :     Loss of Open Space of Public Value
         R2 :     Urban Recreation
         R4 :     Provision of Open Space of Public Value




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         R6 :     Visitor Accommodation
         SC1 :    Provision of Services & Community Facilities
         SC2 :    Acceptability of Service & Community Facility Proposals
         SC3 :    No Reduction in Existing Community Facilities
         PE1i:    Land in the Northern Sector of Bracknell Town Centre
         PE1ii:   Land at the South of Bracknell Town Centre


8.14     Proposals PE1(i) and (ii) are of particular relevance to these proposals and are
         reproduced in full at Appendix 9.




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9.0      SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE


9.1      Following the Secretary of State’s decision in 2001 to refuse planning permission for
         the three ‘called in’ applications, the Council resolved to take a lead in the regeneration
         of the town centre by producing a Masterplan, in collaboration with a wide range of
         stakeholders including the key town centre landowners.          The Council committed
         resources and considerable time to develop and consult on a Masterplan for the town
         centre.   This process sought to bring consensus amongst developers, the public,
         opponents to previous schemes and government agencies as to the role, scale and
         design that was right for Bracknell town centre. The Council has worked at regional,
         strategic and local levels to ensure a plan-led regeneration. As a result, the Bracknell
         Town Centre Masterplan was adopted as SPG in July 2002.


9.2      The SPG develops Proposals PE1(i) and (ii) in the Local Plan, and is intended to
         outline the form of development which would be acceptable in the town centre, without
         being overly prescriptive. In developing the Masterplan, BFBC produced robust retail
         capacity and impact assessments to guide the level of retail development which would
         serve the natural catchment of Bracknell town centre whilst not causing undue harm on
         surrounding centres. A brief for this work was shared with surrounding authorities and
         key stakeholders with no objections raised. Transport assessment was also integral to
         the development of the Masterplan.           The Masterplan was then produced in
         conformance with these assessments to produce a robust vision of how regeneration of
         the whole of the town centre could take place. As such it provides important detailed
         guidance against which to assess the application proposals. The Masterplan sets out a
         series of principles to be secured in any redevelopment proposals, and these are re-
         stated below for ease of reference.


         New Uses & Activities

         Promote major new shopping and leisure development in a way which supports and
         enhances the existing successful shopping areas, and which transforms the quality and
         ‘offer’ of the town centre as a whole.

         Create a mature, mixed-use town centre, with enhanced shopping, leisure, community
         and cultural facilities at its ‘heart’.

         Develop a new civic and community focus for the people of Bracknell.

         Promote the town centre as a place to live, with a range of housing to create a mixed
         and sustainable community.




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         Provide new business space to ensure the long-term success of the local economy,
         including premises suitable for existing business occupiers.

         Ensure that the town centre provides facilities which benefit the wider business
         community.

         Provide public services such as a town centre nursery, a Shopmobility scheme, public
         toilets and community meeting space within the centre.

         A Quality Town Centre

         Foster a distinctive identity for the town centre, through the creation of high quality
         buildings and public realm, together with ‘character areas’ each with a mix of uses, but
         having its own unique character.

         Create a highly ‘legible’ town centre, where routes between key destinations are easy,
         accessible, convenient and readily identified.

         Integrate the town centre into its wider setting, both physically and visually by
         promoting key views and vistas.

         Improve movement to and around the town centre for pedestrians, people with
         disabilities and cyclists.

         Enhance existing public spaces and create new public areas as a focus for activity and
         events.

         Provide a mixture of open and covered streets to create a comfortable and varied
         environment within the town centre.

         Ensure the delivery of high quality distinctive architecture with the creation of a ‘wow’
         factor for the centre.

         Ensure that regeneration enhances community safety through the introduction of new
         uses, good urban design and specific security measures.

         Promote sustainable development, including the highest standards of energy efficient
         building design, use of renewable energy sources linked to sustainable transport,
         recycling and waste minimisation.

         Sustainable Access

         Ensure that the town centre is accessible to all, by all types of transport, including rail,
         bus, taxi, community transport, walking and cycling, as well as the private car.

         Integrate the town centre more closely into surrounding areas, including the Peel
         Centre to the west and longer-term development areas, by breaking down barriers to
         pedestrian and cycle movement.

         Enable direct pedestrian routes with surface crossing of roads wherever appropriate,
         rather than underpasses.

         Greatly enhance bus services and facilities to serve the town centre, in particular
         promoting a public transport interchange at the railway station and improved
         accessibility to major shopping areas.




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         Provide Shopmobility facilities, disabled car parking and facilities for taxis and
         community transport at appropriate locations.

         Provide an appropriate level of car parking to serve the new development, managed in
         a way that encourages sharing of spaces.

         Provide attractions in the centre that will help reduce the unsustainable car journeys
         from the catchment to other centres.

         Minimise environmental impacts associated with vehicle traffic by using innovative
         approaches and fuels such as bio fuels.

         Minimise the impact on the quality of the environment associated with vehicle access to
         car parks and servicing areas.

         Provide a high quality, efficient bus facility in the heart of the town centre.

         Develop a quality freight partnership aimed at minimising the adverse effects of
         servicing traffic.

9.3      From these broad principles the SPG develops a number of basic structural elements to
         be adopted in a development scheme, and again there is benefit in restating these
         elements here, to aid an appreciation of the extent to which these proposals respond to
         the SPG.


         A strong north-south axis within the town centre, with clear and convenient pedestrian
         routes from the south, including the rail station, to Broadway in the north;

         The High Street, which is the principal east-west pedestrian route within the central
         area;

         A core retail and leisure ‘heart’, centred on Charles Square, at the intersection of the
         primary north-south and east-west routes;

         A critical mass of new retail/leisure development to the north of the High Street
         incorporating two major anchor stores and on a scale that ensures that the scheme is
         viable and deliverable;

         Effective use and integration of those areas around the edge of the retail and leisure
         ‘heart’ by introducing new residential and business development to add to the mix of
         town centre uses;

         A series of public spaces which form part of this principal network of links and routes
         within the central area;

         A civic focus centred around a re-invigorated Jubilee Gardens;

         Anchors located at key positions creating attractions throughout the centre; and

         Clear and convenient links between the centre and surrounding areas by breaking
         down existing barriers to movement, such as The Ring and High Street car park.




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9.4      The SPG continues by developing a Masterplan for the town centre area, incorporating
         a number of major land use elements and redeveloped uses, and assuming floor areas
         derived from various retail and viability studies. The SPG also considers the provision
         of public realm, permeability throughout the scheme, and transportation issues; and the
         individual character and design components of different parts of the redeveloped town
         centre.


9.5      Since its approval, the Council has continued to work with development proponents
         throughout the town centre to effect this Masterplan and seeks to consider proposals
         which are in general conformity with the SPG. This application will be so judged.


9.6      Other supplementary planning guidance to which attention should be drawn includes
         Affordable Housing from Residential Development, Designing for Accessibility in
         Berkshire, Limiting the Impact of Development and the Bracknell Town Centre Urban
         Design Framework.


9.7      The SPG on Affordable Housing from Residential Development was adopted in
         September 2003. It amplifies and updates Policy H8 in the local plan, setting out the
         Council’s objective to achieve 38% affordable housing provision (23% affordable and
         15% key worker) from appropriate residential developments, building on the 20%
         figure previously specified in the policy as a ‘starting point’ for negotiations. The SPG
         also sets out the Council’s expectations on the involvement of a Registered Social
         Landlord and Section 106 agreements.


9.8      The latest version of Designing for Accessibility in Berkshire was published in 2005
         and applies throughout the County. It provides an update on legislative changes since
         the previous edition and introduces the requirement to produce an Access Statement to
         support planned development.      Further detailed guidance is then provided on all
         aspects of designing development to accommodate those with disabilities.


9.9      Limiting the Impact of Development was adopted in October 2001.               It provides
         general guidance to developers on the likely contributions that will be required,
         financial or otherwise, to ensure that a new development makes provision for
         infrastructure and community facilities commensurate with its scale and kind. The




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         contributions may, for example, include highways infrastructure or improvements,
         public open space, education, affordable housing or environmental enhancements.


9.10     The Bracknell Town Centre Urban Design Framework was approved by Bracknell
         Forest Borough Council as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) in January 1998.
         Since that time the Bracknell Town Centre Masterplan has been prepared and was
         adopted as SPG in September 2002. In the Committee report to Council on the 30 June
         2002 it was stated that;

                  “An Urban Design Framework (UDF) currently exists as
                  Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) for the town centre. This
                  guidance dates back to the end of 1997. In the light of the
                  Masterplan, the UDF will need to be reviewed. Further design
                  guidance will need to be put in place to refine the Masterplan and
                  this will also inform revisions to (or even supersede) the UDF. In
                  the short term the UDF still forms SPG for development control
                  purposes, but where it is in conflict with the Masterplan, the
                  Masterplan will take precedence.”

         In the main the Urban Design Framework supports the Bracknell town centre
         Masterplan. It does however provide further guidance on some detailed issues, some
         of which are relevant in the determination of this outline planning application, such as
         the definitions of active frontages and issues relating to the public realm and the mixed
         use nature of the centre, and others which deal with a level of detailed design which
         will be addressed at the reserved matters stage.




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10.0     OTHER MATERIAL PLANS & GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE


10.1     The Draft South East Plan Part 1 was published and submitted to the Government on
         July 29 2005. It includes core policies for the entire region, and Part 2 of the Plan,
         when it is finalised in Spring 2006, will set out ten sub-regional strategies including
         one for the Western Corridor. These will provide the framework for local development
         documents.


10.2     The key policies of relevance to these proposals are:


         CC1      :          Sustainable Development
         CC2      :          Climate Change
         CC3      :          Resource Use
         CC4      :          Sustainable Construction
         CC5      :          Infrastructure & Implementation
         CC8      :          Urban Focus & Urban Renaissance
         CC12 :              Character of the Environment & Quality of Life
         RE3      :          Employment & Land Provision
         H3       :          The Location of Housing
         H4       :          Affordable Housing
         H6       :          Type & Size of New Housing
         T4       :          Regional Spokes
         T6       :          Mobility Management
         T8       :          Parking
         T9       :          Travel Plans & Advice
         NRM1 :              Sustainable Water Resources
         NRM4 :              Conservation & Improvement of Biodiversity
         NRM7 :              Air Quality
         NRM8 :              Noise
         EN1      :          Development Design for Energy Efficiency
         EN2      :          Combined Heat & Power
         EN3      :          Regional Renewable Energy Targets
         EN4      :          Sub-Regional Targets
         EN5      :          Location of Renewable Energy Development
         BE1      :          Management for an Urban Renaissance




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         BE7       :         Management of the Historic Environment
         TC1       :         Development of Town Centres
         TC2       :         Strategic Network of Town Centres
         TC3       :         New Development & Redevelopment in Town Centres


10.3     Policies TC1 and TC2 are of particular importance in this case. Policy TC1 states as
         follows:


         “Accessible, attractive and vibrant town centres are fundamental to the sustainable
         development of South East England and will continue to be the focal point for
         development of a mixture of uses including leisure, services, retail, residential and
         commercial. A network of town centres will be promoted to create a sustainable
         distribution of facilities across the region. In appropriate cases, LDDs will seek to
         promote good quality development where it is desirable to regenerate and renew town
         centres. They will ensure that centres are accessible by public transport.”



         In Policy TC2 the Plan seeks to establish a dynamic network of strategic town centres
         across the region, and Bracknell is identified as a secondary regional centre based on a
         number of indicators covering both retail and non-retail uses. The network of centres
         will be the focus for major retail development, uses which attract large numbers of
         people, employment and hosing as part of mixed use schemes. In paragraph 1.33 of the
         Plan dealing with Sub-Regional Strategy Area 6, it is confirmed that ‘regeneration
         proposals for Bracknell Town Centre on a scale set out in the supplementary planning
         guidance adopted in 2002 are consistent with this plan.’


10.4     Upon final adoption, the South East Plan will form the Regional Spatial Strategy,
         effectively replacing the policies currently set out in RPG9 (see paragraphs 8.2 to 8.4
         above).


10.5     The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has produced the following
         guidance notes and statements that are relevant to various elements of the application:


         PPS1      :         Delivering Sustainable Development
         PPG3 :              Housing




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         PPG4 :              Industrial, Commercial Development & Small Firms
         PPS6     :          Planning for Town Centres
         PPS9     :          Biodiversity & Geological Conservation
         PPS10 :             Planning for Sustainable Waste Management
         PPG13 :             Transport
         PPG15 :             Planning & The Historic Environment
         PPG16 :             Archaeology & Planning
         PPG17 :             Planning for Open Space, Sport & Recreation
         PPS22 :             Renewable Energy
         PPS23 :             Planning & Pollution Control
         PPG24 :             Planning & Noise


10.6     Finally, the Council must have regard to other advice in the form of Circulars issued
         by the ODPM, principally:


         Circular 11/95: Use of Conditions in Planning Permissions
         Circular 06/98: Planning & Affordable Housing
         Circular 05/05: Planning Obligations


         As the titles infer, these Circulars provide advice to local planning authorities and
         developers on matters to be negotiated in either Section 106 Agreements or planning
         conditions.




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11.0     PLANNING ANALYSIS


11.1     This section of the report will consider the planning merits of the proposals under the
         following topic headings:

                 (i)         Land Use Principles
                 (ii)        Retail Considerations
                 (iii)       Transportation & Access Issues
                 (iv)        Housing
                 (v)         Employment
                 (vi)        Balance & Mix of Uses
                 (vii)       Built Environment
                 (viii)      Listed Buildings & Archaeology
                 (ix)        Public Spaces, Art & Trees
                 (x)         Natural Environment
                 (xi)        Combined Heat & Power Plant
                 (xii)       Sustainability

11.2     For each of the major topic areas the following format will be adopted:


         (i)       Brief review of relevant ODPM advice, regional, county and local policies and
                   SPG. As a starting point this will set out the development plan context within
                   which to consider the issue.


         (ii)      A résumé of the proposal or relevant part of it. This will serve to highlight
                   what is being considered.


         (iii)     A summary of the findings of the Environmental Statement (where applicable).


         (iv)      Any representations received. Where possible these will be dealt with in each
                   topic section. A response to other, more general, objections will be set out in
                   Appendix 6.


         (v)       Analysis of the merit of the proposals in light of the above.


11.3     It should be borne in mind that this planning application is both large and complex in
         terms of the number and range of issues to be considered. It has also given rise to a
         number of objections and local controversy, which have been duly noted and fully
         considered in developing the recommendations, conditions and obligations found in




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         this report. The intention in adopting this framework is to ensure that all material
         considerations are taken into account in reaching a decision.


11.4     Town Centre Redevelopment – Land Use Principles


11.5     (i) Policy Issues


         For a development of this nature, the overarching national planning policy guidance
         from the ODPM is set out in PPS1, PPG3, PPS6 and PPG13.                    The concept of
         sustainable development underpins all planning decisions and advice in PPS1 promotes
         strong, vibrant and sustainable communities, the protection and enhancement of the
         urban environment, the prudent use of natural resources and a strong, stable and
         productive economy. The delivery of sustainable development will be brought about
         primarily through development plans which will, amongst other things:


         (i)      promote urban regeneration especially through mixed use developments;


         (ii)     secure inclusive, safe and healthy communities;


         (iii)    bring forward sufficient land in appropriate locations for developments of
                  different kinds;


         (iv)     provide improved access to all services and facilities thereby reducing the need
                  to travel, with less reliance on private motor vehicles;


         (v)      focus developments attracting a large number of people in existing centres;


         (vi)     promote the efficient use of land through higher density mixed use
                  development and;


         (vii)    address the causes and impacts of climate change through the management of
                  pollution and resources.




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         Since a decision on this application must accord with the provisions of the
         development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise, these objectives
         would be fulfilled.


11.6     PPG3 focuses on housing issues, and it encourages local authorities and developers to
         give priority to re-using previously developed land in urban areas at higher densities, in
         order to maximise efficiency in the use of land.            In particular, new housing
         developments, especially larger ones, should be well located in terms of public
         transport facilities in order to reduce the need for travel by car.            Mixed use
         developments are also promoted as a way of bringing new life into towns and cities,
         and local authorities are positively encouraged to identify suitable sites, where
         appropriate specifying the proportion of residential floorspace to be included. The
         preparation of development briefs and land assembly may assist in this process. Whilst
         priority should be given to commercial uses at ground floor level, opportunities should
         be taken to add housing on upper storeys.


         A draft of PPS3 is in the course of preparation in which the government's main
         objectives are stated as:


         •   Ensure a wide choice of housing types is available.
         •   Deliver a better balance between supply and demand.
         •   Create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities.


         Local authorities need to ensure the redevelopment of brownfield land, and make full
         use of their CPO powers, and work with key stakeholders to achieve this. In planning
         at site level, it is important that a broad mix of housing suitable for different household
         types is provided for on larger sites. However, authorities should balance the need for
         affordable housing against the viability of sites in their area. The presumption is that
         affordable housing should be provided on the application site. In design terms, the key
         consideration should be whether a development positively improves the character and
         environmental quality of an area and the way it functions. Housing development
         should be based on thorough landscape and ecological surveys and appraisals. Local
         authorities should in particular encourage applicants to apply the "Code for Sustainable
         Homes" for strategic sites that deliver a large number of new homes. An indicative




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         density range for "urban" areas is 40-75 dph, and only "city centre" areas have a higher
         density range of 70+ dph.


11.7     PPS6 deals specifically with planning for town centres, and the key objective is to
         promote their vitality and viability by focussing development in existing centres and
         encouraging a wide range of services in a good quality, accessible, environment.        The
         development of existing centres will strengthen or regenerate them, enhance consumer
         choice, support efficient, competitive and innovative retail and leisure sectors, and
         improve accessibility by a choice of means of transport. Town centre development is
         also seen as a means of promoting sustainability objectives.


         Local planning authorities are encouraged to plan for growth and to select existing
         centres to accommodate an identified need by making better use of existing land and
         buildings and/or promoting redevelopment. Where an existing centre is in decline, the
         authority should assess the scope for consolidating and strengthening the centre by
         focussing a wide range of services there, promoting diversification of use and
         improvements to the environment. Town centres must provide a high quality and safe
         environment, and efficient use should be made of land. Planning policies should
         encourage well-designed, higher density, multi-storey development within existing
         centres, including a mix of uses.


         PPS6 also provides guidance on the assessment of planning applications for town
         centre developments, which should include whether the development is of an
         appropriate scale, any impacts on other centres and accessibility.


11.8     PPG13 is the principal ODPM advice that seeks to co-ordinate land use and
         transportation decisions with a view to influencing the location, scale, density and mix
         of land uses in order to reduce the need to travel, reduce journey lengths, and make it
         safer and easier for people to access all services and facilities by means of transport
         other than private cars. In turn this will promote more sustainable development. In
         order to deliver these objectives through decisions on planning applications, local
         authorities should:


             •    Manage urban growth to make full use of public transport by focussing major
                  generators of travel in existing centres.




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             •    Locate facilities in places accessible by walking and cycling.


             •    Accommodate housing in urban areas with increased density at public transport
                  nodes.


             •    Ensure that retail, leisure and commercial developments have a realistic choice
                  of access by public transport.


             •    Use parking policies to promote sustainable transportation.


             •    Give priority to people over ease of traffic movement.


             •    Ensure that the needs of disabled people are taken into account, and the design
                  of development reduces crime.


         The advice in PPG13 reaffirms that contained in PPG3 and PPS6 insofar as the
         transportation benefits of locating development in town centres is concerned, adding
         that authorities should seek to make maximum use of the most accessible sites, such
         as those in town centres, which are close to major transport interchanges.             Such
         opportunities may be scarce, and authorities should be pro-active in promoting
         intensive development in these areas by preparing site briefs and, where necessary,
         using compulsory purchase powers to bring development forward. Good partnerships
         between local authorities, transport operators, developers, businesses and residents are
         essential to achieving these objectives.


11.9     The planning policy framework in the Regional Spatial Strategy (RPG9) comprises
         Policies Q1, 2, 3 & 5. Collectively these seek to focus new development in urban
         areas, to improve the quality of life in those areas, to make more efficient use of urban
         land and to facilitate an urban renaissance by directing major commercial
         developments to sustainable locations in larger town centres.


11.10    The emerging South-East Plan similarly directs new development to urban areas
         (Policy CC8) in order to bring about renaissance and encourage sustainable




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         development, and Policies CC12 & BE1 seek to ensure that a high quality environment
         is achieved through redevelopment, to create attractive places in which to live, work,
         shop, spend leisure time and invest. Policies TC1, 2 & 3 promote a network of town
         centres across the region (identifying Bracknell as a secondary regional centre – see
         paragraph 10.3) as a focal point for sustainable mixed use development. Such centres
         will be appropriate locations for major retail schemes, uses attracting large numbers of
         people, employment and housing developments. In particular, Policy TC3 envisages
         that this type of development might assist in the regeneration of town centres by
         attracting new development of an appropriate scale.


11.11    The Berkshire Structure Plan provides for the larger towns to be the focus for major
         development (DP1 – Spatial Strategy) commensurate with their accessibility and level
         of infrastructure/services and Policy DP5 seeks to promote a variety of land uses in
         urban areas, with a high quality environment facilitating ease of movement. Policies
         H3, E1 and S1 respectively promote housing, employment (offices) and major retail
         development in the County’s main town centres, consistent with the role of the centre.


11.12    Policy E1 in the local plan encourages development in Bracknell town centre that
         would improve its retail vitality and viability, and rejuvenate areas characterised by
         poor townscape quality where it:


         (i)      has no adverse environmental, road safety, transportation or labour/housing
                  market consequences.

         (ii)     improves public transport, pedestrian and cycling facilities.

         (iii)    improves townscape quality.

         (iv)     includes a mix of uses, especially enhancing the evening economy.

         (v)      provides new residential accommodation.

         (vi)     retains existing residential and other key town centre uses.

         (vii)    has no adverse impacts on other retail elements in the town centre, and

         (viii)   retains and enhances listed buildings.

         Policies E5 & 6 provide for shopping development consistent with the role of the town
         centre provided that there would be no adverse effect on nearby centres, no loss of




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         commercial or residential floorspace, important leisure use or open space of public
         value, and no adverse environmental or highway impacts. The site specific proposals
         PE1(i) and (ii) are set out in Appendix 8 and are central to the determination of this
         application.    Both seek to secure a comprehensive mixed use redevelopment in
         Bracknell town centre to bring about its regeneration.


         The SPG also includes a list of new uses and activities as part of the Masterplan
         Principles set out at paragraph 9.2 above, and a schedule of proposed floorspaces to
         effect the findings of the various studies undertaken.


11.13    (ii) The Proposal


         The application is described in full at paragraphs 2.2 and 4.4 to 4.13, and provides for a
         comprehensive redevelopment of the town centre. The principal retail component of
         the development (The Eye) is located in the area presently occupied by Broadway, with
         a second major redevelopment (shops, offices, flats, etc) in the area presently occupied
         by the bus station, Jubilee Gardens and land to the east and south thereof. Further
         development is proposed along either side of Market Street and Skimpedhill Lane.


11.14 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         Chapter 2 provides a brief scheme justification and a review of alternatives considered,
         including the ‘do nothing’ option, the 1999 called-in schemes, and the Council’s
         Supplementary Planning Guidance.            Possible alternative building forms and
         development compositions to those which are the subject of this application are also
         considered. The chapter concludes that the 1960’s heritage of the town centre is
         unappealing, even hostile, in its appearance and in the 2001 decisions the Secretary of
         State accepted the need for redevelopment to prevent further decline. The Council has
         long supported this aim and in the applicants view the proposals address the key
         objectives of the SPG by creating new retail, leisure, hotel, education, civic, office and
         housing uses amounting to over 285,000 sqm of floorspace. Chapters 3 and 4 of the ES
         review the site context, the development proposals, and the land use/planning policy
         considerations. In respect of the latter, the ES concludes that the proposals accord with
         the development plan and other material considerations.




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11.15    The additional material submitted by the applicants pursuant to the Regulation 19
         request reaffirms that the proposals that were refused permission in 2001 remain
         unacceptable in planning policy terms. In addition the current application, although it
         includes some variations to the proposals set out in the SPG, represents an acceptable
         evolution of the Masterplan that has been subject to agreement with the Council in the
         course of pre-application discussions.


11.16    (iv) Representations


         There are no objections raised to the principle of redevelopment, and a number of
         respondents have expressed support and encouragement for the idea.


11.17    (v) Planning Analysis


         As a matter of principle it is clear that an application of this nature can broadly fulfil
         the objectives of government guidance, as described in the planning policy statements
         and guidance notes summarised at paragraphs 11.5 to 11.8 above. This is a major
         mixed use redevelopment scheme comprising retail, commercial and residential
         components, amongst other things, and it is properly proposed to be located in the town
         centre of an existing urban area, where there are established public transport facilities.
         Although much of the detail of the scheme is analysed further below, it is therefore
         considered that the proposals are capable of delivering sustainable development, and
         particularly the seven objectives listed in paragraph 11.5.          The inclusion of a
         substantial housing element is also to be welcomed, given the Council’s efforts to
         identify and promote this site through the local plan policies and SPG, and this accords
         fully with the principles of PPG3 and the emerging PPS3. In actual fact, a number of
         the development blocks include commercial uses at lower levels, and the opportunity is
         taken to add housing on upper storeys. Similar considerations apply in the case of
         PPS6. The Council long ago identified Bracknell as a centre in decline and has been
         proactive in encouraging new development to bring about its regeneration, including
         retail, commercial and housing uses. By focussing these major generators of travel
         demand in an existing centre with public transport opportunities and relative ease of
         access by non-car modes, the right conditions are also created for more sustainable
         travel choices to be made, in accordance with the advice in PPG13. A more thorough




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         analysis of how the detailed objectives of PPG13 might be secured is set out below in
         sub-section 11(iii).


11.18    Policies in the RSS (Q1, 2, 3, 5, H5 & T1) and the new South-East Plan (CC8, H3, T1,
         BE1 & TC1-3) all require that major new development be focussed on previously
         developed land in urban areas, and town centres in particular, with a view to bringing
         about a significant improvement to the urban environment, supported by adequate
         infrastructure. Full use must be made of urban land to provide new housing with an
         emphasis upon town centre mixed use schemes where maximum benefit can be derived
         from non-car modes of transport. These policies reflect the principles set out in ODPM
         guidance. The priorities are to focus new development on the hubs of Reading,
         Basingstoke and Slough as well as sustaining and enhancing the smaller and medium
         sized centres in the sub-region. New developments are proposed at High Wycombe
         (extension of the town centre) and Bracknell (town centre redevelopment).
         Regeneration proposals for Bracknell Town Centre on a scale set out in the
         supplementary planning guidance adopted in 2002 are consistent with this plan, and
         amongst the consultation responses it is notable that SEERA consider the proposals
         comply with current and evolving regional policies,


11.19    The policies in the Structure Plan (DP1, DP5, H3, E1, S1 & T1) apply the same broad
         principles, but additionally generally require that the scale of development in any
         settlement shall be commensurate with its accessibility and level of infrastructure. The
         assessment of this criterion, particularly in connection with the retail component of the
         scheme, is set out in detail below at sub-section 11(ii), but specifically, the retail
         floorspace has been kept to the quantums identified in the SPG and through its
         supporting studies.    It is important to note that the overall quantum of development
         broadly complies with the figures specified in the SPG, although there are some
         variations within different land uses. Overall it is considered that the proposals are
         consistent with the vision for Bracknell set out at paragraph 8.6 above, and in fact the
         Joint Strategic Planning Unit broadly welcome the application as it corresponds with
         the Masterplan and in their view it is central to the realisation of the vision for
         Bracknell set out in the Berkshire Structure Plan.


11.20    Local Plan Policy E1 provides a number of criteria (see paragraph 11.12) against which
         to assess the proposals and a comment on each is set out below:




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         (a)      the proposal will materially add to retail floorspace and introduce new Class A
                  and D2 uses, promoting diversity, vitality and viability. New buildings, uses
                  and public realm will bring about a renewed and attractive urban fabric and
                  environment.


         (b)      large parts of the 1960’s town centre will be demolished, particularly in the
                  northern part of the site, to make way for new development of high design
                  quality if the principles set out in the Illustrative Design Statement are adhered
                  to.


                  (i)        No adverse consequences are anticipated in respect of the
                             environment, highway safety, labour or housing markets (detailed
                             analysis set out below in Transportation and Employment sub-
                             sections).


                  (ii)       The application proposals include public transport measures and
                             improved facilities for pedestrians/cyclists.


                  (iii)      Detailed design is a reserved matter but the Illustrative Design and
                             Public Realm Statements signal an intention to incorporate high
                             standards for buildings and open spaces.


                  (iv)       A mix of uses is proposed, including A3, A4, B1, D2 and housing, to
                             promote activity in the town centre after retail hours.


                  (v)        Private and affordable housing is included in the application. The
                             latter is secured by Section 106 obligation in the normal way, and an
                             element of private housing will also be constructed by obligation in
                             order to secure a mix of uses.


                  (vi)       Existing residential accommodation is to be retained, with the
                             exception of Enid Wood House which is proposed for a residential
                             redevelopment. Other key town centre uses will, in some cases, need




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                             to be provided with replacement accommodation. The re-provision of
                             other uses can be secured by an obligation in a Section 106 Agreement.


                  (vii)      See Retail sub-section below.


                  (viii)     Existing listed buildings will be retained. The relationship between
                             these buildings and adjoining new development is of considerable
                             importance , and will be assessed more thoroughly in sub-section 11
                             (viii) below. (see paragraph 11.365)


         It is concluded that the criteria of this policy are satisfied, or capable of being satisfied
         through appropriate planning mechanisms.


11.21    Proposal PE1(i) relates to the entire northern sector of the town centre and land
         fronting Market Street at the rear of The Point.            The land is allocated for a
         comprehensive mixed use development to bring about the regeneration of Bracknell
         town centre through redevelopment and townscape enhancement. Any scheme for the
         site must strengthen retailing, add to diversity, vitality and viability and improve
         environmental quality.


         Proposal PE1(ii) relates to a smaller parcel of land at the southern end of the town
         centre including the bus station and two open sites to the east and west of the bus
         station. This proposal also seeks a comprehensive mixed use development, to include a
         public transport interchange and a significant amount of open space of public value.
         The scheme for this site must also comprise a mix of appropriate town centre uses,
         environmentally enhance the area and improve approaches to the town centre from the
         south.


         Proposals for both of these sites must be complementary to each other. The SPG (see
         paragraphs 9.2 to 9.4) sets out in more detail how the requirements of Council policies
         and proposals might be achieved on site.


11.22    Taken together, the Proposals and the SPG set out the numerous planning objectives
         for the town centre, and the detail of these is considered under separate topic headings




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         below. However, an overview of these proposals does indicate that the Council’s
         requirements are fulfilled:


         (i)      A comprehensive approach has been adopted in the application, although it
                  cannot be assumed from this that the entire scheme will actually be developed.
                  (see Section 12 below) The application site covers not only the two proposal
                  sites, but the entire town centre area within The Ring (excluding the Peel
                  Centre).


         (ii)     The geographical comprehensiveness of the site area is matched by
                  development proposals that comprehensively redevelop the northern and
                  southern areas of the town centre in a way that integrates with the remaining
                  core of the town. The scheme also puts forward proposals for other sites
                  around the periphery (some in third party ownership).


         (iii)    The entire scheme is predicated on the basis of a comprehensive package of
                  highways and public transport measures, including proposals for cycling and
                  pedestrian improvements.


         (iv)     A mix of uses is proposed that will include a significant amount of retail
                  floorspace, appropriate town centre uses, business, housing and other key town
                  centre facilities such as the market, health centre, civic offices, etc. This mix
                  of uses is included in BRP Development A and it is intended to establish the
                  conditions necessary to regenerate the town centre as a whole.


         (v)      A complete revamp of public realm in the town centre is proposed, as
                  illustrated in the Public Realm Statement, involving the creation of new spaces
                  and the revitalisation of existing routes.    This will result in a significant
                  improvement to the environment of the town centre through a high standard of
                  design and continuity of treatment throughout the public realm.


         (vi)     New buildings and spaces will, through their detailed design, produce an
                  attractive town centre with its own identify, thereby resolving current issues
                  concerning the appearance and image of Bracknell.




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         (vii)    The redeveloped town centre should facilitate better links with the surrounding
                  areas and particularly the Peel Centre.


         (viii)   A public transport interchange has been developed at the southern end
                  consistent with the Masterplan proposals – this is supplemented by a linear bus
                  interchange in the central area of the town centre to the western end of the
                  High Street.


         A fuller explanation of the public transport interchange proposal is included in the
         Transportation and Built Environment sub-sections of this report. In all other respects,
         it is considered that the application proposals broadly fulfil the requirements of these
         Proposals and the SPG.


11.23    Retail


11.24    (i) Policy Issues


         The relevant policies applicable to the retail issues are contained in PPS 6, the RSS in
         the form of RPG 9, the emerging South East Plan, the Berkshire Structure Plan 2001-
         2016, the Bracknell Forest Borough Local Plan and supplementary planning guidance
         (SPG) set out in the town centre Masterplan.


11.25    PPS6 - Advises that the Government’s key objective for town centres is to promote
         their vitality and viability through planning for the growth and development of existing
         centres, promoting and enhancing existing centres by focussing development in such
         centres whilst encouraging a wide range of services in a good environment accessible
         to all. The PPS also advises that the following objectives of government policy are,
         among others, relevant; to promote social inclusion, ensuring that communities have
         access to a range of main town centre uses and that deficiencies in provision in areas
         with poor access to facilities are remedied; and to deliver more sustainable patterns of
         development ensuring that locations are fully exploited through high density mixed use
         development providing sustainable transport choices including reducing the need to
         travel and providing alternatives to car use. The PPS further advises that in order to
         deliver the Government objective of promoting vital and viable town centres,
         development should be focussed on existing centres in order to strengthen and, where




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         appropriate, regenerate them. In relation to the status of town centres the PPS advises
         that changes in their role and function upward or downward should evolve through the
         development plan process rather than through planning applications. Changes to the
         status of existing centres which are of more than local importance should be addressed
         through regional spatial strategies.


11.26    RSS (RPG9) - Policy Q1 advises that urban areas should be the focus for new
         development and redevelopment.


         Policy Q5 advises that the region’s network of larger town centres should be the focus
         for major retail, leisure and office developments, to support an urban renaissance,
         promote social inclusion and encourage more sustainable patterns of development.


         The emerging RSS states that the development of dynamic and successful town centres
         is central to the achievement of sustainable development in the South East. The focus
         of its policies is to distribute growth to middle and lower order centres supporting a
         balanced network of centres not overly dominated by the largest centres.


         Policy TC1 advises that accessible, attractive and vibrant town centres are fundamental
         to the sustainable development of South East England and will continue to be the focal
         point for development of a mixture of uses including leisure services, retail, residential
         and commercial. A network of town centres will be promoted to create a sustainable
         distribution of facilities across the region. The network is then set out in Policy TC2.
         Bracknell is designated a secondary regional centre. These centres are the focus for
         major retail developments, uses which attract large numbers of people, employment
         including large scale leisure and office developments and a range of housing where
         possible provided as part of wider mixed use development.


         Bracknell is located in Sub-Regional Strategy Area 6 which states in paragraph 1.33
         that “Regeneration Proposals for Bracknell Town Centre on a scale set out in the SPG
         2002 are consistent with the emerging RSS”.


11.27    The Berkshire Structure Plan - The Berkshire Structure Plan 2001-2016 was adopted in
         July 2005 and it contains the vision for Bracknell set out in paragraph 8.6 above.




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         The plan defines the role of the main town centres within Berkshire. In past structure
         plans the relationships between shopping centres has been expressed as a simple
         hierarchy but this was not felt to give a sufficiently good understanding of the nature of
         their role or the relationships between the centres. In setting out a network of higher
         order centres the Structure Plan recognises the polycentric nature of Berkshire which
         does not conform readily to a simple hierarchy.


         The Structure Plan defines the function and scale of Bracknell as follows:


         “The town centre currently serves predominantly the residential population of
         Bracknell town and immediately adjoining areas, such as Sandhurst and Crowthorne,
         along with a substantial population working in the town centre and its industrial areas.
         It currently provides mainly for their convenience shopping needs, with a relatively
         poor choice of comparison, convenience and specialist shopping.”


         The Structure Plan defines the future strategy for Bracknell as follows:


         “It is not currently serving its catchment population well, due to the need for
         regeneration, and has failed to keep pace with other centres in the area in this respect.
         Opportunities exist for significant redevelopment for comparison, convenience and
         specialist shopping, as well as incorporating a greater variety of town centre activities,
         to improve the service to its existing catchment and to benefit from any improvements
         in communications: (a) between the town centre and its immediate residential and
         employment catchments and (b) with other parts of the Blackwater Valley”.


         Policy S1 of the Structure Plan deals with major retail and leisure developments in
         town centres and reads as follows:


         “1.      Major retail and key town centre leisure development will take place in the
                  centres of the Major Towns.        The scale and nature of retail and leisure
                  development will be consistent with the role of the centre, as set out in
                  Schedule 1 (below). Where Schedule 1 or other work related to the Structure
                  Plan has identified a need for major new retail or leisure development, local
                  plans should adopt the sequential approach (set out in Policies S2 and S3) in
                  identifying suitable sites to accommodate this need.




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         2.       Development proposals will need to demonstrate that they will not, either by
                  themselves or cumulatively with other developments and permitted schemes:


                  (i)        adversely affect the vitality and viability of other town centres; and/or


                  (ii)       result in unacceptable increases in the numbers of car-borne shopping
                             or leisure trips or in their average length.


                  Where appropriate, developments will be expected to contribute towards
                  improved access and choice of transport to the centre, in accordance with
                  Policies DP4 and T4”.


         A full copy of the policy is included at Appendix 8.


         The Spatial Strategy for the County is set out in Policy DP1 and identifies Bracknell as
         a major town (among others) as the principal focus for major development.


11.28    Bracknell Forest Borough Local Plan – Policy E1 of the BFBLP sets out policy for
         development in Bracknell Town Centre as follows:


                  ‘Within Bracknell Town Centre the Borough Council will permit development,
                  redevelopment and enhancements which:


                  (a)        add materially to, strengthen and improve the retail area, town centre
                             diversity, environmental quality, vitality and viability; and


                  (b)        rejuvenate and regenerate those parts of the town centre characterised
                             by poor townscape quality.


                  Such development will be acceptable where it:


                  (i)        has no adverse consequences for the environment, road safety,
                             transport infrastructure, travel demand, local labour and housing
                             markets;




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                  (ii)       improves public transport services and pedestrian and cycle
                             access/facilities;


                  (iii)      is of a design which would improve townscape quality and make a
                             positive contribution to urban distinctiveness;


                  (iv)       includes a mix of uses, especially those that would enhance the evening
                             economy;


                  (v)        provides new residential accommodation;


                  (vi)       provides for the retention of existing residential and other key town
                             centre uses;


                  (vii)      has no adverse impact on the vitality and viability or present role of
                             existing parts of the primary shopping area of the town centre; and


                  (viii)     retains and enhances the settings of buildings of special architectural
                             or historic importance’.


         Policy E5 of the BFBLP defines Bracknell as a major town centre. Bracknell is the
         only major town centre in the borough. The other centres fall into the categories of
         small town centres or local parades. This policy advises that proposals for shopping
         development should generally be consistent with the role of the centre and with Policy
         E1 in the case of town centre proposals.


         Policy E6 states that shopping development will be acceptable where proposals would
         not adversely affect the vitality and viability of other nearby shopping centres. The
         policy contains a sequential test giving priority to the town centres of Bracknell
         Crowthorne and Sandhurst followed by edge of centre locations which can demonstrate
         need followed by village/neighbourhood centres, parades in Policy E5 and only then
         out of centre locations. The remaining retail policies in the BFBLP deal with detailed
         development control issues of limited relevance to this OPA for major redevelopment.




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         Finally with regard to the BFBLP two proposals sites are defined namely PE1 (i) and
         PE1 (ii). PE1 (i) relates to land in the northern sector of Bracknell Town Centre and is
         allocated for comprehensive mixed use development. The proposal envisages the
         regeneration of this area including the provision of retail floorspace that is well
         integrated with the retail core with the aim of improving the vitality and viability of the
         town centre. It states that retail floorspace should be consistent with the parameters
         defined in Policy E1.


         PE1 (ii) relates to the southern part of Bracknell Town Centre and envisages a
         comprehensive mixed use development to include a public transport interchange and
         public open space. It states that proposals on this site should be well integrated with
         the existing retail core in order to improve the vitality and viability of the town centre
         and that proposals should be consistent with the retail floorspace parameters set out in
         Policy E1.


11.29    Supplementary Planning Guidance - In July 2002 the Council adopted a Masterplan for
         the redevelopment of the town centre. The quantum of floorspace identified in the
         Masterplan SPG is informed by previous studies going back to 1989, the Secretary of
         State's decision in 2001, and retail and impact studies published by the Council in
         February and May 2002 respectively.


         In summary the quantum of floorspace set out in SPG derives from a number of
         sources which are dealt with in detail in the next section of this report and relate to the
         role of Bracknell town centre in the Berkshire network of town centres, the scale of
         development considered appropriate for the regeneration of the town centre and the
         performance of its role in the network of town centres set out in Schedule 1 of the
         adopted Structure Plan July 2005.


11.30    (ii) Background to Proposals for the Regeneration of Bracknell Town Centre


         There has been a recognition of the need for regeneration of Bracknell Town Centre
         stretching as far back as 1989 when Healey and Baker undertook a retail study of the
         town centre. The conclusions of this study were that there was a substantial leakage of
         comparison shopping from Bracknell to other centres, most notably Reading and
         Camberley with some leakage also to Windsor and Slough. In an earlier study in 1988




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         Healey and Baker recommended that Bracknell should aim to retain 70% of its non-
         food catchment area expenditure and the 1989 surveys indicated a high outflow of this
         expenditure.    In February 1990 the Secretary of State dismissed proposals for a
         regional shopping centre at Great Lea, south of Reading.             The proposals were
         dismissed for a variety of reasons including the serious effect that the proposals would
         have on the vitality and viability of Bracknell. The Inspector reporting to the Secretary
         of State was concerned about the ability of Bracknell to compete with other centres in
         the light of commitments at that time and the ability of the centre to regenerate itself.


11.31    In 1996 a redevelopment was proposed at Town Square for 32,090m² gross retail
         floorspace. This was approved by the Council. This scheme was known as the Swan
         Hill scheme. At this time no need assessment was undertaken but the scheme was
         designed to reduce trade leaking from Bracknell to Reading and other nearby sub-
         regional centres. The scheme was designed to integrate with the existing centre at
         Princess Square, Bentalls, Charles Square and Crossways to form a figure of 8 route
         around the centre. This scheme did not proceed due to non-viability. The next key
         event in relation to the town centre was a retail study by Babtie, consultants to the
         County Council. In relation to Bracknell the study concluded that there was capacity
         for 29,586m² of additional floorspace based on Swan Hill, 22,463m² net plus growth of
         7,123m² net. A key finding of this study was that Bracknell had a very low market
         penetration even within its own catchment area of 17% in 1996 (without Swan Hill).
         The implication of this would be that with new development elsewhere and no new
         floorspace in Bracknell, its market penetration would decline even further. There has
         been no new floorspace added in Bracknell since that time.


11.32    Two alternative developments to improve shopping in Bracknell Town Centre emerged
         after 1996.     These essentially comprised two major redevelopment schemes, the
         applications for which were called-in by the Secretary of State. The first was an
         application by Legal & General Assurance Society Limited for 102,839m² gross
         comparison goods retail floorspace along with other commercial uses. The second was
         an application by Bracknell Regeneration Trust for 95,679m² comparison goods retail
         floorspace, also in addition to other uses.      The Secretary of State called in both
         applications and held an Inquiry in 1999. He issued his decision in May 2001 refusing
         both schemes.




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11.33    The Secretary of State emphasised at paragraph 13 of his decision that he accepted the
         need for the development and regeneration of Bracknell town centre to prevent its
         further decline and enable it to fulfil its role in the shopping hierarchy. However, by
         virtue of their scale, both proposals were deemed to fundamentally conflict with the
         then Structure Plan 1991-2006 Policies S1 and S2, in that they would elevate Bracknell
         beyond its position in the retail hierarchy, defined in the Structure Plan. The Secretary
         of State considered that if Bracknell is to be elevated to something larger than “a major
         town centre” this should, in the plan led system, be achieved through a review of
         regional planning guidance or the Structure Plan. Significantly, he also noted that it
         should be based upon an assessment of the need for additional comparison floorspace
         (paragraph 10). Additionally he considered the impact on Wokingham at 11.8% to be
         harmful to viability and vitality of that centre and refused on this ground also.


11.34    The Inspector used the 1998 Babtie Study as the starting point to assess the capacity for
         Bracknell town centre to accommodate growth. Based upon this study, in Bracknell’s
         catchment area, there should be additional expenditure by 2006 equivalent to 28,022m²
         (net) comparison goods floorspace. The town centre’s share of this was projected to be
         7,123m² (net), in addition to the Swan Hill commitment of circa 22,500m² (net).
         Therefore, an additional 29,623m² (net) floorspace in Bracknell by 2006 was
         considered to be acceptable. (The Inspector also assumed that 9,000m² of existing
         floorspace would be demolished, allowing for approximately 38,600m² net, of new
         floorspace. The Inspector considered this figure to be a maximum.)


11.35    The Secretary of State accepted that Bracknell needs a significant amount of
         investment in its town centre. Although he rejected provision of the full 28,022m² net
         floorspace generated from the catchment area (paragraph 22), he acknowledged that
         there could be scope for more than 7,123m². In grossing up the net figures, the
         Secretary of State recommended that a 70% ratio was more appropriate than the 65%
         used during the Inquiry. Ignoring the potential for demolition and replacement of
         existing space, the proportion of additional comparison goods floorspace recommended
         for 2006 was therefore 29,586m² net (42,266m² gross) based upon the Swan Hill
         scheme (22,463m²) and the growth projected by Babtie (7,123m²).


11.36    The history of studies and proposals relating to Bracknell culminating in the Secretary
         of State’s decision in May 2001 leads to the following conclusions:




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         (i)      The need to regenerate Bracknell is accepted by all parties from the Secretary
                  of State down.


         (ii)     The scale of the 1999 proposals was excessive.


         (iii)    The impact of the 1999 proposals on Wokingham was unacceptable and would
                  damage its vitality and viability.


         (iv)     The role of Bracknell and its position in the hierarchy/network of town centres
                  should be defined in RSS and/or Structure Plan and not via planning
                  applications.


         (v)      Any proposals for regeneration of the town centre should be based upon an
                  assessment of need and in scale with its role and position in the
                  hierarchy/network of town centres in the borough and the county.


11.37    In light of the above conclusions, the Council commissioned a retail study of the town
         centre in 2002 to ensure that future proposals are of a size appropriate to the needs of
         the town. The study assessed:


         (i)      the size and nature of Bracknell town centre and its catchment area as well as
                  retail provision in nearby centres.


         (ii)     the qualitative deficiencies of the town centre and consequential need and


         (iii)    the forecast quantative capacity for additional floorspace to meet identified
                  need.


         The results of the study were fed into a Masterplan for the regeneration of the town
         centre as SPG to the statutory development plan.


11.38    The retail study was completed in February 2002. In light of the issue of impact in the
         Secretary of State’s decision letter of 2001, the Council further commissioned an
         impact analysis of the results of the 2002 retail study to assess impact of the




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         recommended retail provision on the vitality and viability of nearby centres. This
         study was completed in May 2002.


11.39    The study concluded that Bracknell performs relatively poorly compared to other
         centres. It loses a high proportion of trade from the town (75%) and 96% from its
         hinterland to centres such as Reading, Camberley, Slough, Windsor and elsewhere.
         Furthermore, other centres in the major town centre category attract a much greater
         proportion of trade in their catchments. An illustration of this is Bracknell sales
         density (i.e. turnover/floorspace ratio) at £287 psf is far below comparable centres such
         as Maidenhead £375 psf or Staines £420 psf.


11.40    Colliers CRE assumed in their retail studies that BTC should achieve a market
         penetration for comparison goods of 54.8% in Area 1 (the immediate urban area of
         Bracknell) and 14% in Area 2 (the main hinterland). This plays a part in calculation of
         additional available expenditure to Bracknell by 2011. In turn, it is calculated that
         Bracknell would be able to support an additional 31,300 m² net comparison retail
         floorspace in 2006. 39,300 m² net in 2011 and 48,200m² in 2016.


11.41    The impact assessment demonstrates the impact of the level of additional comparison
         goods floorspace in 2011 on the surrounding retail centres, as follows:


              Town           Turnover of Centre        Trade Diversion             % Impact
             Centre              2011 (£m)                  (£m)
            Reading              £1,050.29                 £62.00                   5.90%
           Camberley              £318.07                  £25.00                   7.86%
            Windsor               £155.35                  £10.75                   6.92%
            Meadows               £105.11                  £14.00                   13.32%
             Slough               £360.15                  £11.00                   3.05%
             Staines              £194.03                   £4.50                   2.32%
          Maidenhead              £109.65                   £3.25                   2.96%
             Woking               £225.66                   £6.50                   2.88%
          Wokingham                £28.77                   £1.75                   6.08%




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11.42    No town centre experiences an impact of such magnitude as to be damaging to its
         vitality or viability, all being 7.86% or less. The Meadows near Camberley would
         incur a 13.32% impact, but this is an out of centre location and therefore not an issue in
         planning policy terms.


11.43    (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         The Environmental Statement incorporates the CCRE Impact Assessment and
         concludes that no significant negative impact is likely on any other retail centre in the
         catchment area other than The Meadows. Therefore the proposed development would
         have no significant effect on existing retail centres, and it is unnecessary to propose
         measures to mitigate any likely effects. Any likely adverse effect on the vitality and
         viability of existing shops in Bracknell town centre would be offset by the OPA
         providing for the comprehensive regeneration and redevelopment of the whole town
         centre.


11.44    (iv) Representations


         Objections to the proposals have been received from the owners of the Oracle
         development in Reading, and from Iceland Foods. A detailed commentary on each
         point of objection is set out below at the end of the Planning Analysis sub-section.


11.45    (v) Planning Analysis


         Having regard to the above background and studies it is now necessary to assess the
         proposals under the following headings.


         (i)       Is the scale of the proposal appropriate to the town in terms of its role and
                   function and its impact on nearby town centres?


         (ii)      Is the proposal necessary to achieve the regeneration of the town as agreed to
                   be desirable by all parties?


         (iii)     Does the proposal accord with development plan policy in the form of the RSS,
                   the Structure Plan and the Borough Local Plan?




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         (iv)     Does the proposal accord with the emerging RSS?


         (v)      Does the proposal accord with government advice for development in town
                  centres as contained in PPS6?


11.46    Scale of the Proposal - The Healey and Baker Study in 1988, commissioned to inform
         the Berkshire Structure Plan, advised that Bracknell should retain approximately 70%
         of its non-food catchment expenditure. The Colliers CRE Study in 2002 advised that
         the centre should capture 54.8% of comparison goods expenditure in Area 1 (the
         immediate surrounding urban area) and 14% in Area 2. This is a more conservative
         approach to the Healey and Baker Study and is a reasonable and robust assumption.
         By achieving this level of market penetration, there is sufficient capacity to justify
         56,170 sqm (39,300 sqm net) additional comparison goods floorspace in 2011. The
         level of provision would, the study advises, attract sufficient additional trade to the
         town for it to claw back expenditure which is currently lost to the town to enable it to
         play an attractive, competitive and sustainable role in shopping provision for the
         residents of its catchment.


11.47    The emerging RSS at paragraph 1.5 states that the focus of its policies is to distribute
         growth to middle and lower order centres supporting a balanced network of centres not
         overly dominated by the largest centres. Bracknell could best be described as a middle
         ranking centre in the county network. Therefore the emerging RSS seeks to direct
         growth to this centre as a matter of policy. The RSS also advises at paragraph 1.33 that
         the regeneration proposals for Bracknell contained in the Masterplan SPG 2002 are
         consistent with the plan.


11.48    The Berkshire Structure Plan advises that Bracknell is not currently serving its
         catchment population well due to the need for regeneration and has failed to keep pace
         with other centres. It points out that opportunities exist for significant redevelopment
         for comparison, convenience and specialist shopping as well as incorporating a greater
         variety of town centre activities.


11.49    Policy E1 of the Borough Local Plan is permissive of redevelopment and enhancement
         of Bracknell town centre. In paragraph 3.28 the plan envisages a net increase in




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         comparison goods sales area of between 22,500m² (32,143m² gross) and 32,500m²
         (46,249m² gross) up to 2006. The plan points out that this figure is indicative and not a
         target or a ceiling. It further points out that the Council will continue to monitor
         shopping provision and retail capacity in the town and any shortfall in provision will be
         the subject of additional development after 2006 provided it is supported by a further
         retail capacity study.


11.50    The retail impact assessment supporting the OPA is the Colliers CRE study which was
         undertaken in respect of the quantum of retail floorspace as included in the SPG
         Masterplan. The OPA proposals include exactly the same quantum of net additional
         retail floorspace as the SPG Masterplan and therefore, the conclusions reached in the
         study are equally valid for the OPA proposals. Furthermore, the Council has satisfied
         itself through sensitivity analysis that the assumptions and methodology underpinning
         the work remain reasonable. The emerging RSS prepared by SEERA confirms that the
         proposals are acceptable in scale. The retail policies of the emerging RSS are based
         upon the 2004 retail study by DTZ prepared for SEERA to inform the emerging RSS.
         Officers are satisfied that the proposals would not adversely affect the vitality and
         viability of other town centres within the catchment area.


11.51    The scale of the proposals is in line with emerging RSS advice to direct investment to
         middle to lower order centres. The RSS states that the Masterplan proposals are in
         accordance with its policies. The Structure Plan states that Bracknell needs to serve its
         catchment area better to perform its role and function. With respect to PPS6, officers
         are satisfied that the proposals are in accordance with the objectives and purposes of
         the guidance relating to the growth and management of change in town centres,
         network and hierarchies of centres, the role of regional plans and plans at local level,
         and the general provisions of PPS6 concerning the scale of development.                  The
         proposals are of an appropriate scale for Bracknell town centre and clearly complement
         its role and function.


11.52    In conclusion, therefore, it is considered that the scale of the proposals is wholly
         appropriate for the town, for its performance of its role and function and for its
         regeneration. This scale of development is in accordance with adopted RSS, emerging
         RSS, adopted Structure Plan, and the adopted Local Plan and SPG, and PPS6 advice.




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11.53    In terms of impact on nearby centres, the figures have been set out in paragraph 11.41
         above. They demonstrate no undue impact on any town centre such as would threaten
         their vitality and viability. The Meadows would incur an impact of 13.32%. However,
         this is an out of centre development and therefore policy for the protection of the
         vitality and viability of town centres does not apply. In conclusion it is considered that
         the scale of the proposals would have no significant adverse impact on any of the
         nearby town centres affected.


11.54    In answer to the first question, is the scale of the proposal appropriate to the town
         centre in terms of its role and function and its impact on nearby town centres; the
         answer is yes, the proposal is of an appropriate scale to facilitate the performance of
         Bracknell of its role and function as advised in RSS, emerging RSS, Structure Plan and
         Borough Local Plan. The proposals would not adversely impact on the vitality and
         viability of any of the nearby town centres identified.


11.55    Is the Proposal necessary to achieve the regeneration of Bracknell - Colliers CRE
         considered if Bracknell were to achieve its role and function as a main town centre, that
         it is reasonable for the centre to achieve market penetration rates of 54.8% in its
         immediate catchment area (Area 1) and 14% in its hinterland (Area 2). This plays a
         part in determining the level of available expenditure for comparison retail by 2011. In
         turn, it is calculated that Bracknell Town Centre could accommodate an additional
         56,171 sqm of comparison retail floorspace. This advice is reflected in RSS, emerging
         RSS, Structure and Borough Local Plan, all of which advocate that Bracknell should
         better serve the needs of its catchment area and reverse the decline which has prevailed
         over the past 15-20 years.


11.56    Do the proposals accord with the Development Plan - Policy Q1 of the RSS advises
         that urban areas should be the prime focus for new development and redevelopment.
         Policy Q5 advises that the region’s existing network of larger town centres should be
         the focus for major retail, leisure and office development to support an urban
         renaissance, promote social inclusion and encourage more sustainable patterns of
         development. The policy also encourages local authorities to review the performance
         of existing centres, the scope for regeneration and improvement and the potential
         impact on the vitality and viability of nearby major town centres. The proposals fully
         accord with these policies in redeveloping the existing town centre, reviewing the




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         performance of the centre and assessing the impact on the vitality and viability of
         nearby centres. The Colliers CRE Impact Analysis demonstrates that there will be no
         unacceptable impact on the surrounding town centres as a result of the provision of
         56,171 sqm comparison retail floorspace in Bracknell Town Centre. Therefore Policies
         Q1 and Q5 of the RSS are complied with insofar as this proposal is focussed on the
         urban area of Bracknell, a major town centre in the Borough and the County context.


11.57    Policy S1 of the adopted Structure Plan 2001-2016 advises that Bracknell is not
         currently serving its catchment population well and needs regeneration.                   These
         proposals are aimed at achieving a greater level of service to the town’s catchment
         population and its regeneration. The scale of the proposals, as advised above, is
         appropriate to achieve these aims set out in Policy S1 of the Structure Plan. The scale
         of the proposals has been determined by the level of trade claw back appropriate to
         meet the requirements of the future strategy for Bracknell set out in Schedule 1 to
         Policy S1 already set out above. The impact of proposals of this scale has been tested
         and is acceptable. Therefore the proposals are wholly in accordance with Policy S1 of
         the adopted Structure Plan.


11.58    With regard to BFBLP policy the proposals require to be tested against the provisions
         of Policies E1, E5, E6 and Proposals PE1 (i) and PE1 (ii). With reference to Policy E1
         criterion (a) the proposals would add materially to the town centre, would improve the
         retail area and the diversity of the town centre by improving the level of A1 by
         39,300m² net, A2 and A3 by 6,173m² net, D1 by 16,100m², D2 by 15,200m², C1 hotel
         by 6,500m² and C3 residential by 78,500-87,500m², plus a range of sui-generis and
         civic uses.


11.59    In relation to criterion (b) the redevelopment and the public realm provisions and
         improvements would assist in the rejuvenation and regeneration of the town centre.
         These issues are dealt with in more detail in other sections of this report but insofar as
         the retail issues are concerned the proposals would contribute to the rejuvenation and
         regeneration of the town centre for the reasons set out here and in paragraphs 11.46 to
         11.55 above. In relation to detailed criteria (i) to (viii) comment is provided here in
         relation to criteria (iv) and (vii) relevant to the retail issues. In relation to criterion (iv)
         the proposed mix of uses would enhance the town centre and in particular the evening




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         economy. The town centre has to date lacked a vibrant leisure and food and drink
         offer. The proposals are intended to remedy this deficit in the town centre.


11.60    In relation to criterion (vii) the proposals are intended to claw back a large proportion
         of available expenditure to the town centre which is currently flowing to other centres
         most notably Reading and Camberley. The claw back of this trade would benefit the
         town centre in accordance with the requirements of criterion (vii). Not only would no
         adverse effect take place to the existing primary area of the town centre but a positive
         benefit would accrue as a result of the proposals.        This would accord with the
         requirements of Proposals PE1 (i) and (ii).


11.61    Paragraph 3.28 of Policy E1 advises that up to 2006 a level of net additional retail
         floorspace of up to 32,500m² would be appropriate. The paragraph adds that additional
         floorspace could be provided after 2006 provided it is supported by a capacity study.
         The 2002 capacity study advises a level of 39,300m² net would be appropriate up to
         2011 and 48,200m² net by 2016.         The proposals are for 39,319m² net, fully in
         accordance with this advice as they are likely to come on stream by 2009 and have a
         settled trading pattern by 2011.


11.62    Policy E5 designates Bracknell as the only major town centre in the Borough and
         advises that development should be consistent with its role. This report has already set
         out the reasons why the scale of the proposals is consistent with the role of Bracknell at
         paragraphs 11.46-11.54. Policy E6 advises that shopping proposals will be acceptable
         except where, inter alia, they adversely affect the vitality and viability of nearby
         shopping centres or parades.       The findings of the impact assessment set out in
         paragraph 11.41 above demonstrate that the proposals will not adversely affect nearby
         shopping centres. The policy also contains a sequential test which is not relevant here
         as the proposals are wholly within a town centre.


11.63    Proposals PE1 (i) and PE1 (ii) designate the northern and southern areas of the town
         for major redevelopment. Furthermore, strong north-south and east-west access will
         provide good linkages across the centre to secure a comprehensive redevelopment.
         The proposals follow this guidance and propose the major elements of the scheme in
         these designated areas, and accord with the findings of the retail capacity and impact
         assessments that informed the preparation of the Masterplan.




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11.64    In conclusion, in respect of Policies E1, E5, E6 and PE1 (i) and (ii) of the adopted
         BFBLP the proposals fully accord with all the relevant provisions of these policies as
         far as the retail issues are concerned.


11.65    In answer to the question, do the proposals accord with development plan policy as
         contained in RSS, Structure Plan and Borough Local Plan, the conclusion of this
         analysis is that they do fully comply.


11.66    Does the proposal accord with the emerging RSS - The emerging RSS advises that new
         development should be directed to middle and lower order centres. The proposals
         accord with this advice. The emerging RSS also states at paragraph 1.33 that the SPG
         Masterplan accords with it. The proposals are consistent with the SPG in respect of
         retail floorspace. Therefore both relevant policies of the emerging RSS are complied
         with.


11.67    Do the proposals accord with the advice of PPS6 - Insofar as the proposals are all
         contained within the town centre they fully accord with the advice of PPS6.


         Para 2.10 of PPS6 advises that changes to the status of centres of more than local
         importance i.e. primary and secondary regional centres, should come forward through
         Regional Spatial Strategies. The status of Bracknell as a Secondary Regional Centre in
         the emerging RSS is consistent with that advice. The status of Bracknell has been
         defined as recently as July last year in the adopted Structure Plan. In the emerging
         RSS the town has been defined as a secondary regional centre. In the Structure Plan
         the town has been identified for “significant redevelopment for comparison,
         convenience and specialist shopping as well as incorporating a greater variety of town
         centre activities to improve the service to its existing catchment”. This is exactly what
         the proposal aims to do, i.e. implement the role and function set out for the town in the
         Structure Plan. In the emerging RSS the town is designated for, inter alia, major retail
         development, uses which attract large numbers of people including major cultural,
         tourism, social and community venues. The proposals seek to achieve a major mixed
         use development in accordance with the RSS. The status of the town has therefore
         been defined in the Structure Plan and the emerging RSS.            This OPA seeks to
         implement that status not to define it or alter it in any way. This approach is wholly in




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         accordance with the advice of PPS6 paragraph 2.10 in relation to the role and function
         of the town centre. The proposal would promote the vitality and viability of Bracknell
         through growth and focussing development on the centre to strengthen and regenerate
         the town.     The proposals would promote social inclusion by ensuring that the
         community in the town catchment area and hinterland have good access to a range of
         town centre facilities and that deficiencies in provision, which are well documented
         and understood, are remedied.


         It is considered therefore that the proposals are fully in accordance with the advice of
         PPS6 in relation to the role and function of the town and the regeneration proposed for
         it. The impact assessment accords with the advice of paragraph 3.20 and 3.23 of PPS6.
         The impact assessment concludes no significant adverse effect on existing identified
         town centres. The answer therefore in relation to compliance with the advice of PPS6
         is that the proposals fully accord with this advice.


         It is concluded therefore that the proposals are fully in accordance with relevant advice
         in PPS6.


11.68    Third Party Representations - Objections have been raised by the owners of The
         Oracle in Reading and by Iceland Foods, making a number of detailed points in
         opposition to the proposals. The following paragraphs identify each point of objection
         and then comment on its merit.


11.69    Objection – Scale of the Proposals - The previous town centre redevelopment proposals
         were firmly rejected by the Secretary of State; his conclusions included the following:


         “By virtue of their scale all of the proposals conflict fundamentally with Structure Plan
         Policies S1 and S2 in that they would elevate Bracknell beyond its position in the retail
         hierarchy defined in the Structure Plan. Notwithstanding this the current scheme
         promotes development which is only marginally reduced in scale; 84% of L and G,
         91% of BRT.”


11.70    Comment - The BRT scheme proposed 95,679m² gross additional floorspace A1, A2
         and A3. The OPA proposes 65,980m², i.e. 69% of BRT or a 31% reduction. This is
         not marginal and it is incorrect to say it is 91%.




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         The L & G scheme was 102,839m² A1, A2 and A3. The proposal at 65,980m² is 64%
         of L & G, a reduction of 36%. This is not marginal and nor is it correct to describe it
         as 84%.


11.71    Objection – The Structure Plan Hierarchy - The point is made that if the proposals were
         implemented they would raise Bracknell to second position in the county hierarchy
         transforming it from major town centre to a centre larger than the sub-regional centres
         contrary to S2 of the Structure Plan 1991-2006.


11.72    Comment - The 1991-2006 Structure Plan is now superseded by the 2001-2016
         Structure Plan adopted July 2005. The hierarchy of centres has been dispensed with as
         it was felt that it did not give a sufficiently good understanding of the nature of the role
         and the relationships between the centres of the major towns in Berkshire. A schedule
         is instead provided giving a more detailed picture of the network of higher order
         centres; in doing so it recognises the polycentric nature of Berkshire which does not
         conform readily to a simple hierarchy. Bracknell is then described in Schedule 1 and a
         future strategy identified for it. This strategy identifies opportunities for significant
         redevelopment for comparison, convenience and specialist shopping as well as a
         greater variety of town centre activities. Therefore the hierarchy point of the objection
         is irrelevant in terms of the adopted Structure Plan. What is relevant is to capitalise on
         the opportunities identified in the plan in the future strategy; these proposals are aimed
         at achieving this. No conflict occurs with Structure Plan as asserted by the objector,
         and indeed the Joint Strategic Planning Unit is supportive of the proposals in terms of
         the location, scale, nature and impact of the development. The JSPU further comment
         that the proposals implement the policies of the Structure Plan.


11.73    Objection – Status of Bracknell - If Bracknell is to be elevated to something larger than
         a major town centre, this should, in a plan-led system, be arrived at through a review of
         RPG and/or the Structure Plan and should be based on an assessment of need for
         additional comparison floorspace and not through non-statutory local SPG.


11.74    Comment - The role and function of Bracknell has been defined as recently as July last
         year in the adopted Structure Plan. This role has identified opportunities for significant




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         redevelopment. This is what the proposals seek to achieve. They seek to implement
         the role not to define it.


         The emerging South East Plan defines two levels of centre in Berkshire. Bracknell is
         defined as a secondary regional centre where major retail development and uses which
         attract large numbers of people, including major culture, tourism, social and
         community venues are appropriate. (see paragraph 10.3)


         The role of Bracknell has been defined in the Structure Plan and is being further
         defined in the emerging RSS. This is the correct approach and is consistent with the
         advice of paragraph 2.10 of PPS6. The emerging RSS in paragraph 1.33 says the
         Bracknell proposals contained in the SPG 2002 are consistent with its policies. The
         OPA is based on the SPG. SEERA commissioned a study in 2004 from consultants
         DTZ entitled Town Centre Futures: the need for Retail Development in South East
         England. The RSS definition of the role of Bracknell in the network is based on the
         advice of this study.


         Therefore the correct procedural approach is being followed in relation to the status of
         Bracknell and the proposals are consistent with the adopted Structure Plan and the
         emerging RSS. They are also based upon a capacity assessment carried out in 2002
         with the specific purpose of addressing Policy E1 of the adopted BFBLP and to inform
         proposals for the regeneration of the town given expression in the SPG Masterplan.


11.75    Objection - The adopted Bracknell Borough Plan does not sanction the scale of
         development currently proposed nor could it do so and remain consistent with the
         Structure Plan.


11.76    Comment - The Borough Local Plan Policy E1 identifies a need for between 22,500m²-
         32,500m² net additional shopping floorspace up to 2006. It further states that the
         Council will monitor shopping provision and retail capacity in the town centre; any
         shortfall after 2006 will be the subject of additional development provided it is
         supported by a retail capacity study.


         No development of any significance has taken place since the adoption of the plan;
         therefore the capacity of up to 32,500m² net still prevails. The 2002 capacity study




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         demonstrates need for 39,300² net up to 2011 in accordance with the advice of
         paragraph 3.28 of Policy E1.


         It is therefore incorrect to assert that the local plan does not sanction this scale of
         development. The terms of Policy E1 clearly do sanction this scale of development
         subject to compliance with its terms which in this case has been done. As set out in
         paragraphs 11.56-11.66 above, the proposals also accord with Structure Plan Policy S1.


11.77    Objection - The OPA does not assess the proposals either against the defined role for
         Bracknell or against the specific tests of Policy S1, that is (i) adversely affect the
         vitality and viability of other town centres and/or (ii) result in unacceptable increases in
         the numbers of car borne shopping or leisure trips or their average length.


11.78    Comment - Bracknell is identified in S1 as a recipient of significant redevelopment.
         This is what the OPA proposes.         The retail study 2002 identified a capacity of
         39,300m² net additional floorspace up to 2011. This was incorporated into the SPG
         Masterplan and subsequently into the OPA in accordance with the advice of Policy S1
         of the Structure Plan and E1 of the Local Plan.


         The impact analysis tested the impact of this quantum of floorspace and concluded that
         no nearby town centre would experience an unacceptable adverse impact.                   The
         development complies with test (i) of Policy S1. In relation to test (ii) of Policy S1 the
         household surveys revealed that a relatively low proportion of car borne shoppers are
         currently attracted to Bracknell. This suggests that a high proportion of more mobile
         car borne shoppers choose to use other centres. The claw back of expenditure is aimed
         at attracting these shoppers back reducing the frequency and length of shopping and
         leisure trips. Although the scale of the redevelopment is significant, it is a mixed use
         development and the majority of visitors will be drawn from the natural catchment area
         in and around Bracknell. Many of these people we know from the retail study are
         currently shopping in competing centres further a-field. The transport assessment does
         reflect that whilst at present only 25% of comparison retail expenditure from the
         Bracknell urban area is attracted to Bracknell Town Centre, but with the regeneration
         this is forecast to rise to 55%. Accordingly total travel demands across the area are
         likely to be reduced rather than increased, by the retail proposals. The transport
         assessment considers this principle in the wider mixed use context by providing data




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         and an assessment on the relative accessibility of the regenerated town centre. In
         reviewing the transport assessment we have noted and accepted this assessment and the
         reduced demand for travel.


         In conclusion the OPA follows the guidance of Policy S1 in relation to significant
         redevelopment for retail, leisure and other town centre uses and its tests of impact and
         reducing car borne shopping trips have both been applied and satisfied. The objectors’
         assertion to the contrary is factually incorrect.


11.79    Objection - Bracknell is not included as a primary regional centre; it is a secondary
         regional centre. The proposals would elevate Bracknell significantly above Slough in
         terms of turnover and floorspace contrary to the emerging regional guidance.


11.80    Comment - There is no advice in emerging RSS regarding the relative positions of
         primary and secondary regional centres. The network is intended to be dynamic not
         static and subject to regular assessments. Therefore the conflict with policy alleged in
         the objection cannot exist in the terms that it is put. In paragraph 1.33 the draft RSS
         confirms that the proposals for Bracknell in the 2002 SPG are consistent with its
         policies. The OPA is consistent with the SPG and therefore consistent with emerging
         RSS.


11.81    Objection - Paragraphs 3.20 and 3.23 of PPS6 require the submission of retail impact
         assessments for all proposals over 2,500m² gross whether within a town centre or not
         and particularly where the scale of development exceeds the existing catchment of the
         town.


11.82    Comment - This is a wholly incorrect interpretation of paragraphs 3.20 and 3.23 of
         PPS6. These paragraphs require impact assessment for proposals in edge of centre or
         out of centre locations and which are not in accordance with an up to date development
         plan strategy. The PPS further advises that where a significant development in a centre
         not in accordance with the development plan strategy would substantially increase the
         attraction of the centre and could have an impact on other centres, the impact on other
         centres will also need to be assessed.




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         The proposals are not edge of centre or out of centre; they are town centre. They are in
         accordance with an up to date development plan strategy in the form of the RSS Q1
         and Q5, emerging RSS para 1.33, the Structure Plan S1 and the adopted Local Plan E1
         as set out in paragraphs 11.56-11.66 above.


         It is therefore not necessary to prepare an impact analysis for these proposals.
         Notwithstanding this and having regard to the history of decisions, in particular the
         Secretary of State’s 2001 decision, an impact analysis has been undertaken. This is in
         the form of an impact analysis of the 2002 Retail Study which formed the basis of the
         2002 SPG Masterplan and subsequently the OPA. The suggestion that this study does
         not apply as it was not undertaken on behalf of the applicants and is not specific to the
         application scheme is entirely misconceived. The party on whose behalf the analysis
         was undertaken is irrelevant. The study analyses 39,300m² of comparison retail as
         identified in the retail study, as incorporated into the SPG and as put forward in the
         planning application. The retail study was commissioned to inform the retail aspects of
         the regeneration proposals for the town centre. Both the retail study and the impact
         analysis are relevant preparatory work leading to the formulation of the OPA
         proposals.


11.83    Objection - Even at face value the Study (the 2002 CCRE document) demonstrates the
         conflict between the scale of development and the identified role for Bracknell. The
         Masterplan would have the effect of increasing the town’s turnover from £62.7 million
         to £260 million, wholly the wrong scale of development.


11.84    Comment - The adopted Structure Plan does not quantify a scale of development for
         Bracknell. It does not include a hierarchy, rather it defines a network of town centres
         and their roles. The appropriate scale of development for additional expenditure is set
         out in the Local Plan paragraph 3.28 at between 22,500m² - 32,500m² up to 2006 with
         additional floorspace beyond 2006 if capacity studies justify it.       The 2002 study
         justifies 39,300m² additional net floorspace.     This floorspace would generate the
         expenditure of £179.59 million additional and is therefore of an appropriate scale for
         Bracknell. The objection quotes total expenditure figures and percentages in absolute
         terms. They are not related to any policy or benchmark and are therefore unhelpful in
         assessing the merits of the proposals. When the figures for expenditure and floorspace
         are related to policy and the 2002 Study it is clear that their scale is entirely




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         appropriate. This is also confirmed in paragraph 1.33 of the emerging RSS where the
         proposals are considered in the context of the SEERA retail studies carried out in 2004
         going forward to 2026 and are confirmed as appropriate in scale for Bracknell.


11.85    Objection - The Study relies on a compound growth rate of 3.6% to 2011 whereas more
         up to date published information from Mapinfo suggests that 3.1% would be the most
         appropriate rate, i.e. a 14% reduction in growth and therefore capacity.


11.86    Comment - Actual expenditure growth rates for 2001, 2002 and 2003 derived from
         Mapinfo Brief 04/02 (April 2004) Table 1: UK Annual Retail Expenditure Goods
         Type (2002 prices) are:


         2001     -          7.3%
         2002     -          7.7%
         2003     -          5.3%


         The DTZ study, Town Centre Futures; The Need for Retail Development in South East
         England, is based on expenditure per head information from Experian Briefing Note 2
         (August 2004) and MapInfo Brief 04/02 (April 2004) advising growth rates of 4.6%
         (high) and 4.2% (low) 2004-2016). This study was commissioned by SEERA to feed
         into the South East Plan.


         In conclusion, the growth rate of 3.6% is conservative and results in a very robust
         analysis of available expenditure. It does not overestimate capacity as asserted by the
         objector.


11.87    Objection - It is inappropriate to aggregate bulky goods and non-bulky goods and
         assume it can all be satisfied in new town centre floorspace.


11.88    Comment - There is no reason why bulky goods cannot be accommodated in the new
         town centre floorspace or, for example, in the Peel Centre. The objection is not
         explained, i.e. no reason is given as to why it is inappropriate to make this assumption.
         It is considered the assumption is valid in the context of the redevelopment proposals
         and that bulky goods retail could indeed be accommodated in either the existing or new
         town centre floorspace. In fact the incorporation of bulky goods in the town centre




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         would help reinforce the town as the focus of retail provision in the borough as
         opposed to the accommodation of this form of retailing in out of centre locations.


11.89    Objection - There is a complete absence of justification for the massive leaps in market
         share assumed in areas 1, 2 and 3, i.e. a doubling of market share in area 1 and a
         trebling of market share in areas 2 and 3. (See glossary attached to conditions for
         definition)


11.90    Comment - The whole purpose of the regeneration proposals is to increase Bracknell’s
         penetration of its catchment to reverse its decline, serve its catchment better and
         achieve sustainable development. To do this there has to be a significant increase in
         market share. As far back as 1988 Healey and Baker advised that the town should
         increase its market share of expenditure from a low of 25% to 70%. This would result
         in an increase of market share in the order of three times the current share, i.e. a
         trebling. The CCRE Study in 2002 recommended an increase to 54.8% in the town and
         14% in area 2. The increases in market share are fully justified on planning judgement
         as to what is necessary to achieve regeneration and for Bracknell to re-establish itself in
         the County network of town centres.


11.91    Objection - There is a lack of justification for an assumption that Bracknell can or
         should draw £9.45 million from beyond even area 3.


11.92    Comment - It is inevitable that a regenerated Bracknell will attract some trade from
         beyond area 3. The town forms part of a dynamic polycentric network of towns in the
         area and catchments inevitably overlap - they are not closed. Unless the objector is
         suggesting that catchments are closed, which manifestly they are not, then some
         overlap and inflow of expenditure is inevitable. The question then is, is what is
         assumed reasonable? The answer is 5% of turnover which would be reasonable for a
         dense network of town centres such as this where catchments inevitably overlap. This
         assumption is therefore considered to be reasonable.


11.93    Objection - The objector questions the assumption that the replacement of existing poor
         quality retail floorspace at a 75% ratio is neutral in terms of retail turnover when the
         existing retail floorspace is only estimated to be turning over £287 psf, i.e. less than
         half the intensity of turnover that might reasonably be expected from new floorspace.




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         Comment – The approach to retail studies is usually to assume that demolished
         floorspace is replaced on a 1 for 1 basis. This approach ignores the fact that new
         floorspace will generate a greater turnover per square metre than the floorspace it
         replaces because the new floorspace will be of better quality. The Colliers CRE study
         addresses this point by assuming 1m² of old floorspace would be replaced by 0 .75m²
         of new; a 75% ratio. The approach makes the study more robust than most retail
         studies. In any case on this point, the amount of floorspace involved is a very small
         part of the overall total and therefore any further adjustment to the methodology would
         have little impact on the overall scheme turnover.


11.94    Objection - The retail study and therefore the application, seriously underestimates the
         turnover of the new proposals. The consequences of this are either:


         1)       Substantially less floorspace would be required to accommodate the available
                  expenditure; or


         2)       If the size of the scheme is maintained, its impact in terms of market share,
                  retail impact, catchment area would be substantially greater.


11.95    Comment - The level of sales density of a proposed development will always be a
         matter of judgement. In order to make that judgement it is instructive to look at the
         performance of other Berkshire towns in the network:


         Reading             £833 psf
         Windsor             £413 psf
         Slough              £651 psf
         Maidenhead          £375 psf
         Wokingham           £194 psf


         Reading is the regional centre and is not comparable to Bracknell. Windsor and
         Maidenhead would be most comparable; their sales densities are £413 psf and £375 psf
         respectively. It must also be borne in mind that Bracknell is starting from a low point
         of £287 psf and it will take time for it to increase its sales density, after what is
         acknowledged to be almost 20 years of decline. Furthermore this is not simply a




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         mathematical exercise. Bracknell needs to attract shoppers back into the town from its
         catchment area to achieve its wider regeneration objectives. Increasing its turnover psf
         is part of this process. A further indication of what would be an appropriate judgement
         of sales density to plan for is given in the emerging RSS. In paragraph 1.18 the
         document assumes £5,000 psm, i.e. £464.5 psf for new comparison floorspace. The
         objector refers to £410 psf average sales density after regeneration, i.e. not significantly
         different from what SEERA are anticipating up to 2026.


         The suggestion that the proposals overestimate the floorspace required to meet the
         identified expenditure level is not justified by the objector. The comments above
         demonstrate that the judgements made in the Study are reasonable and can be relied
         upon. If in a few years time post-2011, the town performs at a better level than is
         assumed, then this can be absorbed by the headroom available 2011-2016 of 8,900m²
         net additional floorspace. This approach would be entirely in accordance with the
         advice of emerging RSS Policy TC2 which advises regular assessments of town centres
         in the network and Policy E1 paragraph 3.28 of the BFBLP which advises further
         capacity studies to justify additional floorspace.


         In conclusion, it is considered that the judgement of £500 psf and £350 psf respectively
         for general floorspace and department store floorspace is a sound judgement based on
         the performance of similar towns in Berkshire, the low level of performance of
         Bracknell now, the SEERA judgement of sales densities for new comparison
         floorspace going forward to 2026 and the monitoring provisions in emerging RSS
         policy and adopted Borough Local Plan policy. The objectors have not justified their
         assertions and, in the absence of any such justification, the judgements of the retail
         study are considered sound and are recommended as appropriate in the assessment of
         the regeneration proposals. In relation to the two points of objection; the quantum of
         floorspace required to achieve the claw back of expenditure and the regeneration
         objectives set is not therefore considered to be excessive. The impact of this level of
         floorspace has been dealt with in paragraph 11.41 above and it would not damage the
         vitality and viability of identified towns in the network of town centres nearby.


11.96    Objection by Iceland - The essence of this objection is that the scale of the proposals is
         such that it is likely to bring about a significant change in the function of Bracknell




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         town centre and this should be considered as part of a review of the development plan
         and not by means of an outline planning application.


         The Iceland store performs an important role in promoting the vitality and viability of
         the current centre; the proposal, if granted would result in the demolition of the
         building currently occupied by the Iceland store and thereby reduce rather than
         promote competitiveness and choice for the consumer in the convenience sector,
         contrary to government policy.


11.97    Comment - As has already been pointed out, the scale of the proposals has been
         defined by the 2002 retail study. This has fed into the County Structure Plan 2001-
         2016 and resulted in Policy S1 and Schedule 1 which identifies Bracknell for
         significant retail, leisure, tourism and town centre growth. The proposals have also
         been fed into the emerging RSS and been found to be consistent with its policies for
         town centres; (paragraph 1.33 refers). The scale of development up to 2006 has been
         defined in the adopted local plan at 22,500m²-32,500m² net additional floorspace, with
         additional floorspace if capacity studies justify beyond 2006. (Policy E1 and paragraph
         3.28 of the RJ refer). The retail study justifies 39,300m² net to 2011.


         Therefore the scale of the proposals has been defined and approved at every level of
         development plan policy from RSS to local plan. Therefore, the objectors’ point that
         these proposals should be brought forward through the development plan process is
         entirely satisfied.


         In respect of the potential loss of Iceland to the town centre, this is not necessarily the
         case as opportunities to relocate will be available as part of the implementation of the
         proposals. Even if Iceland were lost to the town centre, the overall benefit of the
         scheme to the vitality and viability of the centre would outweigh this loss.
         Additionally, the interests of a specified town centre occupier are not strictly a planning
         matter. It is the overall vitality and viability of the town centre that is the key issue.
         There can be no doubt that the regeneration proposals would enhance the vitality and
         viability of Bracknell overall.




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11.98    Transport


11.99    (i) Policy Issues


         Paragraph 11.8 above sets out an overview of the advice contained in PPG13:
         Transport, which establishes the intrinsic link between planning and transportation
         decisions. The aim, quite simply, is to reduce the need to travel, especially by car, by
         influencing the location of development relative to transport provision, and to
         encourage development that facilitates walking, cycling and public transport use.


11.100 PPG13 also advises on the management of travel demand, and points out that the
         availability of car parking has a major influence on travel choice. Car parking must be
         controlled to reduce inefficient use of land and to ensure, when coupled with other
         transport options, that the car is part of a complete and comprehensive package of
         transport modes on offer. Parking standards should be reviewed, and a consistent
         approach adopted through a Regional Transport Strategy (RTS) to avoid wasteful
         competition between towns. Parking policies should be co-ordinated with controls and
         charging to encourage the use of other modes of transport, but the vitality of other town
         centres must not be undermined.      Developers should not be asked to provide more
         spaces than they themselves wish, and shared use of parking is encouraged, especially
         in town centres. Spaces for disabled people and safe and secure cycle parking are also
         essential, and park and ride facilities are encouraged in appropriate circumstances.


11.101 The management of traffic complements wider planning and transport objectives, and
         the needs of all users should be taken into account. In town centres priority should be
         given to people over traffic and pedestrianisation is generally popular and
         commercially successful. Road space can be re-allocated to promote walking, cycling
         and public transport.


11.102 Public transport provision and improvement is a very important ingredient in
         determining locational policies, and local authorities should work with providers and
         operators to establish a high quality, safe, secure and reliable network of routes with
         good interchanges. In determining applications local authorities should:


         a)       identify key routes for bus improvements and priority.




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         b)       ensure traffic management does not impede public transport.

         c)       explore the potential for improving rail travel .

         d)       identify the potential for improved interchange.

         e)       negotiate with developers for improvements.

         f)       improve personal security across journeys.

11.103 Finally, in implementing this guidance, local planning authorities should be more pro-
         active in implementing policies on transport, and may use conditions/Section 106
         obligations to deliver more sustainable transport solutions. Of particular importance,
         the government promotes the use of travel plans to raise awareness of the impact of
         travel decisions, and these should be submitted with planning applications which are
         likely to have significant transport implications, including major mixed use schemes.


11.104 The Regional Spatial Strategy (RPG9 – 2001) now includes a revision to Chapter 9 in
         the form of the Regional Transport Strategy (July 2004). Policies T1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 12
         and 13 are relevant to these proposals, including requirements to have regard to
         management and investment in the transport system, to support and develop the role of
         regional spokes, improve and integrate public transport, rebalancing the transport
         system, parking and travel plans.


11.105 Regional Transport Strategy - The South East England Regional Assembly is in the
         process of producing a South East Plan. The plan will set a vision for the region
         through to 2026 and will address important issues such as housing, transport, economy
         and the environment. Within the Communications and Transport section of the plan
         are a number of policies which are similar to those already included in the Regional
         Transport Strategy. These policies are numbered T1, 4, 6, 8 and 9 and deal with
         investment in the transport system, developing the role of regional hubs and spokes,
         rebalancing the transport system, parking and travel plans.


11.106 In the adopted Structure Plan, the general spatial policies DP1 and DP5 confirm that
         development will normally be located in settlements, but the scale of development shall
         be related to its current and future accessibility by public transport, cycling and
         walking. Policy DP5 further requires that movement around urban areas should be safe




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         and pleasant, and movement around and to the centre should be made easy by public
         transport. Policy T1 sets out the Transport Strategy for the county, which is to improve
         transport nodes and linking multi-modal spokes in order to concentrate development in
         major towns and assist urban regeneration. Councils are to seek to reduce the need to
         travel, promote alternative modes of travel, increase safety, provide improved access to
         jobs and services, and to secure the reliable movement of goods. Policy T4 addresses
         Travel Impacts, and it requires developers to offset any adverse effects a development
         has on the transport network, particularly by promoting sustainable alternative modes
         of travel, and minimising pressure on the transport network. Policies T5 and T6 deal
         with car parking provision and park and ride facilities respectively.


11.107 The relevant Local Plan policies include M1 and M4-9. Policy M1 requires that
         highway schemes and management measures give priority to the needs of pedestrians,
         cyclists and public transport, and they should improve safety, make best use of the road
         network and protect the environment. Policy M4 similarly provides that developments
         resulting in a material increase in the use of the highway will not be permitted unless
         Policy M1 is met and any other reasonably required highway works are undertaken.
         Policy M5 requires off-street servicing provision, and M6 & 7 respectively require that
         provision be made for cycling, walking and disabled persons. Policy M8 seeks to
         encourage development to facilitate and promote public transport. New development
         should specifically improve links between transport modes, or provide bus priority
         measures, or provide safe and convenient access to a bus stop or railway station.


11.108 Included at Appendix 9 are extracts from the Local Plan detailing the requirements of
         Proposals PE1 (i) and (ii). In particular paragraph 9.8 therein requires that the re-
         developed town centre be accessible by a range of means of transport including by
         cycle and on foot, and be well served by public transport. Paragraph 9.20 indicates that
         the southern part of the town centre is ‘unique’ in being able to provide the opportunity
         for the establishment of a public transport interchange. This should not be merely a
         replacement bus station, but a wide ranging facility embracing the adjacent railway
         station and providing pedestrian and cycleway links to the wider footpath and cycleway
         network. The SPG also seeks to greatly enhance the bus services and facilities to serve
         the town centre, in particular promoting a public transport interchange at the railway
         station and improved accessibility to major shopping areas.




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11.109 Bracknell Forest Local Transport Plan - The Bracknell Forest Borough LTP (2000-
         2006) has five primary transport objectives, proposed by Government, from which a
         series of more detailed (secondary) objectives have been developed. Taken together,
         these core objectives form a set of broad and long-term aspirational goals, which will
         inform all decisions, made by the Council on transport matters. The extent to which
         they will be met during the period of the first LTP will depend on questions of
         practicality and affordability and the need to deliver against competing demands within
         the objectives themselves.


         A number of the secondary objectives set in the LTP are directly relevant to the
         regeneration of Bracknell town centre. These are listed below:


         Environment
         LTP1.1              To influence the use of motorised traffic so as to assist in progress
                             towards local air quality objectives for the levels of pollutants of
                             concern.
         LTP1.2              To influence the use of motorised traffic so as to assist in progress
                             towards national targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas.


         Safety
         LTP 2.1             To reduce the number and severity of injuries sustained through
                             accidents on the public highway network.
         LTP 2.2             To improve the personal safety of the travelling public and transport
                             workers.
         LTP 2.3             To encourage in the general public a proper level of confidence of
                             safety whilst travelling.


         Economy
         LTP 3.1             To promote the development of comprehensive transport systems that
                             serve and support the vitality and viability of town and local
                             community centres.
         LTP 3.2             To establish an attractive travelling environment for journeys to the
                             town and local community centres.
         LTP 3.3             To improve, and promote improvement in, the attractiveness of town
                             and local centres for pedestrians.




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         LTP 3.4             To reduce delays associated with traffic congestion on the road
                             network and improve the reliability of journey times.


         Accessibility
         LTP 4.2             To ensure that new development providing facilities and services is
                             easily accessible by pedestrians (to include people with disabilities),
                             cyclists and by public transport and to promote improvements to
                             existing development where this is inadequate.
         LTP 4.3             To improve the accessibility of the highway network and the public
                             transport system by people with disabilities.


         Integration
         LTP 5.1             To support land use policies in their aim to ensure that new
                             development occurs on appropriate land and in sustainable forms and
                             locations.
         LTP 5.2             To mitigate the transport impacts arising from development by
                             improvements in transport facilities and services funded by the
                             development
         LTP 5.4             To improve access to public transport systems and interchange
                             between modes of travel generally.


         The consultation draft for Bracknell Forest’s Local Transport Plan 2006-2011 has been
         produced. The new LTP includes a similar list of objectives to those listed above.


11.110 The principles of the SPG are set out at paragraph 9.2 above, but there is also included
         a detailed Transport Strategy. This seeks to improve accessibility to and within the
         town centre, and provide a greater choice of travel mode.              The strategy covers
         walking/cycling, bus services/facilities, car access/parking, servicing, highways
         infrastructure and shopmobility.


11.111 (ii) The Proposal


         Parking - The total level of parking proposed through the redevelopment is 7,131
         public parking spaces, of which 3,704 are existing.        The balance and distribution of




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         land uses has evolved since the SPG was produced (reference Regulation 19 response
         in May 2005) which means the balance of parking requirements has also changed.


         It is proposed that the following elements of the development have all or part of the
         required parking provision as Private Non-Residential Parking, which effectively
         precludes the use by members of the public and multiple use between different land
         uses where traffic generations are significantly different:


         •   Food retail – 286 spaces for the new development in the south
         •   B1 office – 1692 spaces to be provided as dedicated spaces split between the
             various blocks
         •   Hotel – existing PNR is retained
         •   Civic land uses – all parking is PNR
         •   Dwellings – 917 spaces
         •   Health centre – 150 spaces


         Reference is made to the provision of the new Millennium Way car park to a Park
         Mark standard with an adequate number of gates for entry and exit to provide for
         successful operation.


         Reference is made to the provision of Shopmobility parking facilities but no details are
         provided.


         Reference is made to the provision of disabled parking in accordance with guidelines,
         with almost 6% of spaces being dedicated to disabled drivers.


11.112 On-site Highways – Indicative on-site highway works to be funded by the applicant
         are proposed as outlined below:


         •   Closure of the section of The Ring between High Street and Bond Way
         •   Conversion of Bond Way to one of the primary access points to the new car park
             beneath the Eye
         •   Closure of the northern part of The Ring to allow the building of the Eye




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         •   Provision of a new junction on Millenium Way to provide car park access and
             servicing
         •   Provision of a junction on Weather Way to provide access to the Eye car park
         •   Eastern section of The Ring to be used for servicing, car park access and as a bus
             route
         •   A new junction linking Market Street and The Ring
         •   Conversion of the western section of The Ring to two-way working
         •   Provision of a new route between The Ring and Market Street for access and
             parking


         The proposed junction modifications are detailed below:


         •   3M Roundabout - an improvement scheme has been identified for the 3M
             Roundabout, involving the introduction of traffic signals to form a signalised
             gyratory. The circulating carriageway would contain 3 lanes with spiral markings.


         •   Met Office roundabout - some minor changes to the layout to try to improve
             capacity including increasing the number of circulating lanes on the eastern side to
             four. Other improvements to flares have also been identified. These improvements
             have been formed through localized widening.


         •   Church Road New Signal Controlled Junction – as part of the proposals a new
             junction is required to allow vehicles to move between Church Road and The Ring.
             An all vehicle movements signalised junction is proposed for this purpose. This
             route provides access to key car parks, including High Street and Princess Square,
             and therefore requires high capacity.      In order to provide sufficient capacity,
             Church Road is widened from two lanes to three lanes on both its northbound and
             southbound approaches to the junction. All widening is provided on the western
             section of Church Road.


         •   Station Road Roundabout - a partially signalised improvement scheme has been
             identified for this junction to enable it to accommodate future forecast traffic flows.
             All approaches except Hazel Hill have been signalised. As part of the changes to
             the core area highway network, the Station Street arm is reduced in size and status




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             as it will serve as the access for the proposed foodstore. To achieve three
             circulating lanes on the roundabout between Bagshot Road and Market Street,
             widening of the carriageway into the railway bridge structure is necessary.


         •   Market Street / Station Road Junction – the existing junction will be signalised
             with the following restrictions for traffic. The westbound approach on Station
             Road will be bus-only and vehicles approaching from the south (i.e. the railway
             station) will not be allowed to turn right. To obtain adequate highway capacity it
             has been necessary to ban right turning traffic from the south. The Station Road
             approach would be restricted allowing bus only movements. Pedestrian crossing
             facilities are provided on all arms.


         •   Access to the Railway Station Car Park – this access will be signalised with local
             widening to a two-lane approach from the south.


         •   Junction of Station Road and The Ring – this junction currently does not exist and
             allows a linkage between The Ring and Market Street.                An all-movement
             signalized junction is proposed with full crossing facilities.


         •   Market Street/Skimped Hill Junction – this junction is retained as a roundabout
             with signalized pedestrian crossing facilities on all arms. Access is also provided
             for servicing The Point and the proposed magistrates court/police station.


         •   Skimped Hill/Peel Centre Junction – minor modifications to the Peel Centre and
             Skimped Hill junctions for capacity reasons.


         High Street car park egress is also shown modified with a new signalized junction on
         Market Street for traffic leaving the car park.     Improvements for non-car traffic are
         reported later in this section.


11.113 Variable Message Signing - The application indicates that VMS will be provided but
         no details are provided in terms of the type, nature and location of VMS, nor the
         associated communications and management infrastructure.




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11.114 Off-site Highways - Indicative off-site highway works to be funded by the applicant
         are proposed for the following junctions:


         •   Horse and Groom Roundabout - Approaches will be widened, with signals on the
             A322 Bagshot Road north and south and Downshire Way approaches. Bus lane
             with pre-signals on the Bagshot Road south approach. Spiral markings on
             circulatory carriageway.


         •   Sports Centre Roundabout/Bagshot Road Bus Lane – Introduction of partial
             signalisation at the two A332 approaches to roundabout. Bus lane on Southill Road
             approach from the south which is continuous through the junction, along the
             northbound carriageway of Bagshot Road, linking with pre-signals at Horse and
             Groom roundabout.


         •   Twin Bridges – Full signalisation of both North and South roundabouts. Provision
             of ‘Fly Through’ through the centre of the southern roundabout for traffic
             travelling straight ahead between the A322 east and A329 west, and for traffic
             turning right from the A3095 south and A322 east. The scheme involves the
             abandonment of existing circulatory carriageway on the north side of the southern
             roundabouts central island, widening and realignment on A329 west and A322 east
             approaches. Widening on northern roundabout between Downshire Way (north)
             and Skimped Hill.


         •   Doncastle Way Roundabout – Full signalisation of the existing layout, A329
             eastbound approach to be slightly realigned to the north to widen to three approach
             lanes and increase the queuing space on circulatory carriageway. A329 westbound
             flared from two to three lanes on approach. Doncastle Way arm widened on both
             sides to provide two lanes for the approach and egress from the roundabout.


         •   Running Horse Roundabout – Widening of the A329 east and Broad Lane
             approaches to increase capacity on these arms.


         •   John Nike Way Roundabout – Modification to an all-movements signalised
             crossroads locally widening to three lanes on the approach from the A329 (M).




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             Includes the provision of a controlled pedestrian crossing on the John Nike Way
             arm


         The remaining off-site highway works are proposed to be funded through obligations
         on the third party sites, these being:


             •     Coral Reef Roundabout – Existing junction layout to be fully signalised


             •     Swinley Bottom Junction - Widening of A322 northern approach from 2 to 3
                   lanes. 3 lanes maintained on circulatory carriageway around northern part of
                   the gyratory, merging into two at the southern end. Signalisation of A332 node
                   at junction with circulatory carriageway


             •     Maidenhead Road/Forest Road Junction – Widening of both main roads
                   (A2095 Forest and Maidenhead) to provide a central right turn lane. Widening
                   of minor arm (B3034 Forest Road) to provide a longer flare with separate left
                   and right turn lanes.


             •     Newell Green/Forest Road Junction - Introduction of signalised control to
                   existing layout.


             •     London Road/Longhill Road Roundabout - Improve existing roundabout
                   layout, widening of all four approaches and increase diameter to raise capacity
                   of junction.


             •     Peacock Farm Roundabout (yet to be constructed)– Partial signalisation. Node
                   at intersection of A329 westbound approach with the circulatory carriageway
                   to be signal controlled to stop volume of traffic turning right preventing traffic
                   being able to enter from east. Approach lanes maintained at three.


         At the outset of the Transport Assessment process a total of 38 junctions were
         considered for improvement, with only twelve off site junctions meeting the criteria
         agreed between the Highway Authority and the developer.




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11.115 Public Transport - Frequency and the average public transport journey times are
         proposed to be greatly improved by an overall doubling of the service frequencies.
         Accessibility analysis clearly demonstrates the improvement.


         There is a general commitment to improving the quality of the bus fleet and improving
         the training of drivers to enhance the overall quality of the journey.


         The proposals for the improved interchange and town centre penetration are well
         catered for in the proposals to move the bus station from its current location to a
         section of the High Street which is for bus and taxi access only. The proposals are for
         a linear bus station on the northern side of the High Street with further coach and
         community transport provision on the eastern side of The Ring.


         Buses from the north and east will gain access to the town centre via The Ring from the
         Met Office roundabout and will benefit from a bus only link to turn westwards along
         The Ring and then prior to turning north on Market Street.


         For buses using Market Street adjacent to the railway station bus lay-by’s are provided
         both eastbound and westbound services. A further bus lay-by is provided on the
         approach to the Market Street/Skimped Hill roundabout for buses turning west onto
         Skimped Hill.


         There is an overall commitment to provide a real time passenger information system,
         but no specific details have been provided.


         Outline proposals have been put forward which indicate possible means by which the
         required public transport services might be procured and how these might be funded. It
         is proposed that a Bus Quality Contract might be an appropriate approach and that any
         costs will be funded via the hypothecation of an element of income from the car park
         operation. The applicant asserts that public transport improvements are to be self-
         funding.


11.116 Park & Ride - Proposals for the provision of the physical infrastructure at Peacock
         Farm and the services are mentioned only in outline in the application.




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11.117 Cycling - The proposals are extensive in their nature with new, dedicated cycle routes
         in the following areas:


         •   On the western side of Market Street from the station to Skimped Hill
         •   Along the southern side of The Ring and to the railway station
         •   Along the western side of The Ring from New Jubilee Gardens to the new bus
             station and then linking to the existing route which passes beneath Millennium
             Way
         •   A shared facility running along Millennium Way, crossing at the north gate of the
             development
         •   A limited provision linking the Met Office roundabout to the existing cycle route
             along Church Road


         Cycle parking is also proposed at a number of key destinations along the perimeter of
         the cycle-free zone.


11.118 Walking - The walking strategy is made up of a number of key features. These
         include:


             •      Town Centre Gateways – five new ‘at grade’ arrival points are proposed at the
                    following locations:
                        1. At the mid point of Millennium Way to serve The Eye (via a new
                             Toucan crossing; allowing cyclists and pedestrians to cross together)
                        2. On Church Road near the College to serve the High Street and new bus
                             stops (via new Pelican Crossing)
                        3. At the Church Road traffic signals near the new foodstore (signal
                             controlled pedestrian and cycle facility)
                        4. On Market Street outside the railway station (via a new Toucan
                             Crossing)
                        5. At the mid point of Market Street (via a new Pelican Crossing)
             •      Enhanced footway links – are proposed along substantial lengths of the town
                    centre roads
             •      Pedestrian crossings (formal and informal) are proposed at the following
                    locations:




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                       1. the west and east ends of The Eye
                       2. the junction of Market Street and Skimped Lane
                       3. the junction of High Street and The Ring
                       4. the south end of Market Street
                       5. the junction of Station Road and The Ring


11.119 Mobility-impaired - The TA specifies some important needs of the mobility impaired
         as being related to transport. These are:


             •     Accessibility to the town centre
             •     Conveniently located parking spaces
             •     Shopmobility
             •     Wheelchair friendly access/gradients
             •     Tactile/audible facilities at controlled crossing points


         No detail on Shopmobility is specified in the TA although it is understood the location
         of the Shopmobility centre is proposed to be immediately west of the Met Office
         roundabout. The application provides limited information on the gradients likely to be
         experienced by pedestrians, but acknowledges that it is important to ensure
         accessibility for the mobility impaired.


         The TA assesses the number of disabled spaces as a percentage of the overall provision
         that would be required within the overall standards; this gives 492 disabled spaces in
         the public car park and a provision of 98 disabled spaces in private car parks. The TA
         also discusses on-street parking which adheres to the principles of the parking strategy
         for the town which encourages the use of off-street parking. Therefore there are few
         opportunities for on-street parking within the proposals for any visitors to the town
         centre.


         However, the application does not discuss the issue of provision for over-height vehicle
         parking likely to be required to meet the needs of the mobility impaired.


11.120 The TA summarises the current position where operators of Community Transport
         offer flexible routes, with members booking a time and a place for pick up and drop




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         off, or a semi scheduled service, leaving at a designated time each day/week although
         they may divert off the route to pick up passengers on the way.


         The Transport Assessment proposes a circular route with vehicles using the town
         centre with clearly identified and dedicated drop off and pick up points. These points
         are at the bus station, on the retained southern section of The Ring, and at the
         Shopmobility facility at the eastern end of the Eye. It is also specified that other
         locations may be brought forward as the detail of building locations and accesses are
         fixed later in the design process.


11.121 Travel Planning - The TA identifies the scope and nature of generic travel plans. It
         sets out what might be included within a travel plan from a best practice perspective. It
         indicates how the other strategies might contribute towards the travel plan.


11.122 Construction Impacts - There is limited analysis of the transport impacts in terms of
         vehicle movements, developed by the applicant’s construction partner. This indicated
         peak construction flows of 330 movements per day of which 30-35% would be HGV.


         Provisional phasing of the construction of the buildings and transport infrastructure are
         provided which demonstrate how traffic movement and accessibility will be maintained
         throughout the proposed five year construction period. The application does not bind
         the applicant to this phasing, but a separate approval process involving the Traffic
         Manager will also be required prior to commencement.


11.123 Modifications to the Public Highway - In the implementation of the regeneration
         scheme the applicant intends to progress with the permanent stopping up of some
         public highways or the diversion of the public highway to facilitate the development.


         Within the indicative plans so far provided the following closures or diversions have
         been notified:


         1. Removal of the northern part of The Ring from its junction with Bond Way to its
             junction with Weather Way. The land is shown built over by the Eye.
         2. Closure of Broadway as a public highway or as a public right of way. The land is
             shown built over by the Eye. A pedestrian route through the Eye will be available.




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         3. Closure of Crossway. The existing alignment is shown built over by elements of
             the development. An alternative alignment would be provided.
         4. Elements of Charles Square are shown stopped up and built over. Other land
             would be dedicated as public highway in compensation.
         5. Part of the Town Square between Broadway and The Ring
         6. Closure of Station Road from its southern end to its junction with The Ring. The
             land is shown converted to public realm use.
         7. Closure of the dual carriageway link from the Station Roundabout to the The Ring.
             The land is proposed to be built on to form part of the superstore.
         8. Closure of a rectangular parcel of land outside Bentalls (opposite McDonalds). See
             comments at paragraph 11.355(e).


11.124 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         The content of the Transport Assessment (TA) was subject to a Scoping Report by the
         applicant which sought to address the following requirements, in the light of the SPG:


         •   Analysis of the transport impacts of the development proposal at various stages of
             implementation
         •   Delivery mechanisms and phasing arrangements for improvements to transport
         •   Accessibility – Based on the use of in-house MVA software, such as ACCMAP
             (Note : MVA are consultants acting for BRP and their software produces
             accessibility maps and strategy)
         •   How much development is likely to occur by given dates and identify which
             aspects of the overall ’transport package’ need to be in place to support this level of
             development
         •   Phasing of provision of supporting transport measures will be related to individual
             elements of the development. The identification of development thresholds that
             will trigger a requirement for specific transport measures to be in place
         •   The travel impact of construction traffic assessed for each phase of construction
         •   The approach to securing bus services into the future is an important consideration.
             Partnership involving the various stakeholders will be desirable if the
             improvements are to be delivered to the appropriate quality at the appropriate time.




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         •   The link between the number of public parking spaces available, the level of
             charges and development viability. In accordance with SPG, consideration is given
             to a link between car park income and public transport support
         •   Assessment of the dynamic capacity of all major car parks to ensure ease of
             movement into, within and out of parking facilities during peak periods and in the
             event of an emergency
         •   The options for management of systems (CCTV and VMS) and possibilities for
             integration with the town centre CCTV system
         •   Opportunities for Travel Plans in Bracknell and highlighting the land uses with the
             most potential. Some guidance on the content of Travel Plans and how they might
             contribute towards encouraging sustainable travel and improving mode share away
             from the private car.


11.125 The Environmental Statement made the following findings relevant to transport:


         a) The comprehensive redevelopment of the town centre will inevitably have many
             impacts (some negative, most positive) and a full environmental assessment of the
             scheme proposals has been undertaken, including a transport assessment examining
             various movement issues inherent in the scheme.


         b) It is expected that the use of the town centre for shopping purposes will rise
             significantly as a result of the improved quality and quantity of the retail provision.
             When fully developed and occupied, the centre is envisaged to cater for around 10-
             11m visitors per annum. This compares with an estimated 3-4m visitors per annum
             currently.


         c) Although the scale of change is significant, it is important to recognise that the
             bulk of visitors will be drawn from its natural catchment area in and around
             Bracknell. These people are currently shopping in competing centres further a-field
             due to the failure of the town centre to attract them with its current retail provision.
             At present, only 25% of comparison retail expenditure from the Bracknell urban
             area is attracted to Bracknell town centre, but with the regeneration this is forecast
             to rise to 55%. Accordingly total travel demands across the area are likely to be
             reduced rather than increased, by the retail proposals.




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         d) Recognising the sensitivity of parking provision within the scheme, but mindful
             also of the need to create a commercially sustainable and successful town centre,
             BRP have adopted restrictive parking standards.


        e) The scheme provides 1 car parking space for 40 sq m of B1 Office. Bracknell
             Forest’s parking standard for B1 Office is 1 space per 25 sq m. The rate used for
             the scheme is nearly 40% lower than the current BFBC standard. A similarly
             restrictive approach has been adopted for residential parking. (0.9 spaces per
             dwelling)


11.126 The Environmental Statement includes a transport strategy for the proposals. The
        strategy draws on national, regional and local transport and land use planning policy.
        The aim of the regeneration is to create a town centre which is highly accessible for all
        users (including those with mobility impairment) and by all modes. The key points of
        the strategy are listed below:


             •    Concentrate development at key public transport nodes, in particular uses that
                  generate significant travel demands. In this instance, for example, by locating
                  this development within the town centre the scope for catering for a significant
                  proportion of demand by non-car means is greatly increased over alternative
                  out of town locations.


             •    Deliver a mix and density of land uses which supports high-quality public
                  transport services and reduces the need to travel. This is particularly relevant in
                  the context of the retail proposals which are specifically designed to re-
                  establish the town centre within its natural catchment, thereby reducing the
                  significant outflow of shopping activities to centres further a-field. As a result
                  travel distances for shopping trips will be greatly reduced.


             •    Create an environment in which walking and cycling play a significant role in
                  catering for movement to, from and within the town centre.


             •    Ensure that attractive alternatives to travel by private car are available and
                  accessible.




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             •    Use parking policies to assist in promoting sustainable travel choices.


11.127 (iv) Representations


         A list of those making representations on transport issues is included at Appendix 6 to
         this report. Six respondents have raised objections to the separation of bus and rail
         facilities.   This issue will be dealt with at paragraphs 11.194-196 below and at
         paragraphs     11.360-361    in   the    Built   Environment   sub-section,    and     other
         queries/comments answered in Appendix 6.


11.128 (v) Highways Analysis


11.129 Parking


11.130 Current Situation - The transport assessment reports that there are 3809 public parking
         spaces, although current sources indicate a maximum of 3838. The breakdown of
         public spaces is illustrated below.


          Name                             Type                            No. of spaces
          Albert Road                      Pay & Display                         220
          Old Manor- The Ring              Pay & Display                           20
          Behind Banks – The Ring Pay & Display                                    28
          (not included in BRP
          assessment)
          Easthampstead House     Pay & Display                                  110
          TOTAL PAY & DISPLAY                                                    378
          Charles Square                   Multi-storey                          760
          High Street                      Multi-storey                         1000
          Princess Square                  Multi-storey                          600
          TOTAL MULTI-STOREY                                                    2360
          Peel Centre                      Surface car park                      900
          Bracknell railway station        Station car park                      200
          TOTAL STATION                                                         1100
          GRAND TOTAL                                                           3838




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11.131 These parking spaces are operated with a number of different pricing regimes to cater
         for different users of the car parks. The long stay car parks, i.e. those for workers who
         wish to park all day are the multi-storey and Albert Road car parks, and the railway
         station for commuters, with the remainder operating a variety of limited short stay
         tariffs.


11.132 In addition it is estimated that there are 4798 spaces which are designated as Private
         Non-Residential (PNR) and which are associated with individual businesses in the
         town.


11.133 SPG/Policy Requirements - The SPG does not specify the level of parking to be
         provided but SPG notes that parking provision should encourage the sharing of spaces,
         thus minimising the overall parking provision.


         Relevant policies from the South East Plan include T6 (provision and pricing of car
         park spaces to favour non-car modes), T8 (use of maximum car parking standards and
         provision of cycle parking).


         The Berkshire Structure Plan seeks to assist a shift to non-car modes through policy T6
         (avoiding intensifying peripheral development and the setting of maximum car parking
         standards).


         The Bracknell Forest Borough Local Plan requires sufficient parking provision for
         vehicles and cycles through policy M9.


         LTP objectives of relevance include LTP2.2 and LTP2.3 associated with ensuring the
         travelling public are safe and that they perceive themselves to be safe.


11.134 Description - The proposal made in the TA Scoping Report is that PPG13 parking
         standards, or more stringent measures, will be applied to assess parking provision
         requirements. These are:




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             Land use                                    Standard (Maximum)
             A1 Food retail                              1 space per 14 m2
             A1 Non-food retail                          1 space per 25 m2
             Cinemas and conference facilities           1 space per 40 m2
             D2 (other than cinemas, conferences 1 space per 40 m2
             facilities and stadia)
             B1 including offices                        1 space per 40 m2
             Higher and further education                1 space per 2 staff + 1 space per 15
                                                         students
             Hotel                                       1 space per room
             Residential                                 0.9 spaces per unit on average – see
                                                         paragraph 11.137 below


11.135 The total level of parking proposed throughout the redevelopment is 7,131 public
         parking spaces, of which 3838 are existing.


11.136 It is proposed that the following elements of the development have all or part of the
         required parking provision as Private Non-Residential Parking, which effectively
         precludes the use by members of the public and multiple use between different land
         uses where traffic generations are significantly different:


         •      Food retail – 286 spaces for the new development in the south
         •      B1 office – 1692 spaces to be provided as dedicated spaces split between the
                various blocks
         •      Hotel – existing PNR is retained
         •      Civic land uses – all parking is PNR
         •      Dwellings – 917 spaces
         •      Health centre – 150 spaces


11.137 In general it is concluded that the proposals for parking are acceptable in terms of
         scale, standard and location.       It is important to note however that the proposed
         standards for parking provision should be adhered to, particularly in respect of
         residential provision.       This is because a higher standard would encourage car
         ownership and thereby have implications for residents’ accessibility to the SPA, with




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         consequent potential for an adverse impact greater than has been identified in the
         Appropriate Assessment, and for which mitigation has been agreed. The following
         general observations are made with regard to the parking proposals.


11.138 The applicant proposes to provide the new Millennium Way car park to a Park Mark
         standard with an adequate number of gates for entry and exit to provide for successful
         operation.


11.139 Provision of proposed parking for disabled users is not demonstrated to be as generous
         or greater than that required under the standards - DfT’s ‘Inclusive Mobility Report’
         (updated 2005), as referred to by PPG 13 and traffic advisory leaflet 5/95 which states:


         ‘For car parks associated with shopping areas, leisure or recreational facilities, and
         places open to the general public: A minimum of one space for each employee who is
         a disabled motorist, plus 6% of total capacity for visiting disabled motorists’


         In this case 6% of the 7200 car public parking spaces equates to 432, meaning that up
         to an additional 37 disabled parking spaces are required to bring the development up to
         national standards. This will be controlled through condition.


11.140 As submitted the application fails to address the need to improve existing car parks to
         enhance the perception of personal security by improving car users perceptions of their
         personal safety and that of their vehicles. However, the applicant has agreed to assist
         the Council in delivering the required improvements to the existing public parking
         stock within the town centre to the standards defined in the Park MarkTM Safer Parking
         Scheme as operated by the Association of Chief Police Officers.               This can be
         controlled through a Section 106 obligation.


11.141 The applicant has been advised of the need to make provision for parking within the
         town centre for over height vehicles such as community transport and this will be
         addressed in the detailed design. This can be controlled through condition.


11.142 The applicant has agreed to an outline of the process required to facilitate the co-
         ordination of all car park charges and operations across town centre car parks owned




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         and operated by the applicant and the Council. This can be controlled through a
         Section 106 obligation.


11.143 On-Site Highways


11.144 Current Situation - Congestion is experienced in the AM and PM peaks on all
         approaches to the town centre and on the A329 which passes to the south of the town.
         This is particularly notable at some of the major junctions such as Twin Bridges.
         Congestion impacts not only on car users but also on bus operations, with journey
         times by public transport being slower and less reliable when buses are caught in
         congestion.


11.145 The road network was built at a time when the separation of pedestrians and cars was
         considered to be an appropriate solution. This has resulted in a road system where
         vehicles travel unimpeded by pedestrian crossings and, during off-peak periods where
         congestion is less, this results in high vehicle speeds. Combined with the width of
         roads within the town centre and the lack of at-grade crossing opportunities, the roads
         within the town centre present a significant barrier which results in severance, i.e.
         pedestrians and cyclists experience a significant barrier to movement which may
         effectively preclude a journey being made. Areas where severance is particularly
         noticeable include:


         •   The Ring
         •   Millennium Way
         •   Church Road


11.146 SPG/Policy Requirements - The overall approach to be adopted revolves around:
         •   Reducing severance
         •   Simplifying the road network and enhancing information through VMS
         •   Providing an appropriate level of capacity and reallocating capacity as appropriate
             to the benefit of public transport




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11.147 The applicant is also aware that the phasing of the works needs to be undertaken from a
         transport perspective and ensure that congestion is minimised, appropriate capacity is
         available and maintained throughout the works.


11.148 The proposals must also mitigate the impacts of the additional traffic and achieve a “nil
         detriment” condition, i.e. the levels of queuing and delay experienced with the
         development and the highway improvements associated with it will be no more and no
         less than would have been experienced should the development not take place.


11.149 The relevant elements of national guidance, i.e. PPG13 is that new developments
         should help to create places that connect with each other sustainably, providing the
         right conditions to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport. People
         should come before traffic. The infrastructure should ensure that the mobile and those
         with impaired mobility are able to move freely and safely.


11.150 From the Regional Transport Strategy relevant policies are T1 (to promote investment
         which encourages the use of non-car modes), T4 (promoting improvements in safety
         and improving levels of access) and T5 (improving access to public transport and
         improving interchange).


11.151 The relevant policy from the Berkshire Structure Plan is policy T4 requiring developers
         to ensure that improvements mitigate any possible impacts on the transport network
         and that the developer should include the promotion of sustainable alternative modes of
         travel to the private car, and should take other steps, if required, to minimise the
         pressure on the transport network.


11.152 The relevant Local Plan policies include M1 and M4-9. Policy M1 requires that
         highway schemes and management measures give priority to the needs of pedestrians,
         cyclists and public transport, and they should improve safety, make best use of the road
         network and protect the environment. Policy M4 similarly provides that developments
         resulting in a material increase in the use of the highway will not be permitted unless
         Policy M1 is met and any other reasonably required highway works are undertaken.
         Policy M5 requires off-street servicing provision, and M6/7 respectively require that
         provision be made for cycling, walking and disabled persons. Policy M8 seeks to
         encourage development to facilitate and promote public transport. New development




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         should specifically improve links between transport modes, or provide bus priority
         measures, or provide safe and convenient access to a bus stop or railway station.


11.153 Severance issues are mainly dealt with through the provision of new at-grade
         pedestrian crossings and these are discussed in the pedestrian section of this report.


11.154 The simplification of the road network can be delivered through a number of
         mechanisms. Within the proposals submitted, the key aspects are delivered through
         removal of one-way systems, providing multiple accesses to the new town centre car
         parks, introducing VMS to assist drivers in determining which car park to go to. A
         new, alternative, exit from the High Street car park into Market Street is also to be
         provided.


11.155 The two key simplifications in the road network are the conversion of The Ring to two-
         way operation for all vehicles and the removal of the northern section of The Ring.


11.156 Operating The Ring as a two way road provides a number of benefits including easier
         and more direct access/egress to the High Street car park; more direct routing for buses
         and better and more direct servicing access to the western side of the town centre. The
         removal of the northern parts of The Ring reduces the amount of one-way system in the
         town centre which can tie vehicles into a fixed pattern of circulation and does not allow
         flexibility in how to access the northern parts of the town centre.


11.157 Access to the new car park located beneath the Eye will be via numerous accesses that
         will allow vehicles wishing to park close to the shopping area to choose from a number
         of entrances rather than concentrating all traffic on one access point.


11.158 In general it is concluded that the proposals for on-site highways are acceptable in
         terms of scale, standard and location and can be controlled through conditions or
         Section 106 obligations. The following detailed observations are made with regard to
         the proposals.




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11.159 Market Street Issues


11.160 The junction of Market Street and High Street is a fundamental link for cars, buses,
         pedestrians and cyclists. Buses approach from the south via Market Street and from
         the west via Skimpedhill Lane. The majority of buses will need to make the right turn
         manoeuvre from Market Street into the bus station on High Street.


11.161 An assessment of the turning manoeuvre required has indicated that the standard 12m
         long single deck bus operated around Bracknell can only make the turn on full lock
         and, as such, is likely to negotiate the turn at very slow speeds. In addition, the bus
         driver will then be concerned about pedestrians crossing the uncontrolled crossing at
         the western end of the High Street and of buses manoeuvring into and out of the bus
         bays. It is envisaged that this will have a detrimental impact on the capacity of the
         junction, which will also be carrying traffic servicing most of the frontage to Market
         Street.


11.162 The Market Street arm of the junction must also accommodate what are likely to be
         significant volumes of pedestrian and cycle movements between the Peel Centre and
         the new town centre, likely to place greater pressures on the crossing and further
         reducing the capacity of the junction as a whole. However, the applicant has indicated
         that a required pedestrian link between Princess Square and the Peel Centre via the
         High Street car park will be provided, and this is included in the draft Heads of Terms
         at Appendix 13.


11.163 The applicant and the Council have agreed that the design of this particular junction
         requires refinement to ensure that it meets the requirements of all users, although this
         may have a consequential impact upon blocks W7-10. Officers are confident that this
         can be achieved and this can be controlled through condition.


11.164 The Eye Car Park – Servicing and Access


11.165 The new car park beneath the Eye will be a major attractor of vehicles during the
         weekend period; the applicant indicates that it will have peak occupancy of up to 95%
         during the weekend and this results in peak flows into and out of the car park of 1089




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         vehicles per hour. As a result there is a risk that some queuing may result as vehicles
         seek to enter and leave the car park.


11.166 However, the car park access and egress ticketing machines can be designed to ensure
         that no queuing back onto the highway network occurs. Information provided by the
         applicant has demonstrated that sufficient gate capacity can be provided, although
         detailed designs and capacity assessments will only be available at the reserved matters
         stage. Ensuring sufficient capacity can be controlled through condition.


11.167 The Eye is serviced from an access road from the westbound carriageway of
         Millennium Way which also serves as one of the main accesses to the underground car
         park beneath the Eye.       The movements of goods vehicles, cars, pedestrians and
         cyclists, means that there is potential for significant conflict, resulting in possible safety
         problems and a loss in capacity. The design recommended by the applicant does not
         adequately address the safety issues, will be confusing to occasional users and creates
         an unwelcoming environment for vulnerable road users.              This can be controlled
         through condition.


11.168 Variable Message Signing (VMS)


11.169 The application indicates that VMS will be provided but no details are provided in
         terms of the type, nature and location of VMS, nor the associated communications and
         management infrastructure.       A specification has been developed by the Highway
         Authority and agreed by the applicant which sets out a preferred approach including
         location and type of signs (nine in total) providing information on parking and park and
         ride services within the town centre. Funding for VMS can be controlled through a
         Section 106 agreement.


11.170 Off-Site Highways


11.171 Current Situation - Outside of the application area most routes have significant
         congestion during the morning and evening peak periods. Significant problems already
         exist at most major junctions on the “A” road approaches to Bracknell, but most
         notably on the A322/A329 (M) corridor.




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11.172 SPG/Policy Requirements - There are no specific requirements within the SPG, other
         than that the proposals should enhance bus services.        As a general principle any
         mitigation should provide sufficient capacity to offset the residual impacts of the
         development, once any mode choice issues have been allowed for.


11.173 The relevant policy from the Regional Transport Strategy is policy T2, a policy focused
         on the strategic transport corridors within the region in order to assist in regional and
         inter-regional movement.


11.174 The Berkshire Structure Plan seeks to address Travel Impacts through policies T1 and
         T4. Policy T1 sets out to improve transport nodes and linking multi-modal spokes to
         concentrate development in major town centres and assist urban regeneration. T4
         requires developers to offset any adverse effects a development has on the transport
         network, minimising pressure on the network.


11.175 The Bracknell Local Plan relevant requirements are that highway schemes give priority
         to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, improve safety and make the
         best use of the road network and protect the environment (policy M1). Policy M4
         requires that developments resulting in a material increase in use of the highway will
         not be permitted unless Policy M1 is met and other reasonably required highway works
         are undertaken.


11.176 LTP objectives of relevance include LTP2.1 associated with reducing the number and
         severity of injuries sustained through accidents on the public highway. LTP4.4
         concerned with the resource and management of highway infrastructure maintenance
         so as to minimise adverse effects on travel and access. LTP4.5 aims to mitigate the
         effects of the division of communities by growth in road traffic.


11.177 Proposals - Off-site highway works to be funded by the applicant are proposed for the
         following junctions:


         •   Horse and Groom Roundabout -
         •   Sports Centre Roundabout
         •   Twin Bridges
         •   Doncastle Way Roundabout




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         •   Running Horse Roundabout
         •   John Nike Way Roundabout
         •   In addition, a bus priority lane is proposed along the north bound section of the
             A322 from the Horse and Groom roundabout


11.178 Similarly the remaining off-site highway works will be funded through obligations on
        the third party sites, these being:


        •    Coral Reef Roundabout
        •    Swinley Bottom Junction
        •    Maidenhead Road/Forest Road Junction
         •   Newell Green/Forest Road Junction
         •   London Road/Longhill Road Roundabout
         •   Peacock Farm Roundabout


11.179 In general it is concluded that the proposals for off-site highways are acceptable in
         terms of scale, standard and location. The following observations are made with regard
         to the proposals.


11.180 All of the highway improvements have been reviewed from a safety perspective. In a
         number of cases modified junction designs have been produced to address initial
         comments made as part of the review process.        The Highway Authority remains
         concerned in one regard concerning three junctions which will continue to operate as
         roundabouts, where widening of the highway has taken place to allow for additional
         highway capacity. Vehicle speeds continue to be a significant problem from a safety
         perspective in Bracknell and any modifications or new junctions must address the
         issues of safety through speed reduction wherever possible.


11.181 The specific concerns relate to the following junctions:


         •   Running Horse Roundabout
         •   London Road/Longhill Road
         •   Doncastle Way




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11.182 In these cases the applicant has proposed improvements but has not fully addressed
         design shortfalls in the submission to ensure that vehicles are forced to make sufficient
         change in direction on negotiating the junction to ensure that speeds are reduced to a
         safe level. These issues can be resolved at the detailed design stage within the highway
         boundary, and this can be controlled through a Section 106 obligation and the
         subsequent Section 278 Agreement under the Highways Act.


11.183 Public Transport


11.184 Current Situation - Public transport services for Bracknell are all centred on the bus
         station located immediately north of the railway station. Whilst the station allows for
         ready movement between bus and rail it is distant from the heart of the shopping area.
         Moreover, the station is not well appointed or laid out in a modern manner.


11.185 The services penetrate all of the residential areas surrounding Bracknell, although
         frequencies are limited as are operating hours.


11.186 SPG/Policy Requirements - The fundamentals of the SPG guidance are:


         •   Better frequency and quality of bus services
         •   Improved waiting facilities
         •   Services which penetrate and better service the town centre
         •   Improved information in the form of real time passenger information
         •   Bus priority measures as appropriate
         •   A high quality efficient bus facility in the heart of the town centre
         •   A public transport interchange at the rail station


11.187 The applicant is also to identify a means of procuring and funding any such services
         that might be required.


11.188 Relevant policies from the Regional Transport Strategy include T3 (provision of
         innovative approaches to public transport in rural areas that reflect long-term social and
         economic characteristics of the region), T10 [i].better local bus services in partnership




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         with operators through Bus Quality Partnership and [v] increasing the opportunities
         between the network and all other modes of transport.


11.189 The Berkshire Structure Plan seeks to ensure that movement around urban areas is safe
         and pleasant through policy DP5 (Requires movement around and to the centre of town
         should be made easy by public transport).


11.190 The Bracknell Forest Borough Local Plan seeks to encourage development to facilitate
         and promote public transport through policy M8 (New development should specifically
         improve links between transport modes, or provide bus priority measures, or provide
         safe and convenient access to a bus stop or railway station). In addition policy E1
         seeks to improve public transport; and Proposals PE1(i) and (ii) both seek to ensure
         that the town centre is well served by public transport.


11.191 LTP objectives of relevance include LTP3.1 and LTP3.2 associated with promoting the
         development of a comprehensive and attractive transport system that serves and
         supports the vitality and viability of town and local community centres. LTP 4, which
         aims to promote accessibility to everyday facilities for all, especially those without a
         car. LTP5.4 and LTP5.5 which aim to improve access and co-ordination between
         public transport services.


11.192 Proposals - Frequency improvement and the average public transport journey times are
         greatly improved by an overall doubling of the service frequencies. Accessibility
         analysis demonstrates this clearly.


11.193 There is a general commitment to improving the quality of the bus fleet and improving
         the training of drivers to enhance the overall quality of the journey.


11.194 The proposals for the improved interchange and penetration are well catered for in the
         application by moving the bus station from its current location to a section of the High
         Street which is for bus and taxi access only. (see also paragraphs 11.360-361) The
         proposals are for a linear bus station on the northern side of the High Street with further
         coach and community transport provision on the eastern side of The Ring.                 The
         interchange at the rail station, the improved bus station facilities and the improved




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         accessibility to all parts of the town centre have been achieved within this OPA, and
         secured through condition and/or planning obligations.


11.195 Buses from the north and east will gain access to the town centre via The Ring from the
         Met Office roundabout and will benefit from a bus only link to turn westwards along
         The Ring prior to turning north on Market Street.


11.196 For buses using Market Street adjacent to the railway station bus lay-by’s are provided
         both eastbound and westbound services. A further bus lay-by is provided on the
         approach to the Market Street/Skimped Hill roundabout for buses turning west onto
         Skimped Hill, for inter-urban services.


11.197 A demand and cost model has been produced to assist in the assessment of the public
         transport provision and the likely funding gap. The funding gap would appear to be
         narrow once the initial “pump priming” of services has been completed and the
         development is fully operational.


11.198 There is an overall undertaking to provide a real time passenger information system,
         without providing detail. The Highway Authority has produced a specification for the
         Real Time Passenger Information System which has been agreed with the applicant.
         This can be controlled through a Section 106 obligation.


11.199 The provision of a bus station which also provides drop-off facilities for community
         transport and a taxi rank allowing direct wheelchair access from the kerb is a
         fundamental part of the new public transport offer. The bus station will provide a
         covered building with heating, a minimum of eight bays with covered shelters and
         seating, CCTV, real time passenger information systems, toilets and driver facilities.
         This can be controlled by planning obligation and condition.


11.200 In general it is concluded that the proposals for public transport are acceptable in terms
         of scale, standard and location. The following observations are made with regard to the
         proposals.


11.201 The proposals for bus service improvements will result in a significant enhancement to
         the level of accessibility to the town centre by public transport. The services are likely




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         to be run commercially and in this case the Council will have little control over the
         pattern of services provided.         Further discussions will need to be held with the
         applicant to determine whether there is an alternative approach (such as a Quality Bus
         Contract or allowing the applicant to procure the services directly) which might result
         in greater certainty of service delivery.


11.202 Park and Ride


11.203 Current Situation - As part of Bracknell’s LTP there is a commitment to providing park
         and ride services. The Peacock Farm Section 106 agreement provides that no more
         than 400 dwellings can be built on the site until the Council has been granted an option
         to acquire a site identified for the park and ride facility.


11.204 SPG/Policy Requirements - There is no requirement in the SPG but relevant policies
         from the Regional Transport Strategy include T1 (promote investment that achieves a
         rebalancing of the transport system in favour of non-car modes as a means of access to
         services and facilities), T5 (giving priority to measures that increase the level of public
         transport accessibility and develop high quality interchange facilities between all
         modes of transport) and T10 (fostering increased opportunities for interchange between
         the network and all other modes of transport).


11.205 The construction and operation of a Park and Ride will help meet Bracknell Forest’s
         LTP objective 3.4 to reduce delays associated with traffic congestion on the road
         network and improve the reliability of journey times.


11.206 Proposals - The provision of the physical infrastructure and the services is mentioned
         only in outline in the application.


11.207 Comments - The park and ride site and services will assist the delivery of a sustainable
         town centre redevelopment, providing drivers approaching along the A329 (M) with an
         opportunity to access the town centre by bus rather than car. The results of the
         Transport Assessment have included the benefits from the park and ride within their
         assessment, with 2% of trips (more than 400 trips per day) being made by this means.




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11.208 A specification has been developed by the Highway Authority and agreed by the
         applicant which sets out the requirements for the Park and Ride facility including the
         provision of Real Time Information for bus passengers for the service to the town
         centre. The applicant has agreed to make a substantial contribution towards the
         provision of a Park and Ride scheme and has agreed to incorporate the RTI provision
         within the overall RTI scheme.


11.209 Should the location of the park and ride site change, for whatever reason, the applicant
         is agreeable to making a contribution to the cost of a new site, subject to it fulfilling a
         broadly similar function. This can be controlled through a Section 106 agreement.


11.210 Cycling


11.211 Current Situation - The coverage of cycle routes in Bracknell is quite extensive at
         present. However severance issues still exist and parking opportunities in the town
         centre are limited.


11.212 SPG/Policy Requirements - The key aspects of the SPG are:


         •   Reducing severance and assisting in movement
         •   Retaining the cycle-free centre of the town
         •   Provide adequate, secure parking at major destinations
         •   Ensuring continuity of cycle routes for cross-town journeys


11.213 Improvements to the pedestrian network will help meet Bracknell Forest’s LTP
         objective 4.2 to ensure new development provides facilities easily accessible to
         pedestrians. In addition Bracknell Forest’s Local Plan policy M4 states that any new
         development that would result in increased use of the highway network would not be
         permitted unless schemes giving reasonable priority to cyclists are included.


11.214 It is recognised and agreed that cycle routes will not penetrate the pedestrian areas of
         the new town centre.




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11.215 Proposals - The proposals are extensive in their nature with new, dedicated cycle routes
         in most areas of the town centre. Cycle parking is also provided at a number of key
         destinations along the perimeter of the cycle-free zone.


11.216 In general it is concluded that the proposals for cycle provision are acceptable in terms
         of scale, standard and location. The following observations are made with regard to the
         proposals.


11.217 Comments - The comprehensive cycle route network relies in part on the use of
         existing underpasses, many of which are in need of refurbishment to improve lighting,
         cleanliness and the feeling of personal security. The applicant has agreed to fund
         works to improve the retained underpasses to an acceptable level.            This can be
         controlled through a Section 106 agreement.


11.218 The application provides indicative locations for cycle parking which are acceptable.
         Further information will need to be provided on the number and specification of the
         cycle parking spaces in the reserved matters application.       This can be controlled
         through condition.


11.219 Concerns exist regarding the shared cycle and pedestrian route on the footway on the
         south side of Skimpedhill Lane between Market Street and the access to the Peel
         Centre.      Consideration should be given to this in the re-design of the Market
         Street/High Street junction. This can be controlled through condition.


11.220 Walking


11.221 Current Situation - Provision for walking in Bracknell is currently good, but there are
         deficiencies in the quality of way marking and signage for pedestrians to specific
         locations within the town centre. Issues of personal security and safety in the subways
         have been raised as concerns. The linkage between pedestrian routes within the town
         could also be improved.


11.222 SPG/Policy Requirements - Relevant policy guidance in this area includes PPG13,
         RSS, RTS etc plus National Walking Strategy.




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11.223 The SPG recommends a best practice approach to the provision of high quality
         facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. Clearly signed, direct routes have been identified
         both into and through the town centre. Consideration should also be given to providing
         a way-finding system for people with visual impairment. New controlled crossing
         facilities are proposed for several key locations on the approaches to the town centre to
         assist pedestrians and cyclists to cross roads. Specific requirements of the SPG in
         terms of provision are:


         •   A strong north-south pedestrian link from Coopers Hill and the railway station area
             to the south, northwards through the town centre to Millennium Way and onwards
             to Garth Hill School to the north. This route passes through Jubilee Gardens,
             Charles Square, a new ‘street’ within the major new shopping area north of High
             Street to one of the proposed anchor stores on the new Broadway and on to a new
             crossing of Millennium Way.


         •   A re-aligned Broadway, which will act as an east-west pedestrian route linking the
             shopping and leisure ‘core’ with housing and business areas to the north, providing
             easy access to Skimped Hill, via the proposed bus ‘Super Stops’ close to the Red
             Lion public house


         •   High Street which will be the other main east-west route through the town centre
             for pedestrians.


         •   A route between Princess Square and The Point and Peel Centre to the west,
             through the existing High Street car park. This route would require demolition of
             part of the High Street car park, and would greatly improve pedestrian links
             between the Peel Centre and the heart of the town centre.


         •   Links between the town centre and surrounding areas. These include two new
             surface-level crossings of Millennium Way to the north. One crossing is proposed
             close to the Skimpedhill Lane area, linking to the residential area to the north, and
             another near the eastern end of the new Broadway. Other surface-level road
             crossings are proposed across Church Road from High Street to the existing
             Bracknell and Wokingham College site and another close to Jubilee Gardens.




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11.224 Improvements to the pedestrian network will help meet Bracknell Forest’s LTP
         objective 4.2 to ensure new development provides facilities easily accessible to
         pedestrians. In addition Bracknell Forest’s Local Plan policy M4 states that any new
         development that would result in increased use of the highway network would not be
         permitted unless schemes giving reasonable priority to pedestrians are included.


11.225 Proposals - The walking strategy is made up of a number of key features. These
         include:


         •   Town Centre Gateways – five new ‘at grade’ arrival points


         •   Enhanced footway links – are proposed along substantial lengths of the Town
             Centre roads


         •   Pedestrian crossings (formal and informal)


11.226 In general it is concluded that the proposals for pedestrians are acceptable in terms of
         scale, standard and location. The following observations are made with regard to the
         proposals.


11.227 Comments - The crossing from the Eye across Millennium Way was originally
         proposed as a staggered crossing by the applicant, which meant that crossing
         Millennium Way could result in three separate and consecutive crossing movements.
         The applicant has subsequently provided an alternative, ‘straight across’ pedestrian
         crossing rather than the staggered one currently proposed in the application. The
         design of the crossing will be determined at reserved matters stage as the wider issues
         of the arrangement of the whole car park access and servicing have yet to be agreed.
         This can be controlled through condition.


11.228 Fundamental to the delivery of a town centre which is accessible to all user groups is
         the minimal use of maximum gradients. All gradients should be kept as minimal as
         possible within the development proposals and every effort should be made to reduce
         gradients. Gradients will affect the accessibility of the town centre, particularly for
         older people and disabled people. This will in turn affect the attractiveness of the town




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         centre as a place to shop, work, live and play.        This can be controlled through
         condition.


11.229 Mobility-Impaired


11.230 Current Situation - The provision of facilities within the town centre for the mobility
         impaired include a Shopmobility scheme, disabled parking bays, community transport
         services and provision of ramps and drop kerbs. These are described briefly below:


11.231 Shopmobility - A Shopmobility scheme has already been developed in Bracknell town
         centre, which is located in Unit 2 Crossway to provide manual and motorised scooters
         for hire and use by people who have limited mobility when shopping.


11.232 The current scheme in operation has been running for over a year, and hires scooters
         and electric wheelchairs and equipment for use in the town centre only. Opportunities
         are being sought to expand the scheme to provide a wider range of services (equipment
         for use around the town centre and longer hire to take equipment on holiday). The
         scheme currently has 150 members, each paying a £15 registration fee, but schemes of
         a similar sort of size tend to grow at a rate of around 100 members per year. Bracknell
         Shopmobility works closely with Keep Mobile (Bracknell’s Dial-a-Ride scheme) to
         provide a door to door service to bring people into the town. The scheme also includes
         an occasional user element on a pay as you go basis for visitors who do not live in the
         town.


11.233 Bracknell Shopmobility is a stand alone charity. Initially, a combination of local
         authority funding and grant funding covered the capital costs for the first year.
         Additionally, a lottery grant is now assisting with funding the running costs for the next
         three years.


11.234 Parking bays are provided within the town for disabled users, but minimum standards
         set out in the new DfT guidance have not been applied to existing car parks.


11.235 A range of community transport services including voluntary car schemes are provided
         within Bracknell.




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11.236 These include a variety of community transport services currently offered by a range of
         providers, with the main ones having significant membership levels. These include
         Keep Mobile and other volunteer groups who provide services for the elderly.


11.237 SPG/Policy Requirements - The SPG requirements are that the provision of a new
         Shopmobility scheme be located in one of the central multi storey car parks to provide
         convenient access to the heart of the town centre. Access for community transport
         vehicles to the eventual Shopmobility location will be required.


11.238 The number of disabled parking bays in the town centre will be reviewed to be in line
         with the latest standards. Consideration should be given to providing a number of bays
         for taller, wheelchair accessible vehicles, which are often barred from parking where
         height restrictions are in place, in the new car parks.


11.239 The SPG requires a centrally located dedicated community transport drop off/pick up
         point close to the proposed Shopmobility scheme. Other set down/pick up points
         should be linked via a convenient circular route for community transport vehicles.


11.240 The SPG promotes ease of movement around the town centre for all people with
         mobility difficulties will be improved by ensuring that gradients are designed within
         acceptable limits. Tactile paving and audible signals will be installed along with extra
         lower floor buses, and improved disabled access to the down platform (Reading bound)
         at the railway station.


11.241 The inclusion of a Shopmobility scheme will help meet Bracknell Forest’s LTP
         objective 4.2 to ensure new developments provide facilities to ensure they are
         accessible to all, including people with disabilities.


11.242 Improvements to Community Transport will help meet Bracknell Forest’s LTP
         objective 4.3 to improve accessibility to public transport system by people with
         disabilities.


11.243 Proposals - The TA specifies some important needs of the mobility impaired as being
         related to transport. These are:




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         •   Accessibility to the town centre
         •   Conveniently located parking spaces
         •   Shopmobility
         •   Wheelchair friendly access/gradients
         •   Tactile/audible facilities at controlled crossing points


11.244 However, no detail on Shopmobility is specified in the TA. It is understood the
         location of the Shopmobility centre is proposed to be immediately west of the Met
         Office roundabout.      A draft specification has been developed by the Highway
         Authority which sets out the requirements for a Shopmobility facility within the town
         centre. Shopmobility facilities will be provided with adequate access and parking and
         servicing arrangements, once a location is confirmed. The developer is prepared to
         provide a building for the facility.


11.245 The TA assesses the number of disabled spaces as a percentage of the overall provision
         that would be required within the overall standards – this gives 432 disabled spaces in
         the public car park and a provision of 98 disabled spaces in private car parks.


11.246 The TA also discusses on-street parking which adheres to the principles of the parking
         strategy for the town which encourages the use of off-street parking. Therefore there
         are few opportunities for on-street parking within the proposals for any visitors, even
         disabled persons, to the town centre.


11.247 In terms of community transport the TA summarises the current position where
         operators offer flexible routes, with members booking a time and a place for pick up
         and drop off, or a semi scheduled service, leaving at a designated time each day/week
         although they may divert off the route to pick up passengers on the way.


11.248 The Transport Assessment proposes a circular route with vehicles using the town
         centre with clearly identified and dedicated drop off and pick up points. These points
         are at the bus station, on the retained southern section of The Ring, and at the
         Shopmobility facility at the eastern end of the Eye. It is also specified that other
         locations may be brought forward as the detail of building locations and accesses are
         fixed later in the design process.




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11.249 In general it is concluded that the proposals for the mobility impaired are acceptable in
         terms of scale, standard and location. The following observations are made with regard
         to the proposals.


11.250 Comments - The location for the Shopmobility centre proposed in the TA (at the
         western end of Weather Way) does not fully meet the requirements of the SPG and
         makes access difficult for a number of users. Discussions with the applicant have
         identified alternative locations and the final location and specification of the centre
         need to be agreed prior to approval of the detailed application. This can be controlled
         by obligation.


11.251 The location of the Shopmobility centre must be closely associated with appropriate car
         parking and access to the centre, the option for pick-up/drop off by private car or by
         community transport. Provision is also required for the parking of over-height vehicles
         at a convenient location as they will not be able to use the multi-storey car parks in the
         town centre. This can be controlled by condition.


11.252 Travel Planning


11.253 Current Situation - At present some travel planning requirements will be included
         within planning applications but there is no holistic approach to the management of
         demand and the means by which car park pricing and other instruments are used to
         control motorised traffic levels.


11.254 SPG/Policy Requirements - The Scoping Report for the TA identified that:


         •   The TA will assess the opportunities for Travel Plans in Bracknell and highlight
             the land uses with the most potential.
         •   It will also provide some guidance on the content of Travel Plans and how they
             might contribute towards encouraging sustainable travel and improving mode share
             away from the private car.
         •   It is likely that the TA will identify a Framework Travel Plan for the town.




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11.255 Policies T11 and 14 of the Regional Transport Plan and Berkshire Structure Plan policy
         all refer to the use and encouragement of develop travel plans to encourage more
         sustainable travel practices.


11.256 Travel Planning will also meet Bracknell Forest’s LTP objectives LTP 1.1 and 1.2 to
         reduce the use of motorised traffic so as to assist in progress towards local and national
         air quality objectives.


11.257 Proposals - The TA identifies the scope and nature of generic travel plans. It sets out
         what might be included within a travel plan from a best practice perspective. It
         indicates how other strategies might contribute towards the travel plan.


11.258 Comments - The TA does not provide sufficient information to fully understand how
         the travel plan might work, how tenants/other landowners will be encouraged to engage
         in the process or how the travel plan links, influences and interacts with the variety of
         strategies to be produced.      It does however undertake to deliver the modal shift
         required to make access to the town centre effective.


11.259 A draft specification has been developed by the Highway Authority which sets out the
         requirements for the travel plan. It is understood that the developer is prepared to enter
         into an agreement to submit a travel plan in accordance with the Travel Plan principles.


11.260 The Travel Plan will:-

         •     set an overall objective of reducing reliance on private cars and to encourage
               walking, cycling and the use of public transport by staff, employees, shoppers and
               visitors

         •     require the appointment of a Travel Plan Co-Coordinator to assist in the
               implementation and monitoring of the Travel Plan

         •     include measures relating to encouraging cycling, public car sharing and public
               transport

         •     provide for the developer to produce a Tenants Handbook containing relevant
               details of the approved Travel Plan

         •     provide for an annual assessment and review of the Travel Plan.




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11.261 The activities undertaken at a town centre level for the travel plan (rather than those
         actions funding discretely by individual companies or other bodies) will be funded
         through hypothecation of the car parking tariff. The development and implementation
         of a travel plan can be controlled by Section 106 agreement.


11.262 The overall approach and structure to the Travel Plan has been agreed in principle.


11.263 Construction Impacts


11.264 SPG/Policy Requirements - The requirements set out in these documents include:


                  •   Consideration of the impacts and mitigation of phasing and construction
                  •   The travel impact of construction traffic will be assessed for each phase of
                      construction


         No objectives listed in other policy documents are directly relevant to construction
         impacts.


11.265 Proposals - The majority of the highway works close to the town centre are
         programmed for the first year of construction. During this time there is little if any
         demolition and most properties will continue to be occupied. Bus and taxi services as
         well as the servicing of properties will need to continue. There is some limited analysis
         of the transport impacts in terms of vehicle movements, developed by the applicant’s
         construction partner. This indicated peak construction flows of 330 movements per
         day of which 30-35% would be HGV.


11.266 Initial phasing diagrams are provided which demonstrate the phases of traffic
         management and the traffic circulation flows.


11.267 The level of impact in terms of construction traffic appears to be limited at this time
         and is not an area for concern. However, careful consideration and planning will need
         to be exercised by the applicant and the Council’s Traffic Manager in developing an
         implementation plan which maintains access and circulation whilst minimising
         congestion throughout the implementation period. This can be controlled through
         condition.




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11.268 Modifications to the Public Highway


11.269 Current Situation - The footways and roads within the town centre are mostly
         designated as public highway and have rights of way for pedestrians and (for servicing
         purposes) some vehicles.     In this way pedestrians have an uninterrupted right of
         passage across, over and along this highway land, unrestricted by date or time.


11.270 SPG/Policy Requirements - Relevant planning issues include LTP policies 4.2 and 4.3
         requiring new developments to provide easy accesses to services and transport. The
         SPG specifically requires the provision of direct routes between key attractors and
         services.


11.271 Proposals - In the implementation of the regeneration scheme the applicant intends to
         progress with the permanent stopping up of some public highways or the diversion of
         the public highway to facilitate the development.


11.272 There are no definitive plans for the proposals at present and the applicant has declined
         to submit a final and definitive plan as this will follow and be the subject of separate
         consideration at a later date. A number of the modifications proposed are for the re-
         grading of the highway for engineering purposes and the replacement of subways with
         at-grade crossings; these are not commented on here.


11.273 Within the indicative plans so far provided the following closures or diversions have
         been notified:


         1. Removal of the northern part of The Ring from its junction with Bond Way to its
             junction with Weather Way. The land is built over by the Eye.
         2. Closure of Broadway as a public highway or as a public right of way. The land is
             built over by the Eye. A pedestrian route through the Eye will be available.
         3. Closure of Crossway. The existing alignment is built over by elements of the
             development. An alternative alignment will be provided.
         4. Elements of Charles Square are stopped up and built over. Other land is dedicated
             as public highway in compensation.
         5. Part of the Town Square between Broadway and The Ring




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         6. Closure of Station Road from its southern end to its junction with The Ring. The
             land is reallocated to public realm use.
         7. Closure of the dual carriageway link from the Station Roundabout to the The Ring.
             The land is proposed to be built on to form part of the superstore.
         8. Closure of a rectangular parcel of land outside Bentalls (opposite McDonalds). See
             comments at paragraph 11.355(e).


11.274 Comments - Of the above items the impact of the majority has been dealt with through
         the Transport Assessment and the Environmental Assessment. The traffic impacts of
         items 1, 6 and 7 have been shown to be mitigated through investment elsewhere in the
         transport system.


11.275 Items 4 and 5 are mitigated through the provision of alternative routes of a similar or
         improved standard along a similar or improved alignment.              These provisions are
         acceptable.


11.276 Items 2 and 3 provide the Highway Authority with concern. A fundamental aspect of
         the provisions within the Supplementary Planning Guidance is to create a highly
         legible town centre, where routes between key destinations are easy, accessible,
         convenient and readily identified.     The Highway Authority is concerned that the
         developer or future operators will seek to close the Eye outside of trading hours,
         resulting in a significant loss of accessibility/permeability through the town centre. In
         such circumstances it will not be possible for pedestrians to move either east-west or
         north-south through the Eye, effectively splitting the town centre in two. This will be
         extremely detrimental to the town centre in terms of accessibility.


11.277 Similarly for item 3 the removal of land/footways linking the rail station to the town
         centre was a concern, but the applicants have subsequently confirmed their intention to
         dedicate land as a right of way thereby securing the north-south access route into and
         through the town centre. This can be controlled by condition.


11.278 In the light of these concerns the applicant has agreed that there should be 24/7
         pedestrian access both north-south and east-west through The Eye. Your officers
         currently envisage that this will be secured by a “Walkways” Agreement under Section
         35 of the Highways Act 1980, though discussions are continuing as to the most




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         appropriate legal mechanism to secure 24/7 access. An Agreement under Section 35
         would mean that the ways would be dedicated as footpaths but subject to conditions
         and limitations specified in the Agreement.


11.279 The overall conclusion on highways issues is that, subject to the provisions of a Section
         106 Agreement and the conditions set out at the end of this report, the proposals are
         considered acceptable.


11.280 Housing


11.281 (i) Policy Issues


         A review of the principal objectives of PPG3 is included at paragraph 11.6, but it
         specifically requires local authorities to consider the housing requirements of the whole
         community and to provide wider opportunity and choice through a better mix in the
         size, type and location of housing. New developments must place the needs of people
         before ease of traffic movement, and a high standard of design is required in order to
         create attractive, high quality living environments in which people will choose to live.


         PPG3 also seeks to promote mixed and inclusive communities offering a choice of
         housing, tenure and lifestyle. The community’s need for a mix of housing types,
         including affordable housing, is a material consideration, and decisions about the
         amount and type of affordable housing on any particular site should reflect local need
         and site suitability, and be a matter for agreement between the parties.


11.282 RSS policies (H1, 2, 4 & 5) require provision of a minimum number of new dwellings
         per year in a range of types, sizes and tenures to plan for balanced communities. In the
         context of improving the quality of urban living, full use should be made of
         opportunities to increase housing in urban areas, with the objective of securing 60% of
         all new houses on previously developed sites.


11.283 The South-East Plan similarly provides for a prescribed level of annual housing
         provision across the region and reaffirms the focus on re-using urban land, particularly
         in mixed-use developments, but emphasising the need for infrastructure, services
         provision and accessibility. The policy requiring a range of housing types and sizes is




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         re-iterated, but a new policy on housing density and design is introduced seeking a high
         quality of design and higher densities, with a regional target of 40 dph across the Plan
         period. There is also a new policy specifically on affordable housing, with a regional
         target of 25% social rented accommodation and 10% other forms of affordable housing
         (H1-H6).


11.284 Structure Plan policies interpret, distribute and phase regional housing targets amongst
         the unitary authorities over the period 2001-2016. Locational, density and mix policies
         reflect the principles described above, but the scale of development is related to
         accessibility by public transport. Bracknell is considered a suitable location for major
         housing developments, and Policy H3(3) prescribes various criteria against which to
         assess applications.


11.285 The Local Plan chapter on housing explains how the Structure Plan allocations will be
         achieved, relying principally on the Staff College and Peacock Farm developments up
         to 2006. Policy H1 is generally permissive of new residential developments within the
         settlement boundaries if there are no environmental or highway problems, and policies
         H7, 8 and 14 require a mix of dwelling types, affordable and accessible housing.


11.286 A key principle of the Masterplan/SPG is to promote the town centre as a place to live,
         with a range of housing to create a mixed and sustainable community. Paragraphs
         5.2.6 to 5.2.9 suggest that there is demand for centrally located housing, and the
         Masterplan makes provision for over 950 homes distributed in several locations, all
         fully accessible and including family and affordable housing. (Approximately 300
         apartments are suggested in blocks at the east end of Broadway, 320 units above retail
         at the west end of Broadway and north of the High Street, about 150 units on the site of
         Winchester House and in new blocks adjoining Princess Square and opposite Time
         Square) The scale of new residential development will create an active and vibrant
         town centre and this is “a fundamental part of the Masterplan”.


11.287 (ii) The Residential Component


         The planning application proposes residential floorspace in the range 78,500 sqm-
         87,500 sqm (GEA) in total, and these figures include the demolition and reconstruction
         of existing residential floorspace. The following distribution is proposed:




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          Zone                  Minimum        Maximum       Note
          North-West PP3B       24,000         24,000        Located on Winchester House site
          North PP2B            14,000         23,000        Above south side of The Eye and
                                                             flanking North Gate
          East PP4B             0              0             -
          Central PP5B          5,700          5,700         Rebuilding Enid Wood House
          South PP7B            22,000         22,000        Site of Jubilee Gardens, land
                                                             flanking Church Road and Market
                                                             Street
          West PP6B             12,800         12,800        Sites on east side of Market Street
          TOTALS                78,500         87,500


         The locations of these residential elements are all known because the parameter plans
         include cross-hatching to indicate where residential uses are proposed. This is to
         ensure that the Environmental Statement can include an assessment, if necessary, of
         any impacts. The application is expressed in terms of floorspace only, but reference
         has been made in the applicant’s literature to the potential to provide 1,000 homes
         overall.


11.288 Reference to the Illustrative Composite Plan provides further information about the
         possible phasing of the residential development, as the site includes many different
         ownerships and timing constraints. In the initial phase, land owned by BRP and
         coloured yellow on the plan is termed BRP Development A. Residential floorspace
         amounting to 9,500 sqm could be developed, above the Eye and at the western end of
         Jubilee Gardens fronting Stanley Walk.        A further 200 units could be built at the
         southern end of the town centre as part of this phase, but the site is yet to be defined.
         Other land owned by BRP is coloured pink on the plan and this accounts for a
         maximum of 35,500 sqm of residential floorspace (including the 200 units referred to
         above). The timing of these elements of the scheme is subject to market conditions.
         The balance of the residential floorspace, 42,500 sqm, is proposed on ‘blue land’,
         owned by third parties, and includes Winchester House, Enid Wood House and land
         flanking Market Street. These elements could come forward at any time.




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11.289 No major changes have been made to this element of the scheme since submission in
         November 2004. However, Block N4.4 has been enlarged in plan and height to
         provide a greater opportunity for residential use in this area; and Blocks W4-W6 have
         been adjusted to afford greater separation at the rear, adjoining the High Street car
         park.   Blocks S6.1 and S6.2 (Jubilee Gardens site) have also been amended by
         reductions in height.


11.290 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         The ES does not specifically consider housing as an issue, but rather considers the
         potential environmental impacts upon existing residential properties arising from the
         development.        These matters will be considered in the sub-section on Natural
         Environment.


11.291 (iv) Representations


         Two representations have been received from third parties commenting:


         (a)      That the 3M building is to be converted into 400 luxury flats, but at least half
                  of these should be affordable dwellings.


         (b)      The overall level of housing should be increased.


         (c)      New buildings should be designed to be energy efficient.


         (d)      New tower blocks like Winchester House are a blight and should be avoided.


         (e)      All the new housing is in flatted form and will generate high levels of parking.
                  Council standards do not meet usage and so provision should reflect actual car
                  ownership.


         (f)      The plans make no mention of additional community facilities for those living
                  in the new development.




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11.292 (v) Planning Analysis


         Having earlier concluded that the proposals comply with the basic locational and
         sustainability principles set out in PPG3 and other development plan policies, it is
         helpful to point out at this stage that the encouragement given to new housing in town
         centres is prompted not only by the significant opportunities presented by such sites to
         provide large numbers of new dwellings, but also the desire to bring life and activity
         back into town centres, after years of decline. It now remains to comment upon other
         aspects of the scheme, and compliance with more detailed policy considerations.


11.293 Although the Council rely on approved developments elsewhere in the town to fulfil
         the housing targets set out in the now superseded Structure Plan and the Local Plan, the
         recently approved Berkshire Structure Plan rolls forward a new housing requirement
         for the period up to 2011. The housing proposed in this scheme will make a very
         substantial contribution to meeting the new target. There is also concern that the
         existing housing commitments have not come forward to-date, and so these proposals
         may help to compensate for late delivery.


11.294 A number of planning policies make reference to the objective to secure new housing
         development at a density of at least 30 dwellings per hectare and, in the case of town
         centre locations and sites with good access to public transport, to seek even greater
         intensity of development. (The South East Plan advocates a minimum density of 40
         dph). In this case however it is not practicable to determine a density for the site as a
         whole because of the mixed use nature of the scheme (residential uses on upper floors)
         and the large areas of the total site that would remain in their existing uses and other
         land taken up by roads and car parks, etc. In addition, assumptions would need to be
         made about average unit sizes, in order to convert floorspaces into dwelling numbers.
         These considerations would significantly skew any calculation, and produce an
         artificially low result. Therefore, it is more appropriate to gauge these proposals
         against the SPG objective to provide “over 950 homes” within the Masterplan area, and
         it is considered that this would be readily achieved. In policy terms it is considered
         that this will help create a better balance between jobs and workers, and also sustain the
         new town centre by providing more daytime and evening custom and activity. It is
         therefore welcomed.      Indeed, the applicant’s Regulation 19 submission in May




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         confirms that the amount of residential accommodation has been increased in
         comparison to the SPG figure, in “anticipation of demand”.


11.295 Regional and local policies also require that new developments, particularly of a larger
         scale, should include a range of dwelling types, tenures and sizes in order to better
         fulfil the needs of all sectors in the community and to provide a balanced community.
         (RSS, H4, SE Plan H6, BSP H6 and BFBLP H7). At this outline stage, it is clear that
         the proposals involve only flatted development and so the range of dwelling types will
         be quite limited. However, family sized houses are not entirely appropriate in a town
         centre location, and although the development would substantially increase the number
         of flats in the Wildridings and Central wards, it is likely that the Borough’s housing
         stock overall would be more balanced. It will be necessary to impose a planning
         condition to ensure that a range of different flat sizes are produced at detailed design
         stage, although this must be tempered by the need to limit the potential occupancy of
         the new flats, in terms of bedroom numbers, in order to avoid a greater impact upon the
         SPA than that for which mitigation has been agreed. The Council’s Housing Needs
         Survey states that the greatest demand is for 1 and 2 bed units, and a good number of
         these are likely to be provided in this scheme.


11.296 Development plan policies require affordable housing provision. (SE Plan H4, BSP H5
         and BFBLP H8). The Council’s SPG supplements policy H8 of the local plan (see
         paragraph 9.7) and the applicant’s have, following discussions, put forward revised
         proposals. In brief, the intention is that the affordable housing requirement attributable
         to the housing floorspace to be developed in the north zone would be brought forward
         first of all. Affordable units would be provided on two sites, namely in Blocks N3.2
         and N4.2 flanking the redeveloped Crossway above new shops in the Eye. The flats
         would be built at the same time as the Eye, and the draft Heads of Terms include a
         limitation upon the amount of retail floorspace that may be occupied for use before this
         affordable housing is made available.


         Further affordable housing would be developed on a site in the south zone, most likely
         the existing site of Jubilee Gardens. This would come forward as an unencumbered,
         cleared and serviced site before general market residential development is commenced
         in the South Zone. (with the exception of S6.2) Alternatively, retail development in
         excess of 500sqm in that zone would also trigger a requirement for a commensurate




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         amount of residential floorspace to be built, or at least a contract let for such
         development, no more than 3 years after the retail development. This, in turn, would
         then trigger affordable housing provision on the Jubilee Garden site.


         The proposals will deliver a sustainable mix of affordable rented and low cost home
         ownership units to meet a range of needs. The applicants are working with a registered
         social landlord, William Sutton Housing Association, and the proposals are considered
         broadly acceptable by Planning and Housing Officers within the Council.                 The
         provision of affordable housing will be secured via a Section 106 Agreement, and
         further comment on this issue is set out in Section 13 below, and in Appendix 13. The
         developers of other third party sites in the town centre where a residential component is
         proposed would be required to provide an element of affordable housing.


11.297 In more general terms PPG3 and planning policies seek to achieve a high standard of
         design for new development, the use of sustainable construction methods, and energy
         efficiency. The consultation response from SEEDA recommends, in the latter respect,
         that the new housing should achieve the ‘very good’ rating as set out in BREEAM/Eco-
         homes Standards, and SEERA consider that the ‘excellent’ rating should be achievable.
         Policies also require that a proportion of new housing should be fully accessible to
         wheelchair users. All of these considerations can be secured by planning conditions,
         and this will include provision in the affordable housing elements.


11.298 With regard to the remaining representations in paragraph 11.291, the application does
         not propose the conversion of the 3M building into 400 luxury flats. The residential
         floorspace proposed for the Winchester House site is 24,000 sqm, but no assumptions
         have been made about unit sizes or the number of units.             The requirement for
         affordable housing on the Winchester House site would be based on the Council’s
         SPG, and this does not seek provision at a rate of 50%. It is commented that new
         blocks like Winchester House are a blight that should be avoided. Clearly, this is a
         matter of subjective judgement, but in its existing condition the building is rather
         unattractive to say the least. However, the plans and elevations accompanying the
         recently expired permission to redevelop Winchester House show that it is possible to
         create a landmark building on the site, and the existence of the permission is, in itself,
         an important material consideration in the determination of future proposals.
         Additionally, of course, an important objective of planning policy is to secure high




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         density developments in accessible town centre locations. Higher buildings are one
         way of securing this aim.


         The suggestion is made that the overall level of housing should be increased, and in
         this regard it has to be pointed out that the number of units anticipated is already likely
         to be higher than that specified in the SPG, if the development is fully built out. Whilst
         a higher number of units might still be achievable through detailed design, all of the
         housing sites are constrained by design considerations that will place limits on the bulk
         and mass of new buildings.


         The comment about car parking provision reflecting car ownership is totally and
         directly contrary to current planning/transportation policy objectives.          In highly
         accessible locations the intention is to significantly reduce car parking provision as
         services, facilities and amenities are close at hand, and public transport is available for
         longer journeys. If parking provision is increased to match car ownership, there would
         be no incentive to choose alternative means of transport, and new developments would
         not be sustainable.


         The final comment concerns community facilities.             Where necessary, Council
         departments have notified the local planning authority of their infrastructure
         requirements, and these can be secured through Section 106 obligations. Contributions
         and obligations for improved education, youth, library and recreational facilities are
         being sought to ensure community facilities are provided to meet the demand arising
         from the new development. In particular, whilst the projected primary school age child
         yield from the development can be accommodated in existing schools, the secondary
         student yield cannot. Therefore the Council is seeking contributions to improve local
         secondary school places.


11.299 Employment


11.300 (i) Policy Issues


         Although published in 1992, advice in PPG4 remains extant.              A key aim is to
         encourage continued economic development in a way that is compatible with
         environmental objectives, and local authorities should ensure that suitable land is




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         available and identified in development plans for major commercial and wealth
         creating development. Development plan policies must take account of the locational
         needs of businesses, and at the same time encourage development in accessible,
         sustainable locations, and discourage development where it would add to congestion.
         Emphasis is also placed upon the opportunities to create employment generating
         developments near to where people live in order to minimise journeys to work, and to
         make optimum use of existing sites in urban areas. In regional policies, business users
         are encouraged to adopt the principles of sustainable development, (RSS RE4) and in
         the South East Plan more intensive use of existing, accessible, urban land is
         encouraged, especially through mixed use development. Consideration must be given,
         however, to the local economy and available workforce.


11.301 In the Structure Plan the town centre of Bracknell is identified as a suitable location for
         major office development provided that mitigation measures commensurate with its
         impact on demands for housing, labour and skills is included and travel impacts are
         overcome. (BSP E1 and E2). Policy E3 requires provision of a range of unit sizes for
         small and medium sized enterprises, and flexible accommodation should be available
         to support the local economy and maintain diversity. The local plan includes a similar
         policy (E4 – Small Businesses).


11.302 The SPG (paragraph 9.2) seeks provision of new business space, including premises
         suitable for existing business occupiers. Approximately 86,950 sq m of replacement
         and additional floorspace is suggested, primarily in the Skimpedhill Lane area.


11.303 (ii) The Business Component


         New business space is proposed in the north-west and west development zones (PP3B
         and 6B) amounting to 35-50,000 sq m and 12,675 sq m respectively. The majority of
         the new space is shown on the Illustrative Composite Plan on the Imation House site,
         with additional provision on the Health Centre site. Along Market Street, new and
         replacement provision is shown on four sites.


11.304 Amendments to the business space shown on the parameter plans were submitted in
         March and May in response to concerns raised by Planning Officers about the scale and
         mass of employment buildings proposed. On the Imation House site the building




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         height was amended to provide for a stepping down in height from east to west. For
         the health centre site a wider gap was provided at the rear to lessen the wind tunnel
         effect in relation to Winchester House. The footprint of the new block on the Amber
         House site has been amended to a ‘T’ shape in order to lessen its impact on the new
         Legion Square, and the three blocks on the opposite side of Market Street have also
         been amended to pull them further away from the west elevation of High Street car
         park.


11.305 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         The ES reviews the potential socio-economic impacts of the development by reference
         to employment, community facilities and housing (a separate review of retail impact
         was also carried out). The economic and demographic profile of the Borough is
         reviewed in the context of regional and national trends in order to establish a baseline
         against which to measure the proposed effects of the development. The principal
         findings are as follows:


         (i)      Approximately 741 full-time equivalent jobs are likely to be created either
                  directly or indirectly from the construction phase of the development. It is
                  expected that no more than 20% of the workforce would be recruited locally,
                  and a further 20% from adjoining boroughs.


         (ii)     Upon completion, it is estimated that between 3,968 and 4,961 new jobs would
                  be created in office, retail and service sectors (in comparison to the current
                  employment level in Bracknell town centre of 8,400 jobs) depending upon the
                  amount of floorspace built out. Of these, between 2,046 and 2,566 jobs would
                  be expected to be located in the Borough, with the remainder in surrounding
                  boroughs and beyond. This is a significant increase and there is some concern
                  whether there is sufficient latent provision to fill these positions, given the
                  prevailing economic profile of the population.


         (iii)    The development would enhance the image of the local economy attracting
                  inward investment, and improve the quality of life in the Borough by
                  improving the built environment, housing opportunities and leisure facilities.
                  Local household incomes can also be expected to grow leading to a greater




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                  propensity to spend more locally, and in turn this would reverse the decline in
                  the retail vitality and viability of Bracknell.


         (iv)     The likely retail impact of the re-development proposals would be acceptable,
                  and anticipated trade diversion would not affect the neighbouring town centres.


         (v)      During the construction phase the existing community would experience some
                  social impacts. Local facilities would be relocated causing some disruption to
                  users and town centre residents would experience some disturbance from
                  exposure to dust, noise and vibration. The temporary closure of routes to and
                  through the centre may result in loss of revenue to businesses if people are
                  deterred from visiting the centre, and some businesses (see further paragraph
                  11.307 below) would need to completely relocate elsewhere during the
                  redevelopment and may not return.


         (vi)     New housing development may result in 1,100 units (assuming 1 unit per 80 sq
                  m) creating an adult population of 1,800-2,000 people.          The anticipated
                  provision of 1 and 2 bed units would help address an aspect of property
                  shortage in the Borough, and create new homes close to jobs and transport.
                  The housing would meet some of the housing demand arising from job creation
                  in the town centre.


         (vii)    The projected child yield from the development can be accommodated by local
                  schools but, as part of the overall strategy to decrease barriers to employment,
                  the enabling of additional pre-school nursery places would make a positive
                  contribution to reducing disincentives to work. (see comments at paragraphs
                  11.298 and 11.312)


         (viii)   With regard to medical, community and religious facilities, the anticipated
                  requirement for one additional GP to serve the new population could be
                  accommodated in the rebuilt and enlarged health centre. The relocated and
                  enhanced civic/community facilities would create a distinct ‘municipal
                  quarter’, providing an improved service to users. Existing churches are to
                  remain undisturbed but it is proposed that the Langley Hall would be
                  redeveloped as a community facility (although it is not clear by whom).




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                  Changes to public open space and access routes throughout the town centre
                  would also be of general benefit.


11.306 Having identified the potential effects listed above, the ES goes on to propose
         mitigation measures that need to be taken into account in the determination of this
         application.


         (a)      Employment Strategy – arising from the shortage of labour and low
                  unemployment levels, a strategy would seek to ensure that labour market
                  distortions and inflows are managed. In addition, whilst the new housing
                  proposed would mitigate some of the impact arising from increased
                  employment, there would be some residual off-site demand. A strategy could
                  also address training needs for the small proportion of unemployed in the
                  Borough.       For construction workers, consideration would be given to
                  workforce needs of other major projects in the south-east.


         (b)      Relocation Strategy – a number of businesses will suffer disruption and
                  dislocation.    A strategy is needed to address their trading and relocation
                  requirements to ensure a smooth transition.      (No relocation of residential
                  occupiers is anticipated).


11.307 The Regulation 19 submission incorporated a number of amendments to the Socio-
         Economic Impact chapter of the ES. These changes have been incorporated in the
         paragraphs above but, importantly, additional detail was also requested to deal with the
         issue of the relocation of existing businesses. The information provided indicates that
         104 existing businesses would need to be relocated, amounting to 28,155 sq m of
         floorspace and approximately 1,160 jobs. The report anticipates that there will be
         opportunities to re-accommodate a ‘fair proportion’ of displaced businesses, subject to
         various considerations by both parties, but in particular the Borough has a healthy
         supply of vacant office space at likely favourable rents.         In the interim, asset
         management initiatives in the existing estate are providing some opportunities ahead of
         commencement of the development for businesses to relocate.




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11.308 (iv) Representations


         The following comments have been received from respondents:


         (i)      The introduction of Class B1 uses along routes between the town centre and
                  the Peel Centre will not encourage integration.


         (ii)     What will happen to all the businesses displaced by demolition; where will
                  they be relocated.


         (iii)    The scheme does not allocate space for small businesses; if they are not able to
                  continue there will be a loss of livelihood and jobs.


         (iv)     In light of the uncertainties about future implementation, e.g. the office market,
                  there should be a ‘Plan B’ to ensure that empty sites do not blight the town.


11.309 (v) Planning Analysis


         Although employment will be generated by a range of uses in the redeveloped town
         centre, including shops, restaurants, leisure facilities, hotels, etc, the scope for job
         creation arises primarily from business space provision.             The SPG envisages
         demolition and replacement floorspace in the order of 43,526 sq m, with new provision
         amounting to 43,424 sq m (total 86,950 sq m) an increase of approximately 100%.
         This application proposes demolition and replacement amounting to 38,486 sq m, with
         new provision in the range of 9,189-24,189 sq m; an increase of between 24% and
         63%.


11.310 In their Regulation 19 submission the applicants explain that the reduced office
         floorspace arises from market conditions, and their view that car parking restrictions
         would not support the greater amount of business floorspace proposed in the SPG.
         Seemingly, market expectations continue to require high levels of car parking provision
         for office development, and that is wholly at odds with current planning policy. The
         fact remains, however, that office development in Bracknell town centre is consistent
         with regional and county policies because the location is accessible by means of




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         transport other than private cars, the use is incorporated within a mixed use scheme,
         and demolished employment floorspace is replaced.


11.311 The reduction of business space in comparison to the SPG is not considered to be a
         major problem, partly because it helps to create a better balance between jobs and
         workers. However, if there were to be further large reductions in office space, an
         imbalance of uses could occur, potentially diverting new office development to
         sequentially less suitable sites and resulting in a town centre unable to fulfil its role in
         employment terms. As submitted however, the proposals would generate a good
         number and mix of job opportunities, and this would help broaden the economic base
         of the Borough.


11.312 As highlighted in sub-section 11(iii) above, a significant number of new homes would
         be built, off-setting in part the demand arising from new employment. However, an
         imbalance would remain, requiring an in-migration of workers, and this is a concern
         because BSP Policy E2 requires that major employment development must mitigate
         any impacts on demands for housing, labour and skills. In this regard the Employment
         Strategy highlighted at paragraph 11.306(a) above is an important requirement to be
         secured by a Section 106 Agreement.           A local recruitment/employment training
         initiative by the applicants would commit them to participation in providing a tailored
         workforce and recruitment/training/employment opportunities for local residents. This
         would expand the size of the local labour force and help to ensure the success of the
         regeneration and a reduction in travel to work distances. In addition, the Council is also
         seeking contributions for the relocation and re-provision of the pre-school nursery
         facility currently operating in the centre to help deal with increased demand from new
         residents. This will also make a positive contribution to reducing disincentives to work
         by providing easily accessed services for parents returning to the local workforce.
         These initiatives will address the observations made by Surrey County Council in their
         consultation response. Policy E2 also seeks to ensure that travel impacts arising from
         the development are properly dealt with, and comment on this issue is given in the
         Transportation section.


11.313 BSP Policy E3 and BFBLP Policy E4 both seek to secure provision of flexible
         accommodation suitable for small and medium sized enterprises. In the event that




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         reserved matters applications are submitted for Class B1 development, these policy
         objectives can be secured by negotiation at that stage.


11.314 A number of responses from third parties concern the loss of existing trading premises,
         especially for small retailers and businesses and the lack of small units in the new
         scheme or any realistic prospects for relocation, with consequent loss of livelihoods
         and jobs. The figures given in paragraph 11.307 highlight the extent of the concern,
         and the need for a strategy. Whilst to some extent this is a matter for agreement
         between landlord and tenant, there are clear planning issues to be satisfied, and so it is
         considered proper that the matter be resolved through the submission of a relocation
         strategy. Whilst this is unlikely to secure replacement accommodation for all of the
         affected businesses, and particularly those in secondary retail and office premises, it
         will ensure that there is a mechanism in place through which relocation needs can be
         considered.


         Comment is also made about B1 uses along the route between the Peel Centre and the
         town centre.        Whilst it is fair to say that such uses do not generate significant
         pedestrian activity, the Illustrative Public Realm statement does indicate that active
         edges (and hence pedestrian flows) could be established along Market Street and
         around the new bus station. New uses would in themselves encourage people to use
         these routes thereby reinforcing the linkage to the Peel Centre.


         The final comment concerns the possibility of empty blighted sites despoiling the town
         centre. There are existing sites such as Winchester House and those along Market
         Street that do have a negative visual impact upon the town even though they are empty
         buildings rather than sites.      The likelihood is that these buildings would not be
         demolished until such time as permission has been granted for a replacement, and it is
         considered that the prospects of permission being granted would be enhanced when
         positive steps have been taken to regenerate other parts of the town centre. Through
         the comprehensive development of the applicants’ sites throughout the centre, an
         overall uplift is created which will incentivise other landowners to come forward with
         proposals which are consistent with the Masterplan. In this way, the application
         provides positive regeneration benefits for a comprehensive redevelopment of the town
         centre. (See also Section 12 below)




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11.315 Balance & Mix of Uses


11.316 (i) Policy Issues


         In the four preceding sub-sections the policy review has highlighted the importance
         attached at national, regional and local level to securing mixed-use developments, and
         so it is not necessary to rehearse those policy references again. However, attention is
         drawn to the Council’s SPG because the vision for the Masterplan is “to transform
         Bracknell town centre into a culturally self-confident centre that is mature, vibrant and
         truly mixed use”. This vision is translated into a number of Masterplan principles (see
         paragraph 9.2) which seek the retention, re-provision or introduction of a wide range of
         uses to create a town centre that is at once mature and vibrant. The SPG also promotes
         the idea of ‘character areas’, each with a mix of uses but having its own unique
         character.


11.317 Section 5 in the SPG describes the main land use elements as shopping, leisure,
         housing, business, hotel and civic/community facilities, and proposes floorspace
         figures for each. Section 7 suggests how the uses could be distributed around different
         character areas in the town centre, in the following terms:


         Charles Square/Broadway – will accommodate the majority of new retail
         development within the town centre, as well as a range of cafes, bars and restaurants.
         The Masterplan promotes truly mixed use development in this area – exclusively retail
         and leisure development is not appropriate. In order to introduce a vibrant and viable
         mix of uses, upper levels above the shopping floors will include at least two storeys of
         residential development, and some business space in certain locations. Small scale
         leisure uses (cafes and bars) will be clustered in key areas, particularly around Charles
         Square, ideally at ground floor level where they will help to animate the public space.


         Town Centre South – the area south of Charles Square will become a vibrant hub of
         activity based around new civic and retail development in a dramatic, iconic building, a
         possible new college building, large areas of open space and a new food superstore,
         together with business and residential development. The new civic/retail development
         will provide a focus in this area which will be complemented by a remodelled Princess
         Square entrance. As the southern part of the shopping and leisure ‘core’, the area will




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         be closely integrated with the railway station and bus facilities; the environment for
         pedestrians and cyclists will be greatly enhanced.


         Skimped Hill – the Masterplan proposes a major new town centre business ‘campus’
         in the Skimpedhill Lane area. This would comprise a range of highly distinctive office
         buildings, together with some residential development, within a high quality public
         realm setting. Buildings of the highest architectural quality would raise the quality of
         the north-western quadrant of the town centre, and transform the profile of the centre as
         a modern business location. The area would include a range of related uses, including
         some residential development, a high quality hotel and a range of small-scale retail and
         leisure facilities to meet the needs of local workers, residents and visitors.


         Market Street – the Masterplan builds on the existing commercial nature of the
         Market Street area by proposing new business space along Market Street. New
         business space will complement the provision at the Skimpedhill Lane area, and will
         provide premises suitable for existing businesses relocated from the town centre ‘core’.
         The Masterplan promotes Market Street as a mixed-use area, with residential
         development and some small-scale leisure uses at ground floor level. New and
         enhanced pedestrian and cycle links through the area will help to integrate The Point
         and The Peel Centre more closely into the town centre ‘core’.


11.318 (ii) The Proposal


         The land uses proposed in this application are listed in paragraph 2.2 and in Appendix
         2, together with floorspaces. Some of the land uses represent new provision whilst
         others, such as the Civic Offices, Library, British Legion, Police Station and
         Magistrates Court, comprise replacements of existing uses. There are also a number of
         buildings/uses that are retained in-situ:


         (i)      Class A1, A2 and A3 uses in Princess Square, along Stanley Walk and High
                  Street (including 3 public houses in listed buildings)


         (ii)     Residential accommodation (C3) at Ferriby Court and above shops
                  overlooking Charles Square




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         (iii)    Leisure (D2) and Class A3 uses at The Point


         (iv)     Class B1 uses fronting Market Street and Skimpedhill lane, Eagle House,
                  Oracle building and fronting the east side of The Ring


         (v)      Churches fronting Stanley Walk and Church Road


         (vi)     Telephone exchange


         (vii)    Car parking. (see paragraph 4.12 for details)


11.319 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         Apart from a description of the application proposals, the ES does not consider the
         issue of the balance and mix of uses.


11.320 (iv) Representations


         Three respondents raise the following points:


         (i)      The SPG indicated that The Point will be the main location for leisure use with
                  new facilities nearby and improved linkage to the High Street. The application
                  does not reflect this.


         (ii)     The applicants should be asked to submit an assessment demonstrating the
                  need for new leisure facilities on the scale proposed.


         (iii)    There is no provision for offices/meeting rooms for the voluntary groups in
                  Bracknell (conveniently located).


         (iv)     The proposals would result in one less pub than presently exists and there is no
                  explanation of BRP’s vision to transform Bracknell into a culturally self-
                  confident centre.




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11.321 (v) Planning Analysis


         The overall quantum of floorspace and its use is similar to that contained in the SPG
         but the main changes relate to increased provision of residential floorspace and reduced
         provision of Class B1 (office) floorspace. The application also makes provision for an
         additional 4,500 sq m of new Class D2 (leisure) floorspace, and an additional 6,000 sq
         m of floorspace in Class C1 (hotel) use. These changes, subject to the proviso’s set out
         in paragraph 11.311 above, are not considered to be detrimental to the achievement of a
         good balance and mix of uses.           However, as advice in PPS6 makes clear,
         diversification of uses should be encouraged in town centres, and various uses can
         complement retail activity, so adding to vitality and viability during the day and
         evening. These uses include leisure and entertainment, hotels, markets, restaurants and
         pubs, etc. Uses such as offices and flats can also increase activity, often outside normal
         retail trading hours. Thus, it is important to ensure that a balance and mix of uses is
         reflected in the development as it proceeds, and further comment on this issue is given
         in Section 13.


11.322 An important objective of the SPG is to create different character areas within the
         redeveloped town centre, along the lines described in paragraph 11.317 above. The
         way in which floorspace and land uses are distributed around the town centre is also,
         therefore, an important consideration. The planning application, like the SPG, divides
         the site into six zones, (see paragraphs 4.4 to 4.9) and these are broadly comparable to
         those in the SPG. There are differences in the amounts of new floorspace allocated to
         each zone; the north, east and central zones each have a slightly lower quantum of
         development than the SPG, and the south, west and north-west zones each have slightly
         more development. However, it should be borne in mind that the SPG is not intended
         to be prescriptive, and so it is not considered that these changes would have any
         significant effect. There are also some differences in the distribution of uses amongst
         the zones, notably the proposed Class B1 floorspace is now concentrated in the west
         and north-west zones, with only the replacement civic building retained in the south
         zone. It is anticipated that this change has been introduced to avoid the possibility of
         vacant sites or floorspace in the north and south zones, potentially undermining the
         vibrancy of these areas. Thus, whilst the absence of new B1 uses from these areas is
         not objectionable, it is possible that the regeneration of the west and north-west zones,
         where all the new B1 space is concentrated, may be delayed until other elements of the




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         new town centre have been completed, thereby encouraging interest in office
         developments. (A further commentary on the comprehensiveness and implementation
         of the scheme is set out in Section 12 below)


11.323 In other respects, it is considered that the objectives of the SPG are likely to be
         achieved (paragraph 11.317).     The redeveloped Broadway area will be the focus for
         new retail uses, but other uses in Class A, D2 and C3 are included. The area around
         Charles Square and the Eye itself can accommodate small cafes and bars to promote
         activity and interest. The southern area of the town is focussed, in the SPG, around a
         revitalised Jubilee Gardens, but the decision to retain the church has led to a re-
         planning of this area. The focus for this area will now be ‘New Jubilee Gardens’ on the
         site of the existing bus station, and this will include the suggested mix of uses and open
         space.   Skimpedhill Lane will become the ‘business’ quarter, but also including
         residential, hotel and leisure uses. An improved open space adjacent to the market is
         an important component of this area. Finally, Market Street will provide a mixture of
         uses, a new open space and links between the town centre and Peel Centre.


11.324 It is also inherent in the SPG that the public thoroughfares and spaces within the town
         centre will need to be vibrant and interesting, with provision for nodes of activity at
         key locations. To this end the applicants have provided a plan of existing and proposed
         active frontages (Illustrative Public Realm Statement – page 13) to show the expansion
         of such frontages around the town centre and the uses contained therein (A1-A5, D1,
         D2). The implementation of these arrangements will need to be secured by condition.


11.325 Finally, the proposals make provision for the relocation of existing uses, and
         particularly the Council offices, Library, Police Station, Magistrates Courts and British
         Legion, to sites on Market Street.      The successful relocation of these uses is an
         essential pre-requisite to the redevelopment of the Broadway area, and achievement of
         the north-south axis. There are other existing uses within the town centre that should
         also be relocated, for example Citizens Advice Bureau, Shopmobility and the nursery.
         The re-provision of these uses, which are complimentary to the town centre, are
         proposed to be secured by obligation.


11.326 A number of comments have been made by objectors and the following responses deal
         with the matters raised:




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         (i)      The Masterplan does not indicate that The Point ‘will be the main location for
                  leisure use’ in the redeveloped town centre. Paragraph 5.1.2 suggests a core
                  retail and leisure heart centred on Charles Square, and 5.2.5 indicates that
                  leisure uses will be located throughout the town centre but clustered in
                  particular areas, including The Point.


         (ii)     The Masterplan identifies a general lack of leisure facilities and, with the
                  exception of The Point, there is little attraction in the town centre after
                  shopping hours.      The plan therefore promotes new retail and leisure
                  development, the latter in the order of 11,000 sq m. There is no planning
                  requirement upon the applicants to demonstrate a need for this development.


         (iii)    Office/meeting room provision for voluntary groups is not a specific
                  requirement of the SPG. Whilst the outline application does not go into this
                  level of detail, it is possible that the new civic facility could include space for
                  community use, or at the re-developed Langley Hall.


         (iv)     The existing public house fronting the bus station may be demolished, but
                  replacement provision (A2 to A5) amounting to 14,710 sq m is proposed. This
                  would facilitate the development of several bars, cafes and restaurants.


11.327 Built Environment


11.328 (i) Policy Issues


         Planning policy at national, regional and local level encourages a high standard of
         design. PPS1 (paragraphs 33 to 39) sets out the government’s policy, which is to seek
         high quality and inclusive design for all development, including buildings and spaces,
         contributing positively to making places better for people. Design should create mixed
         and integrated developments which avoid segregation and have well planned spaces to
         ensure a place will function properly and add to the character and quality of an area.
         Design policies shall ensure that developments are sustainable, optimise site potential,
         create safe and accessible environments, address the needs of all in society, and are
         visually attractive.




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         PPS 6 emphasises, in relation to town centres, that high quality and inclusive design
         shall also protect the architectural and historic heritage of centres, provide a sense of
         place and a focus for the community and for civic activity, and ensure that town centres
         provide an attractive, accessible and safe environment for businesses, shoppers and
         residents. In ‘Planning for Town Centres: Guidance on Design and Implementation
         Tools’, which accompanies PPS6, there are six design principles set out for new
         development which should:


             •    Normally be orientated to front the street.
             •    Respect building lines and, where appropriate, build up to the edge of the
                  curtilage.
             •    Maximise the amount of active street frontage.
             •    Avoid designs which are inward looking and present blank frontages.
             •    Provide level access from the public realm; and
             •    In edge of centre locations provide good pedestrian access to the centre.


11.329 RSS policy Q2 seeks to achieve a significant improvement to the urban environment,
         and South East Plan policy CC8 requires that development be well designed and
         consistent with the principles of urban renaissance and sustainable development.
         Policy CC12 emphasises the need to take opportunities to create a high quality
         environment based on a shared vision that emphasises good design, innovation,
         sustainability and achieving a high quality of life.


11.330 At local level, Structure Plan policy DP5 provides for developments to achieve an
         attractive sense of place, and buildings are to be of good design and accessible to all
         members of the community. Local Plan policy EN20 requires the Council to have
         regard to seven criteria in considering new development:


             •    Sympathetic to character and appearance of local environment and appropriate
                  in scale, mass, design, materials, layout and siting.
             •    Retain beneficial landscape, ecological or archaeological features.
             •    Design should promote local character/identity.
             •    Provide adequate private space and visual amenity.




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               •   Provide appropriate layout and design features to improve personal and general
                   security.
               •   Avoid loss of important open areas.
               •   Not adversely affect amenity of adjoining properties.
               •   Not prejudice future development.


         Policies EN21 and EN22 additionally require development to have regard to public
         safety and crime prevention, and to provide access for people with disabilities. SPG
         requirements for the design of new buildings are set out at paragraph 9.2 above.


11.331 The importance of design issues in the new town centre is reflected in the Council’s
         decision to commission the preparation of design guidance. The Bracknell Town
         Centre Urban Design Framework and the Bracknell Town Centre Masterplan have
         been approved as SPG.


11.332 The Urban Design Framework suggests that the success of any town centre is based on
         the three A’s: amenity, access, and attraction. These themes provide clues as to why
         Bracknell town centre is declining.


         (a)       Amenity: The urban design and architecture of the 1950’s and 1960’s has
                   fallen out of favour and no longer holds an appeal for town centre users. The
                   environment of the town centre is one reason for its problems.


         (b)       Access: The town centre is very accessible, especially by car. This is a
                   strength. However it has poor pedestrian access.


         (c)       Attractions: The town centre lacks attractions. The range of shops is limited
                   and there are few other uses such as cafes, bars and leisure facilities to attract
                   people.


         The design framework states that:


         “These problems will not be overcome with minor improvements to the town centre.
         Radical change is necessary and this change could take a number of forms. A major
         shopping development would go a long way to addressing the town’s problems,




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         provided that care is taken to ensure that the whole town is improved. However, even
         if a major development does not take place, radical change is possible to overcome the
         constraints of Bracknell’s original structure”.


11.333 To a large extent the Urban Design Framework has now been superseded by the
         Bracknell Town Centre Masterplan which was adopted in 2002. A key regeneration
         objective of the Masterplan is to ensure that future development is of the highest
         quality and provides a distinctive character and sense of place, to transform the
         perception of the town centre. This objective is reflected in the Masterplan principles
         listed at paragraph 9.2 above. The Masterplan promotes the very highest standards of
         architectural design including the introduction of some tall buildings in appropriate
         locations.   At key ‘gateway’ locations to the town centre, landmark buildings of
         particularly high quality will be appropriate to preserve and enhance key views into
         and out of the central area. A more detailed framework for built form in different parts
         of the town centre is also set out.


11.334 (ii) The Proposal


         The application is described at paragraph 2.2 but, as it is in outline form only, all
         matters pertaining to the design and appearance of the development are reserved for
         later consideration. The applicant’s Illustrative Design Statement, however, sets out a
         series of urban design principles based on the SPG and the Urban Design Framework
         to guide the development, and analyses a number of variables, such as options for the
         bus station, open space and civic hub, to determine preferred locations. Elements of
         the scheme are reviewed by reference to the urban design objectives set out in ‘By
         Design – Urban Design in the planning system: towards better practice’. Finally the
         Design Statement provides an illustration of key elements of the OPA to show how a
         high quality development could be achieved.


11.335 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         Chapter 5 in the ES analyses Landscape, Townscape and Visual Impact. A baseline
         appraisal of the existing situation is carried out against which to consider the likely
         significant effects, and consequential need for mitigation and/or likely remaining
         residual effects. The sources of impact and, therefore, effect are listed as construction




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         activity, permanent features of the development and operational features. (The latter is
         not analysed in the ES). A separate analysis of impact on listed buildings is considered
         in the next sub-section.


11.336 The conclusions of the chapter are set out below, and it should be noted that the term
         ‘impact’ is used in the sense of the scale of change rather than inferring a value
         judgement as to whether the significance of change is adverse or beneficial.


         “The impact of the redevelopment on townscape would vary depending on the intensity
         of development activity. In the east development zone only a single relatively small
         building would be redeveloped. Thus the townscape impact would be low. However,
         in the north and south development zones much of the area would be totally changed,
         and the change in the townscape would therefore be substantial. Although the likely
         effects of the proposed development are significant, they do not require mitigation in
         most instances because they would benefit the existing baseline condition, through
         good design of public spaces and architecture which, as can be seen from Figure 5, has
         many townscape shortcomings.


         The views of the town centre from peripheral areas nearby and roads entering the site
         would change substantially. Major changes, both during construction and permanently,
         would occur to views from 3M Roundabout, Bull Lane, Fowlers Lane, Atrium Court
         underpass and Station Roundabout/Hazell Hill. The quality of what is seen would be
         improved, although for views from the north-east in particular the scale of the town
         centre would appear greater than is currently the case. Impacts on views from Met
         Office Roundabout would be moderate and effects on views from Bracknell and
         Wokingham College would be minor.


         Views from the surrounding area would change, where the town centre can be clearly
         seen. The impact on views from Bull Lane, Garth Hill and Hazell Hill would be major
         in terms of changing what is seen, although the quality of the view would benefit from
         the potential for improved built environment quality. The view from Cabbage Hill is
         defined by the Borough as an Area of Local Landscape Importance. The impact on the
         view of the town centre, which is already highly visible, would be moderate and, with
         appropriate architectural treatment, beneficial. The views from Bill Hill and Caesar’s
         Camp, to the south, would be changed to a minor degree and not at all, respectively.




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         These would represent the generally low degree of change to views from the
         surrounding countryside.


         Although the likely effects of the proposed development are significant, they do not
         require mitigation in most instances because they would benefit the existing baseline
         condition. Where mitigation is desirable, however, it would be provided as part of the
         proposed development.


         The visual amenity of people using the town centre would be subject to major change
         during construction and on completion of the development. The significance of this
         effect would be greatest on users of public space. The effect during construction would
         be adverse but also temporary as the town centre is transformed. On completion the
         long-term effect would be significant but beneficial, with new spaces such as the Eye
         and the New Jubilee Gardens contributing to a reinvigorated public realm.


         The effect on the visual amenity of people living in the areas or using roads and open
         space surrounding the town centre has been considered. It is concluded that the impact
         on the visual amenity of users of The Ring and other roads would be moderate or in
         some cases major, but not significant due to the low sensitivity to change of such users.
         The impact on the visual amenity of users of open space would be generally moderate
         and insignificant, except in the case of the Garth Hill playing fields where the impact
         would be potentially significant.


         The visual amenity of residents of houses around the town centre would be changed in
         a major way, due to the increased density and height of development in the town
         centre. This potentially significant effect would be to residents of Jubilee Court/Hazell
         Hill, Orchard Court/Mount Lane, Grange Road, Bull Lane, Albert Road/Daventry
         Court, Fowlers Lane/Binfield Road. The significance of the effect would depend on
         the perception by individuals of the quality of the change to the visual amenity in terms
         of architectural quality of the new town centre, which the proposals intend to improve
         substantially.”


11.337 Chapter 13 of the ES provides an analysis of microclimate and, with particular
         reference to this sub-section, details of daylight, sunlight and shadowing effects on
         various properties within and around the town centre. With regard to daylighting and




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         sunlighting, the BRE guidelines have been tested (assuming scenarios of maximum and
         minimum building envelopes and the illustrative scheme) for a number of houses to the
         north-west of the 3M roundabout and along the north side of Millenium Way. Testing
         has also been carried out on the north-facing windows of Ferriby Court. At a number
         of these properties the BRE minimum standards would not be fulfilled in relation to
         any of the three development scenarios, and some other properties would suffer a loss
         of daylight only if the maximum building envelope were constructed. Some properties
         would also experience loss of sunlight during winter months.


         The consideration of shadowing concluded that properties on Albert Road would not
         achieve BRE standards if the maximum or minimum schemes were developed.


         The ES also notes that second floor windows to flats above Charles Square would be
         affected by the erection of Block C4, assuming residential use is maintained. It is
         therefore proposed that the development in front of the windows would be cut back to
         allow light to the existing windows.


11.338 The ES proposes mitigation of the above mentioned effects by adjusting the massing of
         Block NW2, reducing its height or introducing gaps in the block.            In respect of
         daylighting to Ferriby Court, no mitigation is considered necessary. (see paragraphs
         11.345-347) A more detailed assessment of the impact of the development would be
         carried out at detailed design stage to ensure compliance with BRE standards.


11.339 The Regulation 19 submission, taking account of minor changes to the application, did
         not produce materially different results on sunlighting, daylighting or shadowing.


11.340 (iv) Representations


         A number of respondents express concern about urban design and building relationship
         issues, as set out below:


         (a)      The Eye is intended as a sunlit place with views out in all directions. This is
                  unlikely to be achieved.




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         (b)      New building heights on the south side of the High Street should be limited,
                  and shelter should be provided on Stanley Walk and Crossway.


         (c)      On behalf of St Joseph’s Church concern is expressed that ground floor uses on
                  adjoining development sites may not be residential and objection is raised if
                  increased noise/disturbance would result. The development proposed on block
                  S6.1 & 6.2 would be dominant and overbearing, and intrude upon the privacy
                  of the garden. A re-assessment of shadowing should also be carried out.


         (d)      The church also comment that new retail development on Stanley Walk should
                  have an acceptable relationship to the church; alterations to the steps/ramps
                  may be of concern and any replacement building on the British Legion site
                  should be no higher than existing, it should not overlook the gardens or result
                  in noise/disturbance.


11.341 (v) Planning Analysis


         The intention in this section is to consider the relationships between buildings, both
         new and existing, within the application site and around the periphery, and to review
         the urban design aspects of the application. This is to ensure that an acceptable
         environment is created or maintained for all new and existing users and occupiers of
         town centre properties.


         As a general observation, although it is considered that the development as proposed is
         to be supported, there are some concerns about the impact which the development
         would have in a number of specific areas if development blocks were constructed to the
         extent of the parameters proposed in the application. For that reason, a number of
         paragraphs in this sub-section conclude that conditions should be imposed which will
         or may entail a reduction in the scale of development in respect of which permission is
         sought. Although case law clearly establishes that planning permission may be granted
         for less than that which is sought by an application, a local planning authority cannot
         grant a permission which entails a substantial alteration to the development applied for.
         The essential test to be applied in determining whether there has been a substantial
         alteration is whether the development would be so changed that to grant permission
         would be to deprive those who should have been consulted the opportunity of proper




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         consultation. In this instance it is concluded that the effect of any constraints imposed
         by the relevant conditions would not constitute a significant alteration. Accordingly,
         planning permission may be issued subject to the proposed conditions.


11.342 Turning first of all to building relationships in the north-west zone, both the Health
         Centre and Winchester House are proposed for redevelopment, although none of the
         land is within the applicant’s ownership. The latter has recently expired planning
         permissions for extension and conversion to provide offices and flats, and for a
         redevelopment of same. The two sites are shown to be redeveloped on their existing
         footprints, although the health centre buildings could extend over the car park to the
         west. In terms of land uses, the parameter plans do not specify uses to individual
         blocks, but the ICP indicates that the indoor market would remain in its existing
         position, with a mixture of business and residential accommodation above. The health
         centre could also remain on its existing site, with enhanced facilities, possibly
         supplemented by business floorspace.


11.343 In considering the relationship between these blocks (and all others in this section of
         the report) it has to be borne in mind that development could, unless constrained by
         condition, occur to the very edge of each parameter area. The question to ask therefore
         is whether that would be acceptable in each case? In respect of the Health Centre and
         Winchester House sites the applicants have already amended the plans to widen the gap
         between these blocks to avoid a wind-tunnel effect, but there is concern that this is not
         sufficient (see paragraph 11.355b). A condition is therefore suggested to further limit
         the amount of development to the minimum floorspace and building height. Subject
         to this, the juxtaposition of built form is considered acceptable. In fact, the increased
         height of the health centre block is to be welcomed as it presently appears rather squat
         in relation to surrounding buildings. A building of greater mass on this site would also
         help frame the west side of Market Square.


11.344 Block NW2 is, it is understood, intended to be a new campus style office development.
         The applicants advise:


                  “It is more likely that office buildings on this site will not be one large
                  development block built out to the extent of the parameter block.             We
                  anticipate there will be three office buildings of circa 100,000 sq ft – 125,000




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                  sq ft at 4-6 storeys as shown on the illustrative plans in the November 2004
                  Design Statement. However, BRP need to secure an option to accommodate
                  larger floor plates should there be market demand”.


         Notwithstanding this statement, the Council is obliged to consider this element of the
         proposal in its submitted form, and consequently the possibility that the site could be
         developed to the maximum extent shown. This gives rise to three concerns:


         (a)      a building of the bulk, massing and height shown would be grossly out of scale
                  with its surroundings;


         (b)      a development of this scale may have clear implications for the amenities of
                  residential occupiers on the north side of Millenium Way and,


         (c)      insufficient space would remain around the perimeter of the site for
                  landscaping to soften the impact of what could be an iconic building at a
                  gateway to the town.


         It is therefore concluded that, whilst substantial development can be accommodated on
         this site, the building mass shown on PP3B should be further constrained by conditions
         as to its floorspace and height, to ensure that these concerns are overcome.


11.345 In the north zone there are no properties on the north side of Millenium Way that could
         be affected by the new development, but further comment is given below on urban
         design issues. On the southern side of this zone, the relationship between Block N3.1
         and Ferriby Court needs to be considered. The north facing windows of Ferriby Court
         (serving first floor living rooms and second floor bedrooms) look out across a service
         yard some 30-40 metres wide to the 2 storey rear elevation of shop units fronting the
         Broadway. In these proposals the service yard would remain in place, but the gap
         between Ferriby Court and the new buildings would be reduced to 20 metres. The new
         buildings would also have a maximum height of approximately 20m (equivalent to 6
         storeys). If the scheme is developed to the maximum envelope in this area, the ES
         predicts some loss of daylighting to north facing windows in Ferriby Court, as they
         would ‘just fail’ to achieve BRE standards. However, the impact is more severe at the




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         east end of Ferriby Court where the new retail and residential block N3.2 ‘wraps
         around’ the end elevation of the existing building.


11.346 The applicants contend that no mitigation is necessary in this instance because BRE
         standards, which are based on more suburban settings, should be flexibly interpreted,
         and a lower standard of daylighting could be expected in a higher density urban area.
         It is further suggested that the level of natural light in habitable rooms is also just one
         of many planning considerations, and lower levels can be justified as a trade-off against
         the benefits of a town centre location and serving the achievement of other planning
         objectives. However, whilst these points are noted, it is considered that the residential
         amenity of these properties should be maintained, and certainly not worsened by new
         adjoining development.


11.347 Overall it is concluded that whilst some relaxation of normal daylighting standards may
         be contemplated, a better relationship between Ferriby Court and Block N3.2 must be
         secured by a condition to adjust its footprint and height. This requirement will also
         help to alleviate concerns over the proximity of the new block to a listed building. (see
         paragraph 11.377)


11.348 Similar considerations apply in the case of Enid Wood House.                  Although this
         application proposes that a like for like redevelopment would take place, this may not
         occur, and so the relationship of EWH with Blocks N4.1 and N4.2 needs to be
         assessed. The applicants have not carried out a daylighting assessment for this part of
         the scheme, but a replacement residential block should be expected to achieve
         reasonable levels of daylighting. Given the orientation of EWH and the spacing and
         juxtaposition of the new blocks, it is likely that the results would be similar to those of
         Ferriby Court.


11.349 In the east zone there is no new development that gives rise to concern about building
         relationships. However, in the central zone the ES highlights the possibility that block
         C4 might be constructed in front of, and higher than, the existing second floor flats
         which have habitable room windows overlooking Charles Square. Plainly this would
         be an unreasonable imposition upon the occupiers of those units, and so a condition is
         proposed to limit the height of this block.




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11.350 In the south zone a considerable amount of new development is proposed, and the
         principal mass of new building (Blocks S5.1 to S5.5) comprises retail, hotel and
         residential uses. The detailed internal relationships between these blocks can only be
         evaluated at reserved matters stage, but it is clear that the new buildings would
         maintain adequate separation to other developments to the north (Block S6.1) and
         south-east. (FSS House site)


11.351 An assessment must also be made of the relationship between Blocks S6.1/S6.2 (on the
         site of the British Legion and Jubilee Gardens) and the existing presbytery adjoining St
         Joseph’s Church.       The house and its garden have a southerly aspect, enclosed by a
         boundary wall approximately 2.4m high. A line of conifers approximately 8m high
         screen the garden from the adjoining 2 storey British Legion building to the south-west,
         (effectively three storey’s in terms of overall height) with other deciduous tree and
         shrub planting along the south boundary. There is more evergreen planting on the
         eastern boundary, providing separation from the Oracle building.


11.352 Block S6.1 occupies much of the width and length of the Jubilee Gardens site and has
         an approximate maximum height of 33.5m. (relative to an existing spot level on the
         adjoining service road/taxi rank). According to Parameter Plan 7B it would comprise
         residential units, and potentially these would be affordable, as this site has been
         identified in the Heads of Terms for development by William Sutton Housing
         Association. (see paragraph 11.296) Block S6.2 occupies the British Legion site and
         would have a maximum height of approximately 34.5m, with the exception of the
         northern part adjoining the Presbytery garden which would be a maximum of 10.5m
         high. (relative to a spot level on Stanley Walk) It would provide retail and residential
         floorspace.


         These blocks would enclose the southern aspect of the house and garden, and whilst the
         existing, very tall, trees on the Jubilee Gardens site will, doubtless, shade the garden
         area to some extent, this would be a dappled light effect that would not compare with a
         solid structure.    If the block is constructed to its maximum parameter, the ES
         demonstrates that a large part of the garden would be shaded all day on the equinox,
         and the entire church site would be in permanent shade during the winter months.
         Whilst the internal layout of these two blocks is currently unknown, new habitable
         room windows in the north elevation of block S6.1 would overlook the garden at close




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         quarters, although window to window distances are adequate to maintain privacy
         within the respective buildings. New habitable room windows in the east elevation of
         Block S6.2 could result in some very oblique views across a small part of the garden.
         The effect of this development on the church presbytery would thus be potentially
         quite substantial, and so it needs to be controlled by conditions. It is recommended that
         these take the following form:


         a)       Constrain the height of Blocks S6.1 and S6.2 in order to ensure that the
                  Presbytery and its garden retain at least minimum BRE standards in respect of
                  daylight, sunlight and shadowing.


         b)       No habitable room windows in part of the north elevation of S6.1.


         c)       Retain garden trees at the rear of the British Legion..


         In this way it is considered that the amenity of the Presbytery and its gardens can be
         maintained.


11.353 Turning to the west zone, the applicants have amended the footprints of Blocks W3-
         W6 to achieve, in the case of W3, a better relationship with Legion Square and, in the
         case of W4-W6, greater separation to High Street car park, (in the event of there being
         habitable room windows on the upper floors and east elevation thereof) and so these
         blocks are considered acceptable, subject to a planning condition requiring the
         retention of an adequate gap between Blocks W4/5, which is part of the new pedestrian
         route from Princess Square to the Peel Centre. With regard to Block W1, (Police
         Station & Magistrates Courts) the site backs on to The Point which has a blank east
         elevation. Consequently the new building would have no adverse effects. However,
         agents acting for Thames Valley Police Force are maintaining an objection to the
         proposals on the grounds set out in Appendix 5; these are principally floorspace and
         access concerns. In planning terms the site is capable of accommodating the maximum
         floorspace proposed (3,000 sq m) and the access is acceptable. The adequacy of these
         aspects of the proposal for operational purposes is not strictly relevant, but of course
         the relocation of these facilities is essential, before work can commence on the Eye.




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11.354 With regard to the issues of urban design, an assessment of the proposals against the
         Masterplan and the UDF has also been undertaken, to establish whether the proposals
         respond to the Borough Council’s Masterplan and the urban design principles
         contained in the Urban Design Framework.           It is considered that the proposals
         submitted to the Borough Council accord with the principles of both the Masterplan
         and the Urban Design Framework and that the plans as submitted allow for the detailed
         elements to be drawn out at the reserved matters stage.


11.355 The Urban Design Officer has worked with the applicants in a number of areas where
         concern was initially expressed and these various points have been addressed in a
         number of different ways outlined below:


         a) Development Parameters - The parameter plan approach has created a number of
             design issues, due to the limited detail this provided at the outline stage. However,
             it is accepted that for a scheme this large and complex, this approach is necessary
             to provide flexibility for the applicant yet enough certainty to test through the ES.
             Particular issues were raised regarding the ability to assess the public realm to the
             frontage of key elevations such as Millennium Way, the proposed buildings
             creating the entrance point to the town from the south (S3, S4, S5.3 & S5.5) and
             the buildings along Market Street. Although this is still an issue, it has been agreed
             through discussions that this element can be satisfactorily addressed though the
             reduction of the maximum parameter extent by agreed distances (controlled by
             condition) to allow proper assessment of the full details at the reserved matters
             stage. (see also paragraph 11.402)


         b) Healthplex - This block (NW 4.1 and NW 4.2) is considered too large at its
             maximum parameter extent in terms of bulk and massing for this prominent
             location and in relationship with the other buildings and the proposed Market
             Square.     Therefore it has been decided that this parameter will be conditioned to
             the minimum height and floorspace parameter to reduce the scale and mass of this
             block and to enable proper assessment of the relationships this building will have at
             the reserved matters stage.


         c) Charles Square - Replacement retail units have been located in and around Charles
             Square. In particular there is concern about the location of new buildings in the




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             north east corner (Block N4.3) of the square. It is considered that this could restrict
             activity here and could make Charles Square more of a through route than a
             destination with areas for pavement cafes and similar uses. It is considered that
             this can be controlled by condition.


         d) East End of the Eye - A residential block is located at the eastern end of the Eye
             (N4.4). The maximum parameter line creates a narrow entrance point to the Eye
             and restricts views into the Eye from the eastern approach. The block needs to be
             cut back to open up this entrance. To enable a positive entrance at this key point
             into the Eye it is considered important to pare back this block. This will be
             covered by a planning obligation.


         e) Views at Western End of High Street - Alternative options are shown for opening
             up views through to the High Street at the western end by McDonalds (see page 8
             of Illustrative Public Realm Statement). These illustrations simply demonstrate the
             importance of removing the structural barriers to this view into the High Street at
             this point. Therefore it is desirable that improvements are secured as part of the
             overall outline permission for the Town Centre. This should be secured by way of
             an obligation.


         f) Public Realm - A detailed Public Realm Strategy is required to fully assess the
             impacts of the scheme and the siting of key public spaces and routes. It is vital that
             this is covered by way of a planning obligation to secure the production of a
             strategy at the reserved matters stage. From a design perspective this should cover
             the following elements:


                  details of environmental improvements across the whole of the town centre,
                  not just the development areas;


                  details as to how the pedestrian route through the High Street Car Park is to be
                  secured and designed;


                  details of the materials to be used in public spaces and routes across the centre;


                  details of each of the key public spaces;




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                  sunlight and daylight assessments of the key spaces in the centre;


                  details of how the potential conflict between vehicular and pedestrian
                  movement and safety and security can be addressed should also be provided
                  for the pedestrian route through the High Street Car Park; and route from the
                  Bull PH to The Eye.


              Further details in terms of design principles should be provided for;


                  treatment of the remaining parts of The Ring;


                  treatment of the existing route and gradients from the Manor PH to the eastern
                  end of the Eye;


                  details of a Public Art Strategy for the town centre;


             The above are design related issues, the Public Realm Strategy will also need cover
             issues of maintenance and landscaping. The Public Realm Strategy should be
             required as an obligation in the accompanying Section 106 agreement.


         g) Market Street Junction - The form of the junction at the top of Market Street
             remains ‘over–engineered’ and does not create a satisfactory solution for the route
             from The Point through to the town centre. It is suggested that this area is also
             treated as a public space and as such the details and quality of the space set out
             within the Public Realm Strategy.


         h) Relationship between Bus Station & Red Lion PH - Reference is made in the
             Design Statement to reducing traffic outside the Red Lion but this is not considered
             accurate in light of the bus stations’ re-location.      A sketch is shown in the
             Illustrative Public Realm Statement as a response to concerns expressed on this
             point, and further details of the relationship between the two structures will be
             provided at the reserved matters stage to resolve the issue.




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11.356 There are a number of areas where the outline proposal either varies from, or re-
         interprets the Masterplan. These issues tend to be related to the location of uses at
         different positions to those suggested in the SPG, and the following paragraphs
         consider the acceptability of these changes.


11.357 Civic Hub - The Masterplan intended that the Civic Hub building would be centrally
         positioned on the current site of St Josephs Church, providing a civic and cultural
         facility at the heart of the town. The outline proposal moves this facility to a site closer
         to Bracknell Station and closer to the existing Bracknell Forest Borough Council
         offices at Time Square. Although this does vary from the SPG, this is accepted as it is
         considered to be at the heart of a new key space in the south of the centre. It also
         enables the retention of St Josephs Church as a key use within the centre.


11.358 Residential Development - The Masterplan sought to disperse housing across the centre
         with a large proportion of the 821 proposed dwellings in the north of the centre,
         substantial stand alone blocks in the north-eastern corner of the Masterplan and a
         further large proportion of residential dwellings located above retail uses. The outline
         proposal intends to provide a variety of residential units across the centre but has
         removed the allocation of a stand alone block in the north eastern corner and has added
         a larger element of housing to the southern sector of the town centre. These changes
         have been made for reasons of viability and to achieve some segregation between uses
         enabling standalone blocks of residential development. Although these are not strictly
         planning considerations, it is accepted that the objective of increasing the number of
         residential units in the centre in a number of locations has been achieved and will
         provide diversity with regard to stand alone and over the shop uses.


11.359 Scale and Position of the Healthplex - The Masterplan locates the Healthplex in the
         Skimpedhill Lane Business Area next to a bus drop off area. The scale of this building
         is modest, fulfilling the needs of the PCT at the time the Masterplan was produced.
         The outline proposal looks to provide a substantially larger building on part of the area
         identified in the Masterplan as Market Square. This decision was to facilitate a new
         healthplex on its own site. The proposal also substantially increased the scale of this
         building with a much larger footprint. This is of concern to officers as this could have
         a detrimental effect on the Market Square and its environs. The way in which this will
         be dealt with is covered in paragraph 11.355(b). It is accepted that the approach




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         outlined is acceptable and responds to the needs of the PCT and the Borough Council’s
         desire to support a larger health facility serving the centre and the wider area. It would
         also overcome some of the issues relating to impacts on the public space in this area.


11.360 The Bus Station - A key issue concerns the location of the bus station within the re-
         developed town centre, and Proposal PE1ii provides as follows:


         “The site currently contains the Town’s Bus Station and is adjacent to Bracknell
         Railway station. The site is unique in being able to provide the opportunity for the
         establishment of a public transport interchange.         This should not be merely a
         replacement bus station but a wide – ranging facility embracing the adjacent railway
         station and providing pedestrian and cycleway links to the wider footpath and
         cycleway network. The Borough Council will expect this to be a key feature of any
         development proposal.”


         The town centre Masterplan was developed in the context of Proposals PE1i and PE1ii.
         This work further supplemented these two policies and explored the location of the Bus
         Station and the provision of a public transport interchange. The conclusion of the
         Masterplan was to locate the bus station at a more central location enabling penetration
         to the centre by public transport in two locations rather than focusing all public
         transport in one location to the south of the centre. However the Masterplan has always
         proposed a public transport interchange at the Station with the provision of a second
         major bus stop in this location with most services stopping here to maintain an
         interchange facility.


         This approach was tested at the consultation stage of the Masterplan and was accepted
         as the way forward. The Masterplan was never challenged upon this point and as such
         this approach is considered to respond to PE1(ii) in a positive way, taking the policy to
         a further level of deliverable detail. The applicant has provided an interchange facility
         at the station whereby cycling, pedestrian, bus, taxi and rail routes and facilities
         converge thereby satisfying Policy PE1(ii) and the Masterplan.


11.361 Thus, whilst the Masterplan identified a new bus station in the Skimped Hill Business
         Area, and this included drop off, waiting and pick-up areas, based on a loop, this has
         been replaced in the outline proposal by a full facility along the High Street. It is




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         accepted that this works from a technical point of view, and as such the variation to the
         Masterplan is considered acceptable, provided that a high quality facility is provided.


11.362 Covered Streets - The Masterplan sought to provide a variety of open and covered
         streets within the centre. It identified a covered area in the northern part of the town
         centre (the Broadway area is proposed as a covered weather proof environment). The
         outline proposal seeks to cover a larger area of the centre by creating the Eye public
         space. At this stage the detail of this space is to be determined and it is not clear
         whether this will be a fully enclosed environment, but a condition is recommended to
         cover this. However, it is accepted that these issues can be dealt with at the reserved
         matters stage and the proportion of covered and open space across the centre is also
         considered acceptable. In addition, 24/7 access to this space must be secured for public
         benefit.     Officers consider that this should be achieved by way of a walkways
         agreement, to ensure that the Eye will be a truly public space through which people can
         move at all times of the day, but discussions are on-going to confirm a mechanism
         acceptable to both parties.


11.363 Compliance with Urban Design Framework - The Urban Design Framework was
         mostly superseded by the Town Centre Masterplan. Many of the areas where the
         guidance is still relevant relate to matters of detail not currently under consideration as
         part of this application. In all other respects it is considered that this application
         complies with this published guidance.


11.364 The following comments are made in response to the issues raised by third parties:


         (i)        It is not clear where the objector’s comment is derived from, but the internal
                    design of the shopping centre remains a matter for detailed discussion at
                    reserved matters stage. However, if buildings on either side of the Eye do rise
                    to their maximum height of 30m, it is unlikely that there would be much
                    penetration by sunlight, particularly during the winter months. However, there
                    is no planning requirement to achieve BRE standards, and similarly there is no
                    requirement for views into or out of the Eye. However, it is anticipated that
                    issues of views, long and short, and sunlight access will be dealt with at
                    reserved matters stage.




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         (ii)     With the exception of Block C2, no development is proposed on the south side
                  of High Street. The SPG calls for a mix of covered and uncovered streets in
                  the redeveloped town centre, and this would be achieved by the enclosure of
                  the Eye.


         (iii)    The Illustrative Composite Plan does not specifically allocate a Class D2 use to
                  Block S6.1, but such a use could be incompatible with existing adjoining
                  residential uses. A condition to prevent such use without the Council’s prior
                  permission is recommended.


         (iv)     It is not entirely clear what is meant by an ‘acceptable relationship’ between
                  the church and the new retail block S6.2,        but the new block would be
                  positioned to the south-east of the existing British Legion and the portion of
                  S6.2 immediately adjoining the church site would be of a similar height to the
                  British Legion building. Thus, whilst the British Legion currently obscures
                  views of the church when approaching from the south, the new block would be
                  set back, and so the church would be more prominent in the street scene. The
                  new block is shown to immediately abut the church site, where a number of
                  existing trees provide an effective screen between the Presbytery garden and
                  the British Legion building. It is considered that the trees should be retained in
                  the interests of maintaining privacy, and a condition is proposed. Any
                  alteration to the steps and ramps in front of the church would be subject to later
                  consideration. Further commentary on the relationship between the new
                  buildings and the Presbetery is set out at paragraphs 11.351-352 above.


11.365 Listed Buildings & Archeaology


11.366 (i) Policy Issues


         PPG15 was published in September 1994 and it is the principal source of government
         guidance on matters pertaining to listed buildings and conservation areas.             Local
         planning authorities are reminded of their statutory duty in considering applications
         relating to listed buildings to have special regard to the desirability of preserving the
         building or its setting, or any features of architectural or historic interest which it
         possesses. Listed buildings are an irreplaceable asset and so there is a general




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         presumption in favour of their preservation; and applicants must be able to justify their
         proposals in all cases having regard to:


         (a)      The importance of the building – its architectural and historic interest and
                  rarity.


         (b)      Its physical features (design, plan, materials, location, etc) which justify its
                  listing.


         (c)      The setting of the building and its contribution to the local scene.


         (d)      The extent to which the works proposed would bring substantial benefits for
                  the community, in particular by ‘contributing to the economic regeneration of
                  the area or the enhancement of its environment’.


         Local planning authorities are urged to ensure that specialist advice is brought to bear
         on listed building matters and, where new buildings are being proposed:


         “The design of new buildings intended to stand alongside historic buildings needs very
         careful consideration. In general it is better that old buildings are not set apart, but
         are woven into the fabric of the living and working community. This can be done,
         provided that the new buildings are carefully designed to respect their setting, follow
         fundamental architectural principles of scale, height, massing and alignment, and use
         appropriate materials. This does not mean that new buildings have to copy their older
         neighbours in detail: some of the most interesting streets in our towns and villages
         include a variety of building styles, materials, and forms of construction, of many
         different periods, but together forming a harmonious group”.


         The setting of a listed building is also important as it is often an essential part of the
         building’s character. The setting should not be interpreted too narrowly and, in an
         urban context, it may encompass a number of other properties. Where a listed building
         forms an important visual element in a street, it is likely that any development in that
         street could affect its setting.




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11.367 PPG16 (September 1994) provides advice on archaeology and planning, and paragraph
         6 advises:


         ‘Archaeological remains should be seen as a finite and non-renewable resource, in
         many cases highly fragile and vulnerable to damage and destruction. Appropriate
         management is therefore essential to ensure that they survive in good condition. In
         particular, care must be taken to ensure that archaeological remains are not needlessly
         or thoughtlessly destroyed. They can contain irreplaceable information about our past
         and the potential for an increase in future knowledge. They are part of our sense of
         national identity and are valuable both for their own sake and for their role in
         education, leisure and tourism.’


         The identification and, where necessary, preservation of archeaological remains is
         therefore an important material consideration in the determination of many planning
         applications, and much will depend upon the importance of the remains. The early
         consideration of this issue is of key importance, and so consultation and evaluation by
         developer and local planning authority is encouraged. If a site has archaeological
         remains or potential there are a range of options open to the local planning authority to
         ensure that the remains are preserved or recorded, and these may be secured by
         obligation or condition.


11.368 There are no policies in the RSS that relate to listed buildings, but Policy BE1 in the
         emerging South-East Plan promotes design solutions that build upon local character,
         including the sensitive re-use of redundant or under-used historic buildings. Policy
         BE7 encourages the conservation and enhancement of the historic environment, and
         particularly proposals that make sensitive use of historic assets through regeneration.


11.369 Structure Plan Policy EN4 seeks the conservation and, where appropriate, enhancement
         of historic features and their settings.       Local Plan Policy EN7 requires that
         consideration be given to the preservation of archaeological remains, and EN16
         precludes the demolition of listed buildings unless there are exceptional circumstances.
         Policy E1 seeks to ensure that the settings of listed buildings in the town centre are
         retained and enhanced (Proposal PE1(i) makes similar provision).




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11.370 (ii) The Proposals


         The OPA involves the retention of the five listed buildings within the site (and the
         listed milestone) and no alterations or changes of use thereto. The application for listed
         building consent described at paragraph 2.5 relates solely to the demolition of a short
         length of wall demarcating the curtilage of the Old Manor Public House.


11.371 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         As mentioned earlier, Chapter 5 dealing with Landscape, Townscape & Visual Impact
         includes an assessment of the impact of the proposals on the listed buildings. The
         assessment states that the visual impact on The Bull PH and Boots Opticians would be
         major in visual terms, with a moderate impact on The Red Lion PH, and a minor
         impact on Whynscar and The Old Manor.              Where there is a visual effect, it is
         suggested that this would be beneficial. The mitigation proposed by the ES is more
         fully set out in Chapter 12 – Archaeology & Built Heritage. It is recognised that the
         setting for each listed building is very much dominated by the surrounding 20th Century
         new town development with very little in the way of historic reference points. Where
         new development is proposed in proximity to the listed buildings, therefore, the
         settings may be secured, if not enhanced, by adherence to five design principles:


         1.       The scale and massing of buildings would be in harmony with the listed
                  building.


         2.       Pastiche elements will be unacceptable.


         3.       The form, visual intricacy, materials, colour palettes, architectural quality and
                  design of buildings will be sensitive to the listed building and its setting.


         4.       The public realm will positively contribute to the sensitive integration of the
                  listed building with new development; and


         5.       The use, density, plot ratio and daylighting of new buildings will
                  sympathetically interact with the listed building.




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         The same principles are reiterated in the Illustrative Design Statement accompanying
         the application. In addition, the ES proposes that a committee be established with a
         brief to secure good design at reserved matters stage, and reference is made to this in
         the Heads of Terms for the Section 106 agreement..


11.372 The ES includes a desk-top study of archaeology in the town centre and this concludes
         that the area is of low archaeological potential. There are very few historical finds
         recorded and a low likelihood of early settlement. More recently, the development of
         the new town will most likely have destroyed any evidence that may have existed.
         Nonetheless, there are one or two potential sites that may be disturbed by the proposed
         development. These are believed to be former moated sites; one beneath the existing
         Police Station where extensive redevelopment is again proposed and the other adjacent
         the southern edge of Charles Square where only limited work is proposed in this
         application.    The mitigation proposed is an archaeological watching brief during
         construction works.


11.373 (iv) Representations


         There are no third party comments on this issue.


11.374 (v) Planning Assessment


         It is to be noted that neither English Heritage nor the Council’s archaeological/historic
         buildings consultants object in principle to these proposals. The five buildings within
         the site are Grade II listed, and all are to be retained. In considering this OPA the local
         planning authority has a statutory duty to have special regard to the desirability of
         preserving the building “or it’s setting”.      The desirability of preserving a listed
         structure falls to be considered in connection with the application for listed building
         consent to demolish a wall, but otherwise it is primarily the setting of the listed
         buildings that will be affected by the OPA and, since two of the buildings are situated
         in the east zone, consideration of this issue is confined to the Red Lion and The Bull
         Public Houses, and the building occupied by Boots Opticians.


11.375 The Red Lion stands in isolation from other buildings, and its former historical
         association with the alignment of the High Street is eroded by the closing off of that




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         route by the McDonalds unit. The listed building is dominated by the backdrop of
         Winchester House and Eagle House on either side, and circulating traffic and parked
         cars further erode its setting. Whilst these large buildings would most likely remain in
         some form, perhaps complimented by new development on the health centre site, the
         traffic would be lessened by closure of The Ring and this section of High Street to cars,
         although buses would take their place.         The re-establishment of a more direct
         pedestrian route through to the main shopping centre, demolition of existing shops and
         eventual refurbishment of Market Square would at least preserve the setting of this
         building, but its precise relationship with the new canopies for the bus station needs to
         be resolved at reserved matters stage.


11.376 The setting of The Bull PH is dominated by 3 storey modern retail development on
         either side, and by the Bentalls store opposite.      Relatively minor extensions are
         proposed to these buildings (Blocks C1-C3) and, given adherence to the Design
         Principles outlined in paragraph 11.371 above, the setting of this building should not be
         adversely affected. To the north, however, Block N3.1 (part of The Eye) may rise to a
         maximum height of 20m at a distance of only 22m behind the rear main wall of the
         listed building. If so, the listed building would be totally enclosed on all four sides,
         and at the rear by a new building of considerable scale and bulk. At this stage there is
         no detail of the exact building line, design or intended height of the new block, and
         concern has been expressed about its potential dominance. A condition has therefore
         been suggested to limit the height of part of this new development to preserve the
         setting of the listed building. This issue, and particularly the height of the new block,
         can be reviewed at detailed design stage in accordance with the criteria referred to at
         paragraph 11.371 above.


11.377 Similar considerations apply in the case of Boots the Opticians. The existing buildings
         on either side and to the rear are all 3 storeys high. The building to the east (Crossway
         House) would be demolished to provide a space for Charles Square, and the building to
         the north (Gingers Court) would also be demolished to make way for the new
         development. The replacement block, N3.2, could however rise to a height of 22m,
         immediately behind the listed building, and this relationship is most unlikely to be
         satisfactory. Again, this must be conditioned in order to preserve the setting of the
         listed building.




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11.378 No objections are raised to the proposed demolition of a short length of boundary wall
         near the Old Manor PH; this is of relatively recent construction and is listed by
         association only. Its removal would not harm the integrity of the listed building, its
         setting, nor any features of architectural interest.


11.379 A condition is recommended to ensure that archaeological requirements outlined in the
         ES are fulfilled.


11.380 The consultation responses flag up two other issues. The need to demolish the Goose
         PH, whilst regrettable from the point of view of buildings of local interest, remains
         dependent upon the scale of the new Civic Hub. The demolition of the community hall
         adjacent to Holy Trinity Church, an unlisted building of local historic interest, is
         welcomed. Its replacement (Block E1) must, however, be appropriately designed to
         ensure that the setting of this building is not unduly affected. Secondly, attention is
         drawn to the proposed relocation of several other features of interest, such as the
         bandstand and tableaux etc. The Section 106 agreement includes provisions to secure
         these features through the public realm, and re-provision of the war memorial.


11.381 Public Spaces, Art & Trees


11.382 (i) Policy Issues


         The government’s guidance on open space issues is contained in PPG17 (2002) and its
         objectives include supporting an urban renaissance, promoting social inclusion and
         community cohesion, and encouraging health and well being. Paragraph 10 advises
         that existing open space should not be built on unless an assessment has been
         undertaken which has clearly shown the space to be surplus to requirements, and this
         must take into account all the functions that open space can perform. Open space of
         high quality or particular value to a community should be recognised by an authority
         and protected by appropriate policies. New development may provide an opportunity
         to exchange the use of one site for another to substitute for any loss of open space, but
         the new facility should be at least as accessible, and “at least equivalent in terms of
         size, usefulness, attractiveness and quality”. Wherever possible the aim should be to
         improve the quality of public open spaces, and authorities should use planning
         obligations or conditions to secure land exchanges, works and after-care where




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         necessary. For the avoidance of doubt, the definition of open space in PPG17 includes
         gardens and civic spaces.


11.383 The RSS does not include a specific policy to deal with open space matters, but Policy
         Q2 seeks to improve the quality of life in urban areas generally, and criterion a(vii)
         therein encourages local authorities to maximise the positive contribution that open
         spaces can make to urban areas in terms of their recreational, nature, conservation and
         wider environmental and social benefits. The emerging South-East Plan similarly
         makes only an oblique reference to open space provision in Policy S3, which seeks to
         promote healthy communities by encouraging access to open spaces, physical
         recreation and cultural facilities, and Policy NRM4 which seeks to maintain open space
         in urban areas.


11.384 Policy DP5 in the Structure Plan requires developments to produce a relationship
         between buildings and open spaces which provides an attractive sense of place and
         ample safe public space for walking, recreation and other leisure or civic activity. In
         the Local Plan, Policy R1 seeks to prevent a net reduction to open space of public
         value, and residential developments on sites in excess of 1 hectare are required to make
         new provision of open space.        Proposals PE1(i) and (ii) specifically require the
         enhancement of the public realm and high quality public spaces. The southern part of
         the town centre shall include a ‘significant’ amount of open space of public value.
         With specific reference to Jubilee Gardens the policy states:


         “the site also contains Jubilee Gardens, the town’s major open space. The Borough
         Council regards this as a valuable asset and considers that the availability of an open
         space is important to the successful regeneration of the town centre. The Borough
         Council will expect any redevelopment proposal for this site to provide a suitable
         amount of replacement open space within the site or to secure its relocation to an
         appropriate site elsewhere in the town centre. The replacement open space should be
         well integrated to the town centre and accord with the design principles presented by
         the urban design framework”.


11.385 The SPG requirement for open space is set out at paragraphs 9.2 and 9.3 above and this
         is translated into greater detail at paragraphs 5.3.6 and 5.3.7 of the SPG itself. Briefly,
         a network of quality public spaces is proposed throughout the town centre, with




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         pedestrian links to ensure use throughout the day. The various spaces would have
         differing characters and treatments, to facilitate a range of activities. The spaces will
         be animated with active frontages to ensure they are lively and well used.


11.386 Adopted policies on trees are confined to the local plan. Policies EN1 and EN2
         respectively seek to protect existing trees where they are of importance to the
         townscape, and to provide for new tree planting in developments.             Policy EN24
         requires that provision be made for new public art to be incorporated in development.


11.387 (ii) The Open Space/Public Realm Proposals


         The principal spaces affected by the OPA are as follows:


         Jubilee Gardens – proposed to be developed with Blocks S6.1 and S6.2
         ‘New Jubilee Gardens’ – a new open space proposed in place of the existing bus station
         ‘Legion Square’ – a proposed new open space at the rear of The Point
         Charles Square – proposed to be reduced in size and relocated
         The Eye – a proposed new open space on the site of Broadway
         Market Square – a proposed refurbished and extended existing space


         All of these spaces would be linked by the existing thoroughfares, such as Stanley
         Walk and High Street, which would be refurbished in accordance with the principles
         set out in the Illustrative Design & Public Realm Statements. New pedestrian areas are
         shown between The Eye and Millenium Way, in the area formerly used as The Ring
         between McDonalds and Winchester House, alongside The Bull PH and through High
         Street car park.


11.388 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         The ES does not deal with open space/public realm matters as an issue.


11.389 (v) Representations


         Two public realm/open space issues are raised by a respondent as follows:




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         (a)      The Peel Centre is cut off by the application and this should be considered by
                  the Council.


         (b)      The open area adjacent to the Red Lion will be affected by diesel fumes from
                  buses.


11.390 (v) Planning Analysis


         For the purposes of this OPA, the definition of public realm includes all parts of the
         site that are not built upon and so, by definition, this will include open spaces,
         pedestrian thoroughfares, highways, service yards, etc. This section of the report will
         primarily consider the open spaces and pedestrian thoroughfares. For the avoidance of
         doubt, the open area of land to the east of the bus station is not regarded as open space
         of public value, since it is not designated as such on the Local Plan Proposals Map and
         it has previously benefited from a planning permission for commercial development
         (paragraph 6.1 – reference 617632).


11.391 As Proposal PE1(ii) makes clear, Jubilee Gardens is a valuable asset and its loss to
         development is therefore to be regretted (the SPG sought its retention and expansion to
         form an enlarged space in front of a new civic building, but that opportunity has been
         lost as a result of the retention of St Joseph’s Church). An alternative open space of at
         least similar size and quality is therefore essential in terms of development plan
         policies and advice in PPG17. The proposed replacement space is called New Jubilee
         Gardens on PP7B, and its physical area and location is very similar to that which is
         being lost. The space would have a more regular shape than the existing Jubilee
         Gardens, and this may assist its usability. It is envisaged in the Illustrative Public
         Realm Statement as a green square with the qualities of a garden, but also facilitating
         events, both civic and social. This new public open space would integrate well with
         the new Civic Hub and create a civic square in the southern part of the town centre.
         Whilst not in the same location as that shown in the Masterplan, it fulfils the principle
         of adding quality, useable public space in the southern end of the town centre
         associated with the new civic building. The proposed uses around the square will draw
         people to and through the space and it will, of course, provide the first impression of
         Bracknell when arriving by train.




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11.392 Charles Square will remain in its existing position but considerably reduced in size and
         re-orientated slightly to the north. The existing rectangular space amounts to some 0.4
         ha, but this would be reduced on either side by the construction of Blocks C4 and C5,
         effectively forming a northwards extension of Stanley Walk.          The new square is
         approximately 0.112 ha in area and situated adjacent to the listed building occupied by
         Boots Opticians. It is envisioned as a more intimate outdoor space at the very centre of
         the town, and therefore an important node. The space could be surrounded by retail
         and Class A3 uses encouraging interest and activity throughout the day.


11.393 The Eye is an enclosed space and the centrepiece of the new shopping centre. It has an
         area of approximately 0.42 ha, but this is not a net addition to the open space in the
         town centre because the land is currently occupied by Broadway. In the hierachy of
         spaces set out in the Illustrative Public Realm Strategy it is described as the main
         public space of Bracknell and, whilst not a public open space, the Eye will function as
         such. The key to its successful integration into the public realm will be to ensure all
         hours access to this space and to secure through partnership working an effective
         management of this space so that it may be used for public functions. This access
         should be secured through an agreement with the Council. (see paragraphs 11.278 and
         362) The space is large enough to accommodate some indoor events such as fashion
         shows, craft fairs, art exhibitions etc, and it is intended to be an active space with a
         programmable ‘mood’, using projection and lighting to create differing environments.
         Unlike many other ‘internal’ spaces, The Eye will be extensively landscaped.


11.394 The existing Market Square (0.181 ha) is currently unattractive and under-utilised. The
         space is awkwardly shaped and enclosed by poor quality buildings. The application
         proposes the demolition of the existing terrace of shop units behind the Red Lion and
         this, coupled with the pedestrianisation of The Ring, would create an ‘L’ shaped space
         of more than double the existing size, thereby compensating for the reduction in size of
         Charles Square. This would assist the regeneration of the square and facilitate its
         occasional use as an outdoor market, in addition to which the re-introduction of a direct
         route through to the High Street (linking the bus station and the Peel Centre) and new
         uses on the Health Centre and Winchester House sites would encourage vitality.
         Pedestrian flows in the area should be greatly improved by these changes and, of
         course, the intended relocation of the Bus Station. Although the applicant’s did not
         originally propose to include this element of public realm in their BRP Development A,




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         they have now agreed to the inclusion of an obligation in the legal agreement which
         aims to secure the acquisition and demolition of the shops, and re-surfacing of the
         space created to a standard compatible with the remainder of Market Square.


11.395 ‘Legion Square’ would be situated on Market Street, adjacent to the relocated British
         Legion building on Block W1. It would provide space for the war memorial and would
         therefore have a formal function on Armistice Day. The space measures approximately
         40m x 22m but serves also as part of the new link between the Peel Centre and Princess
         Square.


11.396 In simple quantative terms there is no significant difference between the existing
         amount of open space and that proposed. However, the proposed spaces follow a
         hierarchy that is clearly set out in the Illustrative Public Realm Statement, and a
         distribution throughout the town centre that is clear and legible to users. The range of
         spaces would facilitate different characters and uses, but it is important to ensure that
         active frontages are achieved at these nodal points to foster vitality and interest, and a
         condition is therefore recommended.


11.397 The remainder of the public realm comprises the pedestrian linkages between the
         spaces described above and, given the extent of works proposed in BRP Development
         A, (see Illustrative Composite Plan) very little of the existing town centre would be left
         untouched. The Illustrative Public Realm Statement promises a high quality public
         realm, with continuity of treatment throughout the town centre. A ‘new order’ to the
         public realm is proposed, including open spaces, with quality paving and fixtures,
         street furniture and signage. New water features and landscaping will help tie the town
         centre into a cohesive whole and create a sequence of distinct urban spaces and a
         strong sense of place. All of this material is, however, illustrative and it is a level of
         detail that cannot be properly contemplated at OPA stage. Planning obligations and
         conditions are therefore recommended to ensure that these visions are translated into
         reality.


11.398 The Council’s policies (EN24) also require that consideration be given to the provision
         of new public art as part of the proposals. Because of the extent of disruption to the
         built fabric of the town centre, consideration must also be given to existing works of
         art.




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11.399 Throughout the town centre there are a number of existing works of art, such as the
         water clock in Charles Square and the ‘egg’ in Jubilee Gardens that have been provided
         over a number of years. In the first instance it is considered that an audit should be
         carried out of all such works, in order to establish the extent to which they might be
         affected by these proposals. In the event that preservation in situ, or relocation, is
         considered necessary, then details of appropriate measures to ensure the protection or
         safe removal and storage of the art work can be required. Details can also be required
         of measures for the re-instatement of works of art, after the completion of
         development.


11.400 The provision of new public art is encouraged in order to enhance the external
         appearance of buildings and the public realm generally, and a scheme of this magnitude
         falls within the criteria set out in EN24. In addition, the SPG (paragraph 7.6.6) seeks
         provision to reinforce the quality of the town centre and to add value to the
         development. Whilst the amount of any contribution is a matter for negotiation in any
         particular case, public art will be sought to be delivered through planning obligations
         and contributions in line with the Council’s adopted Town Centre Public Art Strategy.
         The details of the applicants proposals are further explained in Section 13 below.


11.401 Turning to the issue of trees, the applicants have provided a survey of all the existing
         trees in the town centre, of which there are 994, graded in accordance with their
         amenity value and life expectancy. However, there is no information about the number
         of trees to be removed, those that might be relocated, or others that could be retained,
         although it is acknowledged that, given the format of the application, it would be
         difficult to provide more information at this stage.


11.402 To a large extent the lack of information is a product of the in-built flexibility in the
         applicant’s approach to this proposal, and particularly the use of parameter plans to
         define the maximum, but not the minimum, extent of new buildings. There are some
         generalised aspirational comments in the Illustrative Public Realm and Design
         Statements, but no other detail has been provided. It is considered that in order to
         achieve a comprehensive redevelopment of the town centre it is to be expected that a
         large number of trees may have to be removed if the development blocks are built out
         to their optimum potential.      However, it should be noted that there are limited




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         opportunities within the application site for tree relocations, and the parameter plans do
         not necessarily make provision for new landscaping, and this is particularly important
         on certain key development blocks which are prominently located at entrances to the
         town centre. The latter can be remedied by the identification of those blocks and the
         imposition of a condition requiring landscaping provision. This requirement overlaps
         with the issues raised about urban design at paragraph 11.355a.


11.403 Although some tree loss has to be contemplated if the town centre is to be
         comprehensively and successfully redeveloped, it is considered that there are a few
         trees that are worthy of retention, as they provide a softening to buildings and the street
         scene that cannot be immediately replicated by new planting. For this reason a review
         has been carried out of the applicant’s survey to identify important individual trees or
         groups of trees that are particularly beneficial to the street scene. For example, these
         might include trees on the health centre site and along Millenium Way. Although these
         trees could be lost as they fall within the various development blocks, a condition is
         recommended to specifically require their retention. Coupled with this, conditions are
         recommended to require details of tree protection for those to be retained, and
         replacement provision as each phase of the development progresses.


11.404 There are two points of objection that require a response, as detailed at paragraph
         11.389:


         (a)       The Peel Centre is already severed from the main shopping area, and the
                   challenge in this application is to try and draw it back in to provide a more
                   cohesive town centre. This is recognised in the Masterplan. Improvements to
                   the public realm along the western end of High Street and the re-positioning of
                   the bus station should envigorate pedestrian activity in this area, and encourage
                   more linked trips if both the town centre and the Peel Centre are accessible by
                   bus. Additionally, however, a new route is proposed through Princess Square,
                   High Street car park and Legion Square to the Peel Centre. New uses on
                   Market Street should encourage usage, but the detail of achieving level
                   changes has yet to be resolved.


         (b)       It is possible that Market Square could be affected by fumes from buses, in
                   much the same way as it is affected now by fumes from cars. Unfortunately




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                  this is likely to be a potential problem wherever the bus station is situated and
                  so it is not considered to represent an objection to which much weight can be
                  attached.


11.405 Natural Environment


         It is the intention in this section to review some of the more general environmental
         effects likely to be associated with the development, and these include noise, vibration
         and air quality (both during construction and after) ecological issues, ground
         contamination, microclimate and the potential for TV/radio signal interference. These
         issues are not particular to these proposals, although the sheer scale of this
         development obviously gives rise to a broader range of potential effects.


11.406 (i) Policy Issues


         Planning Policy Guidance 24, (Planning & Noise) and Planning Policy Statements 9
         and 23 (Biodiversity & Geological Conservation and Planning & Pollution Control)
         provide advice from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on some of these issues.
         PPS9 was issued in August last year; the objectives are to promote sustainable
         development by ensuring that biological and geological diversity are conserved and
         enhanced as an integral part of development, to conserve, enhance and restore the
         diversity of England’s wildlife, and to contribute to urban renaissance by enhancing
         biodiversity in green spaces and among developments, and ensuring that developments
         take account of the role and value of biodiversity in supporting economic
         diversification and contributing to a high quality environment. A key principle of the
         advice is that, in taking decisions on development proposals, local planning authorities
         should ensure that appropriate weight is attached to designated sites of international,
         national and local importance, protected species, and to wider biodiversity and
         geological interests. In this case the proximity of Bracknell Town Centre to the
         Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) is of particular relevance. This is
         an internationally designated site, classified under the EC Birds Directive, and Part 1 of
         ODPM Circular 06/2005, which accompanies PPS9, provides more detailed guidance
         on the approach to considering plans and projects in proximity to such sites. Further
         explanation is set out in the Planning Analysis sub-section below.




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11.407 PPS23 (2004) covers matters such as air and water quality, and contaminated land, all
         of which are capable of being material considerations in determining an application.
         Thus, in considering planning applications, authorities should take account of the risks
         of and from pollution and land contamination, and how these can be managed or
         reduced. Whilst there are other regimes of control over pollution, the planning system
         plays a key role in determining the location of development that may give rise to
         pollution, and in ensuring that other uses and developments are not affected by existing
         or potential sources of pollution.      The planning system should focus on the
         acceptability of the development in land use terms rather than the control of processes
         or emissions, on the clear assumption that the relevant pollution control regime will be
         properly applied and enforced. In controlling development, local planning authorities
         and their consultees must be satisfied that, in the case of potentially polluting
         developments, emissions can be adequately regulated and, if a cumulative effect is
         anticipated, whether those effects would make the development unacceptable. With
         reference to contaminated land, the Local Planning Authority must consider the
         existing use of land, the proposed use, and the possibility of encountering
         contamination during development.       In making a decision, an authority must be
         satisfied that risks are properly assessed, and where necessary a development
         incorporates remediation and management measures.


11.408 PPG24 (September 1994) explains how the planning system can be used to minimise
         the adverse impact of noise without placing unreasonable restrictions on development.
         The planning system should seek to separate noise sensitive developments from major
         sources of noise, and new development involving noisy activities should, equally, be
         kept well away from noise sensitive land uses. Where separation is not possible, local
         planning authorities should consider the scope to control or reduce noise, or to mitigate
         its impact through conditions or obligations. The guidance introduces the concept of
         Noise Exposure Categories (NEC) ranging from A to D for residential developments,
         where Category A represents circumstances where noise is unlikely to be an issue, and
         Category D relates to situations where development should normally be refused. In
         controlling development, the guidance recognises that ‘much of the development which
         is necessary for the creation of jobs and the construction and improvement of essential
         infrastructure will generate noise’ and whilst the planning system must not
         unjustifiably obstruct development, authorities must ensure that development does not




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         cause an unacceptable degree of disturbance. Annex 3 to PPG24 provides detailed
         guidance on the assessment of noise from different sources.


11.409 Key principles of the Regional Spatial Strategy are to encourage development that is
         located and designed so as to reduce pollution of air, land and water, and to protect and
         enhance the region’s biodiversity. Policy Q6 generally seeks to manage air and water
         quality, reduce noise pollution and restore contaminated land; and Policy E1 attaches
         priority to the protection of areas internationally designated for their intrinsic
         conservation value. Policy E7 requires authorities to play a positive part in pollution
         control and to encourage measures to improve air quality.


11.410 In the emerging South-East Plan policies NRM4, NRM7 and NRM8 seek respectively
         to conserve and improve biodiversity, improve air quality and reduce noise pollution.


11.411 At local level, Structure Plan Policy EN3 protects designated nature conservation sites
         from development and from any adverse impacts of development that may affect them
         directly or indirectly, and EN5 provides that development should not give rise to
         unacceptable levels of noise, smell, dust, light or noxious emissions, or unacceptable
         levels of air pollution. In the local plan, Policy EN3 states that permission will not be
         granted for development likely to have a significant effect on a SPA unless its special
         value and character can be protected or there are imperative reasons of overriding
         public interest, and Policy EN25 reflects the requirement of Structure Plan Policy EN5.


11.412 (ii) The Proposals


         The OPA covers a large area, and entails many different uses and the construction of
         several large buildings. The following potential environmental consequences fall to be
         considered:


         a)       Construction of approximately 1,000 new dwelling units – the proximity to the
                  SPA requires that an assessment be made of the potential effect.


         b)       Excavation of foundations for new buildings – the likely presence of
                  contaminated ground needs to be considered, and remediation thereof.




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         c)       The entire development – impact upon the town centre and surrounding area
                  through noise, vibration and air pollution both during development and
                  thereafter in operation.


         d)       The introduction of new large buildings – potential effects on the micro-
                  climate and TV/radio reception.


11.413 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         The matters under consideration in this sub-section draw upon six chapters from the
         ES, and the conclusions are presented below in the topic order set out at paragraph
         11.406 onwards.


11.414 Ecology – The value of the town centre has been assessed and no habitats or species of
         more than very local significance have been revealed.      Small pockets of trees and
         amenity grassland are of limited local value and so the effects of the development due
         to the loss of these habitats would be insignificant. Some small areas of tree-planting
         would be lost, but some habitats could be relatively easily re-created elsewhere by
         appropriate planting and management. Most of the small areas of semi-improved
         grassland would be lost during re-development, but these areas have low conservation
         value and so specific mitigation is unnecessary. However, mitigation in the form of
         fencing around retained trees/hedges is proposed and, where possible, vegetation
         clearance and demolition work involving landscaped areas would be undertaken
         outside the normal bird breeding season. In other circumstances an ecologist would be
         appointed to monitor the presence of protected birds during demolition and
         construction and appropriate stand-off areas set up to avoid reckless disturbance. In
         order to comply with legislation protecting bats, surveys of potential bat roosts would
         be undertaken in advance of demolition works or tree felling.          There are some
         opportunities for habitat enhancement. Native tree planting would encourage urban
         wildlife and mown grassland areas could be more appropriately maintained to establish
         semi-natural habitats to provide opportunities to enhance various species. Grass verges
         present a habitat resource that could have a higher ecological potential and include
         flowering meadow habitats.




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11.415 The Regulation 19 submission provided further details of protected species records and
         reaffirmed that the town centre has extremely limited significance or potential to
         support them. The submission also included a response to the objection initially raised
         by English Nature on 7 January 2005, relating to the potential for new residents to
         cause damage to the pSPA (now confirmed) through recreational pressure upon it. It is
         contended that the population of the Borough has grown significantly in recent years,
         there are numerous other parks and open spaces that the new residents could use, and
         the town centre is identified as an appropriate location for development by adopted
         policies.   Mitigation measures are also proposed to implement a precautionary
         approach to the protection of the SPA. As indicated at paragraph 5.6, the applicants ES
         submissions on this issue were only adequate, but involvement of English Nature and
         the preparation of an Appropriate Assessment has provided additional information. A
         copy of the Appropriate Assessment is included at Appendix 10. The effects of off-site
         road works was also considered, it being concluded that there would be no significant
         ecological effects.


11.416 Soil Conditions – Chapter 11 reviews soil conditions in the town centre and the
         likelihood of contamination being present. Based on a review of historical land use
         information it is concluded that there is no significant contamination on site, nor any
         risk to groundwater resources. There are no major requirements for remedial works,
         but precautionary investigations would be carried out during site clearance, and
         appropriate provision made if necessary for local remediation and spoil disposal.
         Health and safety plans will include provisions to minimise risk to site workers. A
         Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) would mitigate and control
         any potential contamination during construction. The future uses of the site have, with
         some exceptions, a low potential for contamination; but all proposed uses are, in any
         event, subject to other safety, environmental and waste licensing regimes.              (The
         Regulation 19 submission reaffirmed the lack of available data on historic land uses
         such as the gas works or storage facility, and provided a brief explanation of the low to
         medium risk ascribed to site workers).


11.417 Air Quality, Noise & Vibration - Chapters 7 and 8 of the ES review these issues.

         A review of air quality data collated from the two BFBC automatic monitoring sites
         and other sites indicates that the current air quality is acceptable, and air quality within




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         the Bracknell area should comfortably meet the Air Quality Strategy Objectives by the
         relevant deadlines.


         During the construction phase there is the potential that emissions of dust would result
         in nuisance soiling.    Dust emissions from construction sites would be effectively
         controlled by the employment of stringent management practices (e.g. the use of water
         sprays, screens, regular cleaning of roadways and the maximising of separation
         distances). Significant care would be taken throughout the development period to
         ensure that these practices are applied, and therefore, dust impacts are minimised from
         all site operations. Dust control measures would be implemented by the relevant
         contractors by adhering to a pre-agreed CEMP. In addition, the construction team
         would keep the public regularly informed of the progress of the construction works and
         the duration of potentially dusty activities. A contact number for the contractor’s
         liaison officer would be clearly displayed at each of the development sites so that any
         complaints can be effectively handled. Again this can be secured through the CEMP.


         The construction phase of the development would generate HGV movements in
         relation to the delivery and removal of goods from the development sites and for
         construction activity on the site itself, and by staff vehicles. Pre-determined routes
         would be provided to haulage companies to minimise the impact of HGV movements
         within the core area. During the construction period, extra traffic may give rise to
         minimal increases in nitrogen dioxide and PM10 within a small corridor along the main
         roads, whilst background concentrations would remain largely unchanged.


         The proposals would also result in increased car journeys to the town centre. Prediction
         of pollution concentrations for 2010, arising from traffic flows associated with the
         redevelopment proposals, has shown that the development proposals would result in a
         slight increase in pollutant concentrations along the major roads into and around
         Bracknell centre.      Away from the roadways and in the pedestrianised centre of
         Bracknell pollutant concentrations would remain largely unchanged by the proposals.
         Thus, the effects would not be significant, although the transport strategy would aim to
         encourage the use of public transport, which would have the additional benefit of
         mitigating the impacts of vehicle emissions.




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11.418 The Regulation 19 submission reviewed the cumulative effect of traffic increases and
         the energy centre emissions, and this is considered in the next sub-section.


11.419 Noise and vibration is assessed in relation to both the construction period and when the
         development is in operation. It is concluded that noise is likely to affect residential
         receptors on the north facades of Ferriby Court (12 dwellings) during the demolition
         and construction phases of the development. (Enid Wood House will be similarly
         affected if it is still occupied) The mitigation of these effects would be addressed when
         detailed working methods are being developed, under the provisions of the CEMP.
         However it is expected that, in most cases, with appropriate and conventional
         mitigation measures, significant effects would be largely avoided.


         The principal forms of specific physical mitigation for the control of construction and
         demolition noise are the use of quieter equipment or techniques; the deployment of
         noise barriers; and timing of the work. In addition to the above, the potential noise and
         vibration effects upon certain buildings and the effects of vibration from piling on
         various receptors, would need to be addressed by detailed working methods in order to
         avoid potentially significant effects. All of these issues would be addressed through
         the provisions of the CEMP which includes requirements for detailed predictions of
         noise and vibration, and the incorporation of appropriate mitigation measures, a duty
         on contractors to confirm how they would comply with the provisions of the CEMP;
         requirements to notify anticipated departures from these provisions, the durations
         involved, prior notification procedures and intended further mitigation proposals; and
         the employment of an environmental manager to deal with day-to-day implementation
         of the CEMP, co-ordination and consultation with regulatory authorities and the public,
         and complaints.     While some local construction effects are inevitable, the above
         procedures would ensure the effects are minimised within practicable limits, hence, the
         noise and vibration generated during the construction phase of the development would
         be effectively mitigated and the likely residual impact would not be significant.


         The results of baseline noise surveys have been used to assess the appropriate provision
         of noise attenuation to plant associated with the operation of the completed town centre
         proposals; such plant includes chillers, cooling plant and heating boilers, amongst
         others. Noise from operational plant would be minimised where necessary through the
         detailed design of the proposed development, and planning conditions may be used to




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         inform the design of specific noise control measures in sensitive locations, where
         necessary. It is therefore considered that the operation of the plant associated with the
         town centre proposals would be designed to ensure that likely noise effects are
         mitigated and the residual effects would be insignificant.


         An assessment has been carried out of the impact from traffic associated with the
         development proposals on the ambient noise experienced along roads, with particular
         emphasis on sensitive locations such as residential dwellings and schools. The
         increases related to the traffic associated with the town centre proposals are in all cases
         slight and unlikely to be perceptible. However, in some cases the cumulative effects of
         both baseline traffic growth and the development-generated traffic may give rise to
         noise increases that require mitigation. An assessment has been carried out in relation
         to the effect of the proposed development on both existing and proposed residential
         buildings within the town centre. This has been carried out in the context of national
         government planning guidance on noise and planning (PPG24). This assessment shows
         that those premises located at a distance from the reconfigured road network around the
         town centre would experience a good noise climate for residential land uses. Closer to
         the roads, any unacceptable noise would be addressed by the detailed design of housing
         to ensure that appropriate internal noise conditions are achieved.


11.420 The Regulation 19 submission responds to the Council’s request for additional
         information on the assessment and measurement of construction noise, and the means
         of control. The information provided is acceptable.


11.421 Microclimate & TV Reception – Chapters 13 and 17 review the potential effects of the
         development upon wind effects and TV/radio reception. It is expected that the impact
         of the development on existing buildings would be small, and the increased building
         heights in the town centre might slightly increase the degree of shelter to the
         immediately surrounding area. Where existing streets are narrowed or covered over,
         wind effects would be lessened, and new spaces are expected to achieve acceptable
         wind conditions. The effects of replacement high buildings could be mitigated by
         design.


11.422 The construction of new high buildings could have an effect upon TV/satellite signals
         depending upon the ‘shadow’ created in relation to transmitters and receptors. For TV




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         a mitigation strategy would include interference surveys pre and post development, and
         re-direction of aerials where necessary. For satellite signals, where obstruction occurs
         the developer would provide for the re-direction of receivers to unobstructed satellites.
         No interference is expected to radio signals due to the nature of the broadcast medium.


11.423 (iv) Representations


         The Bracknell District Urban Wildlife Trust regrets the sacrifice of Jubilee Gardens but
         suggests that new planted areas be included to soften the impact of new buildings. This
         will encourage wildlife and bird species to populate the new town centre.


11.424 (v) Planning Analysis


         Ecology – The ES has focussed primarily on the very few areas of natural habitat
         within the town centre and notes that there is little, if anything, of any significant value
         that cannot be replaced elsewhere or restored after the development is completed. The
         ES requires that, if necessary, care be taken of protected species and nesting birds
         during the demolition and constructions phases, and conditions are recommended in
         this regard. Otherwise, with the exception of a few trees noted at paragraph 11.403 to
         be identified and retained by condition, the removal of other trees on the site is
         accepted as an inevitable consequence of redevelopment, as is the limited scope in the
         redeveloped town centre for either replacement tree planting or new habitat creation. A
         general obligation will, however, be included in the Section 106 agreement to secure
         the mitigation measures postulated in the ES.


11.425 A more substantive issue surrounds the matters raised by English Nature on the basis
         that the increased residential population of the town centre would bring about greater
         recreational pressure upon the Thames Basin Heaths SPA (and particularly the Bagshot
         Woods & Heaths to Broadmoor SSSI) some 3km to the south. English Nature consider
         that this development would have a significant adverse effect alone and in combination
         with other projects in the area upon the Annex 1 birds for which the SPA is designated.
         Potential adverse impacts could include:


         a)       disturbance by dog-walkers, walkers, mountain bikers and motorcycles, etc.




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         b)       predation, due to parent birds being flushed from nests by human activity.


         c)       loss of habitat due to path encroachment, fly-tipping, increased incidence of
                  heathland fires.


         d)       damage to habitat, for example by eutrophication of heathland caused by dog
                  faeces.


         English Nature do not feel that the ES adequately considers the effects of the proposal
         and they draw attention to the Thames Basin Heaths Delivery Plan which is in the
         course of preparation and seeks, amongst other things, to secure the provision of
         alternative open spaces to provide relief to the SPA from recreational pressures.


11.426 It is understood that their initial concerns were largely based upon research carried out
         on the West Dorset Heaths by the British Trust for Ornithology, and its application to
         the Thames Basin Heaths SPA is affecting planning applications submitted to ten other
         authorities in this part of Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire. However, in cases where
         development is proposed that may have an effect on the SPA, Circular 06/2005 sets out
         a clear process for decision making, to ensure that the requirements of the EC Birds &
         Habitats Directives are fulfilled.


         The Regulations apply to any and all projects that may have an effect upon the SPA. In
         considering any project, the decision taker must first decide whether or not a proposal
         is directly connected with the management of the SPA. If not, it is then necessary to
         consider whether it would have a ‘significant effect’ upon the features for which the
         SPA was designated, either alone or in combination with other projects. If there is
         likely to be a significant effect, or the possibility of there being such an effect cannot
         be ruled out, then Regulation 48 requires that an ‘Appropriate Assessment’ be carried
         out of the implications of the development for the SPA’s conservation objectives. If it
         can be clearly ascertained from the assessment that the proposal will not adversely
         affect the integrity of the SPA, then planning permission may be granted. On the other
         hand, if it is uncertain whether there would be an adverse effect, or indeed there would
         be an adverse effect, then it is necessary to consider whether the effect on the integrity
         of the SPA can be mitigated by conditions or obligations. If so, then permission may




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         be granted subject to those conditions or obligations. If not, then planning permission
         can only be granted in a very limited range of circumstances.


11.427 The Council could not rule out the possibility that the development would not have a
         significant effect on the SPA, and has therefore prepared an Appropriate Assessment in
         close consultation with English Nature. In considering the Appropriate Assessment,
         the decision-taker is obliged to consider the likely and reasonably foreseeable effects of
         the development, and to ascertain with certainty that the proposal will not have an
         adverse effect on the integrity of the SPA before it may grant permission.


         The overall conclusion is that, at this time based on the research undertaken to date, the
         application proposals may significantly affect the integrity of the SPA unless
         appropriate mitigation is secured. This conclusion reflects the precautionary approach
         inherent in the Regulations, and the Council is confident that, with appropriate
         mitigation, there would be no adverse effects. The proposed mitigation should be
         sought through planning obligations and should include leaseholder restrictions on dog
         ownership in the town centre; contributions towards improvements to existing major
         open spaces to provide alternative open spaces to those found in the SPA; contributions
         towards management proposals for open spaces in the SPA which monitor use and
         promote better education and sensitive use of the open space facilities. On conclusion
         of the Appropriate Assessment and revisions to the satisfaction of English Nature, their
         objection has now been withdrawn.


11.428 Ground Contamination – Neither the original ES nor the Regulation 19 submission
         have unearthed any evidence or likelihood of soil contamination. The applicants have
         pointed out, with some justification, that the part of the site previously thought to have
         been occupied by a gas works now lies beneath High Street car park, and this will not
         be re-developed in these proposals. The Council’s Environmental Health & Safety
         Manager does not raise any objection in this regard, and so it is concluded that this
         matter can be covered by a planning condition.


11.429 Air Quality, Noise & Vibration - The proposed development will have an impact upon
         users and occupiers of the town centre in these respects, both during and after
         construction.       In some cases the impact will be both adverse and noticeable,
         particularly for the occupiers of residential properties such as Ferriby Court and Enid




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         Wood House. The following detailed considerations therefore need to be taken into
         account.


11.430 The ES has addressed the issue of air quality, but no monitoring exercise has been
         proposed,    either    during   or   after    construction   work,   in   the    vicinity    of
         residential/sensitive sites or near to highways or work areas. It is considered essential
         that air quality is monitored throughout the entire period to ensure that National Air
         Quality Objectives are met, or until action has been taken to reduce levels below the
         objectives. A condition to this effect is recommended.


         With specific reference to impact from construction and related traffic, the
         Environmental Health & Safety Manager (EHSM) has expressed some concern about
         the modelling of N02 and PM10 in the ES, which is widely accepted as potentially
         inaccurate, hence the requirement for monitoring.             Therefore, as an additional
         safeguard, the CEMP will also require details of lorry haulage routes.


11.431 In general the applicant’s assessment of noise impact is acceptable to the EHSM, as
         well as the intended use of the Pollution Prevention & Control Act 1999 as a means of
         controlling noise and vibration during the construction phase. Much will depend on the
         phasing of works, but the EHSM is satisfied that amenity can be adequately protected.
         With specific reference to operational and traffic noise, the EHSM would prefer to see
         the Laeq levels changed from a 24 hour measurement to a 16 hr daytime and 8 hr
         night-time measurement to ensure the protection of residents and sensitive premises
         over the quieter periods. These requirements can be followed through as part of a
         wider condition requiring the approval of a Construction Environmental Management
         Plan. (CEMP)


         An additional concern is the potential impact of noisy work beyond 17.00 hrs in the
         evening. Again, this is a matter for the CEMP to address.


11.432 Microclimate & Transmission Interference – The ES highlights the likelihood that
         wind mitigation is likely to be required in a number of places, and building heights and
         positions are constrained by this. For example, the parameter plans have previously
         been specifically amended to provide a wider gap between the Health Centre site and
         Winchester House in an endeavour to lessen the potential for a wind tunnel effect in




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         this area. Certainly the introduction of some covered areas will resolve this issue
         entirely, and is to be welcomed. The Section 106 obligation to observe the mitigation
         requirements of the ES will ensure that this issue is adequately addressed.


11.433 With regard to TV, radio and satellite transmission, the ES concludes that appropriate
         Section 106 obligations can be imposed to ensure that the amenity of existing residents
         in and around the town centre is not unduly affected.


11.434 The Combined Heat & Power Plant (CHP)


11.435 (i) Policy Issues


         The recently issued PPS22 provides guidance from the ODPM on renewable energy,
         including biomass sources, although it is to be noted that the statement does not cover
         CHP developments except to the extent that, where biomass fuels are being used, some
         policies may be relevant.


         The objective of government policy is to set the UK on a path to cut carbon dioxide
         emissions by 60% by 2050. Renewable energy will make a vital contribution to this
         aim; by 2010 at least 10% of UK production will come from this source, doubled by
         2020. This is seen as ‘vital’ to delivering Government commitments on climate change
         and renewable energy. Eight key principles are set out:


             •    Development should be capable of being located anywhere in England.
             •    Policies should promote, not restrict, such development.
             •    Local planning authorities should include criteria based policies for assessing
                  applications.
             •    Environmental and economic benefits of such developments are material and
                  should be given significant weight.
             •    Local planning authorities should not make assumptions about technical and
                  commercial feasibility.
             •    Small scale projects can make a limited but valuable contribution.
             •    Community involvement should be fostered to raise awareness of renewable
                  energy projects and developers should actively consult local communities.




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                •   Proposals should demonstrate benefits and show how impacts have been
                    minimised.


11.436 PPS22 also provides advice on regional targets and policy formulation, and locational
         considerations. Of particular note in this regard:


         “As most renewable energy resources can only be developed where the resource exists
         and where economically feasible, local planning authorities should not use a
         sequential approach in the consideration of renewable energy projects ….. and …..
         local planning authorities and developers should consider the opportunity for
         incorporating renewable energy projects in all new developments.              Small scale
         renewable energy schemes utilising technologies such as solar panels, biomass
         heating, small scale wind turbines, photovoltaic cells and combined heat and power
         schemes can be incorporated both into new developments and some existing
         buildings”.


         Local planning authorities should specifically encourage such schemes through
         positively expressed policies. Other considerations include visual impact, noise, odour,
         etc.


11.437 A Companion Guide to PPS22 provides more detailed guidance, explaining the ‘bigger
         picture’ of global climate change and the need for all local authorities in the UK to
         contribute to the targets set out above and reduce energy demand. The environmental,
         economic and social benefits of renewable energy schemes are set out, using case
         studies to demonstrate how these have been achieved in practice. The importance of
         community involvement is emphasised. Chapters 3 and 4 of the guide provide detailed
         advice on policy formulation at regional and local level, citing examples of policies
         that require renewable energy provision on developments as small as 10 residential
         units or 1,000 sq m of business floorspace, typically through solar or wind power, or
         biomass schemes. Advice on development control issues, the scope for installations in
         urban areas and the particular characteristics of biomass schemes is set out in Chapters
         5-7. CHP schemes are described as ‘more applicable’ in an urban context where they
         are best suited to users requiring consistently high levels of heat throughout the year,
         although potential limitations arising from noise, odour, traffic or visual impact have to
         be recognised.




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11.438 A revision to Chapter 10 in the RSS (RPG9) was issued in 2004 in recognition of the
         urgent need to address the issue of climate change, the Kyoto targets to which the
         government is committed, and the Energy White Paper published in February 2003. A
         specific national target is to increase the capacity of CHP generation to 10,000 MW by
         2010, and the vision for the south-east region is to produce 16% of the region’s
         electricity from all renewable sources by 2026. A key development principle of the
         RSS is to foster the use of renewable energy and RSS policy is to integrate planning
         and energy decisions by, amongst other things, designing buildings to be energy
         efficient and through the increased use of renewable sources of energy, such as CHP
         and district heating. This is one of the most cost-effective means of reducing carbon
         dioxide emissions.


11.439 Paragraphs 10.44 to 10.47 deal specifically with CHP developments, which use excess
         heat from electricity generation or industry to heat or cool buildings. Traditional CHP
         is highly fuel efficient and mini-CHP is applicable at street scale or for large buildings.
         CHP deployment is most effective where the generation plant is relatively close to the
         users of the heat, where this includes a mix of uses to even out demand, and where the
         density of development reduces installation and infrastructure costs. There is particular
         scope to encourage CHP schemes in large scale regeneration or mixed use schemes.


11.440 The RSS provides regional and sub-regional targets for the production of electricity
         from renewable sources and provides policies for the location of renewable energy
         development and development criteria. Policies should encourage the development of
         renewable energy schemes, and be located and designed to minimise adverse impacts
         on landscape, wildlife and amenity.


11.441 Policies INF4, INF5, INF8 and INF9 are all directly applicable to this element of the
         OPA.


11.442 The policies contained in the RSS are replicated, with some small but significant
         changes, in the emerging South-East Plan. For example RSS Policy INF4 has been
         strengthened by amendments to the text in the South-East Plan, such that the
         incorporation of high standards of energy efficiency is no longer subject to the test of
         economic viability and, whilst the new policy still encourages developers to submit an




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         assessment of their development’s energy demand, there is now an added requirement
         that at least 10% of that demand be met by renewable sources in schemes greater than
         10 dwellings or 1,000 sq m of commercial floorspace. Similarly, for Policy INF5, the
         new text that has been added in the South-East Plan promotes the use of biomass fuel
         wherever possible; and Policy INF9 has been amended to encourage all stakeholders to
         undertake detailed assessments of local potential and to promote small scale
         community based schemes.


11.443 A key principle of the Structure Plan is to encourage the use of renewable energy.
         Policy EN8 in the Structure Plan seeks to ensure that all forms of development should
         maximise opportunities to incorporate energy efficiency and conservation in their
         design, and energy generation from renewable resources should be considered and
         implemented wherever feasible, subject to impact on landscape, biodiversity and
         amenity.     Adopted local plan policy EN26 states that development for energy
         generation will be permitted provided that it would not create environmental problems,
         danger to highway users or result in hazards prejudicial to the future use of the site or
         surrounding land.


11.444 In the Council’s SPG, an objective is to encourage best practice in energy efficiency
         and the sustainable use of renewable energy sources. Paragraph 4.5.2 suggests that the
         use of local renewable sources should be given serious consideration, as Bracknell has
         the opportunity to become a “flagship European project and to lead in the Thames
         Valley and the South-East more generally”. The use of renewable energy in projects of
         this nature will make a significant contribution to targets currently being devolved
         through regional government to individual authorities.


11.445 As will be evident in sub-section (iv) below, there are a substantial number of
         objections to this element of the OPA. The text of the relevant policies on this issue is
         therefore included in full at Appendix 11.


11.446 (ii) The Proposal


         The OPA includes a Combined Heat & Power Plant on land in the centre of the 3M
         roundabout at the junction of Millenium Way and Binfield Road. This is shown on
         Parameter Plan 3B; the maximum footprint would occupy an area amounting to




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         approximately half the land within the roundabout, on its eastern side. The proposed
         floorspace is between 2,000 sq m and 4,000 sq m, with a minimum building height of
         70m AOD, and a maximum height of 76m AOD. The building would also require a
         flue, and this would have a minimum height of 101m AOD, and a maximum height of
         106m AOD. Note: All heights are relative to existing ground level in the centre of the
         roundabout, which is 62.5m AOD.


11.447 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         There is no specific chapter in the ES dealing with the CHP, but the concept is
         explained at paragraph 3.3.3, with further commentary in Chapters 5, 7 and 8
         (townscape, air quality and noise).


         As highlighted at paragraph 11.336, the ES assesses the visual effects of the proposed
         development on various receptors, and considers the impact on views within the site
         and from outside. The CHP would have a major effect, in terms of the scale of change,
         on views into the town centre as it would occupy the foreground of views, with the
         background and skyline substantially altered by redevelopment in the north-west zone.
         However, the assessment of impact suggests that ‘architectural treatment of the new
         buildings would significantly improve views compared with the current poor quality
         high buildings…. and….the CHP would be an important element in the view in the
         centre of the roundabout.’


         With regard to air quality, paragraph 7.8 concludes that:


         “The most important source of emissions after vehicular traffic would be the biomass-
         fuelled CHP unit forming part of the development proposals, which would contribute
         to renewable energy production for the town centre’s use. The air quality modelling
         work has encompassed these emissions. The CHP and use of appropriate technology
         into the new buildings would allow the development to be considerably more energy
         efficient and give rise to reduced pollutant emissions per unit floorspace in comparison
         with the majority of the buildings existing in Bracknell today.”




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11.448 Chapter 8 deals with noise and vibration issues and, although not specifically
         mentioned, the CHP would fall within the category of potential impacts from on-site
         stationary noise sources. Paragraph 8.6.2 concludes that:


         “Noise from operational plant would be minimised where necessary through the
         detailed design of the proposed development, and planning conditions may be used to
         inform the specific noise control measures in sensitive locations, where necessary. It is
         therefore considered that the operation of the plant associated with the town centre
         proposals would be designed to ensure that likely noise effects are mitigated and the
         residual effects would be insignificant.”


11.449 The Regulation 19 submission reviewed the cumulative effect of traffic increases and
         energy centre emissions, and concluded that the effect on air quality would not be
         significant, and national standards to be in force by 2010 would be met by a good
         margin. The relative contributions of additional traffic and the energy centre compared
         with background concentrations and baseline emissions would be low. The CHP
         would also offset emissions made from boiler plant and heating systems that would
         otherwise be required if a CHP were not developed. The CHP would be subject to
         stringent emissions controls under the Control of Pollution Act.


11.450 (iv) Representations


         The third party representations received in connection with this element of the OPA far
         exceed those received in respect of other elements of the scheme (approximately 155 in
         total) but, unlike the many diverse comments made on the town centre proposals, the
         objections to the CHP may be distilled into a number of clear concerns as follows:


         (a)      The development should be on an industrial estate/an alternative site should be
                  chosen/this is a residential area and such a building is inappropriate here.


         (b)      The CHP will be an eyesore, particularly at this important entrance to the town.


         (c)      The CHP will add to pollution, pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and
                  cause fumes affecting the health of residents.




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         (d)      The plant will generate noise nuisance around the clock.


         (e)      Traffic in the area is already excessive and additional HGV deliveries to the
                  plant will cause more noise, fumes and disruption.


         (f)      The 3M roundabout is a wildlife haven and it should be protected from
                  development.


         It is proposed to deal with these issues in the following sub-section of this report


         In addition to the above there have been four letters in support of the CHP. A letter
         from SEERA notes that the application complies with policies in the South East Plan
         on sustainable energy, and they wish to stress the importance they attach to this
         element of the scheme. A letter from TV Energy suggests that inclusion of the energy
         centre should remain an essential item in the development to ensure maximum
         integration is attained to the benefit of local people, businesses and the environment.
         The Council’s role is applauded and this sustainable regeneration of the town should
         provide an example for others to follow. (Note: TVE provide advice to the Council on
         renewable energy issues and are project coordinators for Renaissance) Similar letters
         have been received from Newbury Friends of the Earth and Reading University, the
         latter adding that we should be taking account of the needs of the next generation, and
         this development will help protect and enhance their environment.


         Finally, a response has also been received from Bracknell Friends of the Earth. They
         have raised a number of detailed questions about technical aspects of the proposals.
         FoE are broadly very supportive of the CHP in principle, they consider the site has
         been badly chosen, and a more central location adjacent to a tall building would be
         more appropriate. The group consider that the intended location would achieve only
         bad publicity for sustainable energy proposals and they also have grave doubts about
         the practicalities and cost effectiveness of sourcing sufficient fuel locally.


11.451 (v) Planning Analysis


         On a general matter first of all, it has been suggested by some objectors that an outline
         planning application is insufficient for this element of the proposal, because of the




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         absence of detail important to its consideration and determination. Officers have
         considered this proposition, and conclude that there is no reason why an outline
         application should not be submitted for this form of development in order to assess the
         acceptability of the principles involved, and in particular the ES provides sufficient
         detail to enable the Council to consider the likely significant environmental effects and,
         therefore, to properly determine the application.


         Turning to the issues in hand, it will be evident from the review of planning policy at
         paragraphs 11.435 to 11.445 above that there is a very substantial amount of policy
         support for developments of this nature at all levels of government. The reasons for
         this will be clear to all concerned, and indeed a number of respondents have, whilst
         making their objections known to the Council, also expressed support for the basic
         principle of a renewable energy resource for the town centre. This element of the OPA
         must be considered in the context of these policies but, as with any other form of
         development, regard must also be had to the amenities of adjoining occupiers and the
         visual impact upon the surrounding area.


11.452 The advice and policies already referred to suggest that renewable energy
         developments can be located almost anywhere in the country and they can, and should,
         be associated with all new developments, even small housing schemes. Particular
         encouragement is given to renewable energy in mixed use developments such as this.
         Whilst renewable energy schemes can take a number of different forms, this does tend
         to suggest that the concept of a biomass plant is not alien to a residential or semi-
         residential environment as a matter of principle, provided that no material harm is
         caused to amenity and this can be secured by the imposition of conditions. It is not
         therefore the case that this type of proposal is more appropriately located on an
         industrial estate, and indeed the guidance clearly states that the plant is best located
         near to the ‘end user’ of the heat and power.


11.453 It is proposed that the CHP would be co-located in the roundabout with an electricity
         sub-station, and it is understood that the location for that is determined by the direction
         from which electricity supply cables enter the town centre site area. (Parameter Plan
         PP10 refers) There is also a gas main in this north-west corner of the town centre, and
         this is proposed as a back-up fuel for the CHP. The applicants therefore considered
         that the CHP would be appropriately located in the roundabout but, there is no




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         requirement arising from advice in PPS6, as one objector has suggested, to provide a
         sequential test, as might be the case for a retail or leisure development for example.
         The Council is, however, required to consider the application, as submitted, on its own
         merits and whilst many objectors suggest that the CHP should be located ‘elsewhere’
         or on an industrial estate, no specific alternative sites have been proposed.


11.454 In this case the CHP is proposed in connection with a large and comprehensive mixed
         use development of the town centre and, as a matter of principle, it is considered that
         the proposal accords with guidance and policy. The site itself lies in between the
         residential area of Priestwood and the town centre, and it is separated from adjoining
         property by the roundabout and verges. Subject to detailed controls over the design of
         the building and its use, the development is considered acceptable in principle in this
         location.


11.455 The relationship of the CHP with adjoining buildings is an important consideration.
         The parameters set out in paragraph 11.446 suggest a building of one or two storeys,
         with a maximum floor area of 4,000 sq m. A single storey building of that size would
         not fit in the space available, but a two storey development could be positioned in a
         footprint that is comfortably accommodated in the space available, and situated a
         minimum of 30m from 24 Binfield Road and 50m from 1 Fowlers Lane. At these
         distances a two storey building, which may rise approximately 7m above road level,
         would not result in an adverse impact upon the nearest residential occupiers in terms of
         loss of light, shading or overbearing effects. In addition, this separation of the building
         away from the houses will create a space for large vehicles to pull in off the road. It
         would not be appropriate, however, for this space to be used for vehicle parking, off-
         loading of wood chip or external storage.         Thus, if the maximum floorspace is
         developed, it would be necessary for servicing to take place within the building and
         this can be ensured by appropriately worded conditions. Conditions should be imposed
         to ensure that the building does not encroach nearer to adjoining properties, and to
         control servicing, vehicle parking and fuel storage.


11.456 The appearance of the CHP in the wider locality is a concern of objectors, as they
         consider it will be an eyesore and an ugly industrial blot on the landscape. The
         circulation during the summer last year of a glossy leaflet, including a photograph of
         the Southampton Geothermal Plant and CHP, prompted more objections to be




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         submitted on this issue. The design of the building is a reserved matter and not for
         determination at this stage, and objections to the CHP need to be considered in that
         context.   Clearly the CHP site is widely visible from some homes, commercial
         properties and at a gateway to the town, and the ES acknowledges that the CHP would
         be an important element in the view from the end of Binfield Road. But the visibility
         of the site itself does not make it unacceptable. It is axiomatic that an industrial
         building of the size and appearance of that in Southampton would be totally
         unacceptable in this location. The Illustrative Design Statement accompanying the
         application requires that a high standard of design be incorporated in the
         redevelopment proposals, and this site is no exception. There is no reason why the
         applicants could not design an iconic building for the CHP on this site, and although
         the design will need to take account of operational requirements, your officers are
         satisfied at this stage that a satisfactory design can be achieved.


11.457 Similar considerations apply to the proposed flue which, with a maximum height of
         some 30m, would be a prominent feature above the building itself. A simple steel tube
         may not sit well above a building of exceptional design, and so it is considered that a
         more innovative approach should be adopted that would allow this ostensibly
         functional structure to be absorbed into a feature that is more attractive in its own right.
         Again this is a process of detailed design.


11.458 Objections to the CHP on the grounds of noise, either from plant and machinery or
         associated additional traffic, would be difficult to substantiate.          The ES clearly
         anticipates that any noise produced by equipment in the building can be contained
         within the structure and it is the reasonable expectation of the local planning authority
         and residents that existing background levels should not be increased. This can be
         secured by condition. Similarly it is not considered that noise emanating from delivery
         vehicles (normally 2 x 25 tonne vehicles per day, up to a maximum of 6) would be
         noticeable in the context of the volume of traffic using the roundabout each day.


11.459 The issue of carbon dioxide emissions, pollution and health features in many of the
         objections. It is important in this regard to note that the proposed fuel for the CHP in
         the long term will be clean, uncontaminated forestry arisings or thinnings, or wood
         chip supplied from a local energy forestry scheme, although gas may be used during
         the initial start-up phase or as a back-up fuel. Commonly the wood chip is produced




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         from short rotation coppice (willow or poplar) and this is regularly harvested to provide
         fuel. A condition can be imposed to ensure that only these types of fuel are used, and
         this would also address some residents’ fears that the CHP would become a waste
         incinerator. The important point to note is that these fuels are ‘carbon neutral’; the
         carbon dioxide released in the combustion process is equal to the carbon dioxide
         absorbed whilst the crop is growing. Therefore, this form of energy from biomass fuel
         does not add to carbon dioxide emissions, so exacerbating global warming. In contrast,
         if a sustainable energy scheme is not developed, the alternative would be the provision
         of individual boiler systems and flues for each component of the development, adding
         to carbon dioxide emissions.


11.460 Other concerns raised by objections relate to potential health risks arising from
         emissions. The applicants’ submission on September 14th in response to the Regulation
         19 request points out that the ES modelling of the impact of the CHP on air quality was
         undertaken on a worst case scenario in terms of input fuel. In summary on this issue
         the ES concludes:


         ‘The overall effect of the energy centre emissions, cumulatively with those of the
         increased traffic, would be to slightly increase nitrogen dioxide levels, compared with
         a scheme not including the energy centre. The effect on air quality would not be
         significant, and air quality would be expected to meet the national objectives that will
         be in force in 2010, by a good margin, in respect of both nitrogen dioxide and
         particulate matter. The relative contributions of the additional traffic and the energy
         centre, compared with background concentrations and the baseline traffic emissions
         would be low. The energy centre would also offset emissions made from boiler plant
         and heating systems that would otherwise be required if a CHP system were not
         adopted. The overall expectation is that the overall emissions of nitrogen dioxide from
         the development would be expected to be lower should the CHP be adopted. In respect
         of PCDD/DFs, the energy centre would be a source of about one fifth of a milligram
         per day of PCDD/DFs, while existing traffic contributes about half this amount around
         the town centre. Compared with background emissions the quantities would be small.
         The energy centre would be subject to stringent emissions controls, including controls
         on this set of compounds.’




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         The applicants’ have also confimed, however, that the proposed fuel would be that
         specified in paragraph 11.459 above, and therefore the actual impact on air quality
         resulting from the CHP will be likely to be less than the modelled impact. This
         demonstrates to the Council’s satisfaction that air quality objectives will be met by the
         development.


         In addition, as advice in PPS22 highlights, the planning system is supplemented by
         additional controls under the Pollution Prevention & Control Act 1999, the provisions
         of which are overseen by the Council’s Environmental Health & Safety Manager. A
         permit is required for the operation of this plant and this can include stringent controls
         over, amongst other things, the type of fuel used, maintenance and the emissions from
         the flue. These additional controls will ensure that the development does not result in
         any undue risks to health.


11.461 The final point raised at paragraph 11.450 above concerns the impact of the
         development on wildlife. In this respect the ES does not highlight the roundabout as
         having any particular ecological significance or value. As with other parts of the town
         centre to be redeveloped, there is some loss of existing open land, but there are other
         considerations in this case to be weighed in the balance, including the delivery of a
         complex and comprehensive regeneration scheme. It is concluded that there is no
         overriding ecological reason to retain this area as an open space, given the likely
         environmental benefits to be derived from this development.


         In conclusion on this element of the scheme, officers are satisfied that the objections
         raised do not justify rejection of the scheme, but it is pointed out that the terms of the
         recommendation do not require that the CHP be built, neither does it require that if it
         should be built the energy produced must be used by the town centre development.
         However, the proposal is considered acceptable in planning terms, subject to the
         conditions mentioned.




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11.462 Sustainability


11.463 (i) Policy Issues


         Sustainable development underpins all national planning policy as expressed in
         Planning Policy Guidance/Statements. In PPS1 it is defined as:


         “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of
         future generations to meet their own needs”.


         The Government’s overall aims for sustainable development are social progress,
         environmental protection, prudent use of natural resources and the maintenance of
         economic growth and employment. The role of planning is to facilitate and promote
         sustainable and inclusive patterns of urban and rural development by:


             •    Making land available for development.
             •    Contributing to sustainable economic development.
             •    Protecting and enhancing the natural and historic environment, the countryside
                  and communities.
             •    Ensuring high quality development, and
             •    Ensuring development supports existing communities.


         A development plan led system is regarded as central to the delivery of these objectives
         and so proposals should be determined in accordance with relevant policies.


11.464 The contribution that the planning system should make to achieving sustainable
         development is emphasised in all the Planning Policy Guidance and Planning Policy
         Statements previously referred to in this report. All of them promote the principles of
         sustainable development, either in relation to particular forms of development, its
         transportation implications, or in terms of the protection of the environment. Urban
         regeneration and the re-use of previously developed land are particularly important in
         creating a more sustainable pattern of development. There is a commitment from the
         Government to concentrate development for uses which generate a large number of
         trips in locations well served by public transport, especially town centres.          The
         guidance promotes the integration of transport programmes and land-use policies in




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         ways which help to reduce growth in the length of motorised journeys, encourage
         means of travel which have less environmental impact and hence reduce reliance on the
         car.   Development that encourages walking, cycling and public transport use is
         promoted. Advice in PPG3 encourages housing development at higher densities, with
         less parking provision and in existing, accessible, urban areas, whilst PPS6 promotes
         sustainable mixed use development through a series of objectives. These are:


         (a)      to sustain and enhance the vitality and viability of town centres.


         (b)      to focus development in locations where the proximity of businesses facilitates
                  competition.


         (c)      to focus development in locations that maximise the opportunity to use modes
                  of transport other than the car.


         (d)      to maintain an efficient, competitive and innovative retail sector.


         (e)      to ensure the availability of a wide range of shops, employment, services and
                  facilities to which people have easy access by a choice of means of transport.


11.465 PPG13 advises that travel patterns influence carbon dioxide emissions. In seeking to
         reduce such emissions, one aim would be to guide new development to locations which
         reduce the need for car journeys and the distances driven, or which permit the choice of
         more energy-efficient public transport, cycling and walking as alternatives to the car.
         The PPG provides a checklist of issues to be considered in reaching an overall view on
         policies to encourage the use of public transport, including, amongst other things:


         (a)      development to make full and effective use of urban land within existing urban
                  areas.


         (b)      development that is closely related to public transport networks.


         (c)      location of new development types that attract trips (e.g. office, employment,
                  shopping and leisure) at points such as town centres which are capable of
                  acting as nodes for public transport networks to avoid encouraging substantial




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                  increases in car use and where there may be advantages in enabling one
                  journey to serve several purposes.


         (d)      limitations (by capacity or price) of town centre parking, whether public or as
                  part of other developments, provided that does not encourage development in
                  more energy-inefficient locations elsewhere.


         (e)      appropriate interchange opportunities between major public transport
                  networks; and


         (f)      positive encouragement of facilities to assist walking and cycling.


         The PPG reminds local authorities that the planning system cannot compel people to
         live near their place of work, or to use public transport when it is available, or to walk
         or cycle, but it can encourage development patterns that provide a choice.


11.466 Advice in PPS 10 (July 2005) specifically addresses Planning for Sustainable Waste
         Management, an issue to be considered in this sub-section.             The key planning
         objectives are to address waste issues increasingly as a resource, looking to disposal as
         the last option; and to provide a framework in which communities take more
         responsibility for their own waste by providing waste management facilities to meet
         local needs. The recovery and disposal of waste is also encouraged without harm to
         health or the environment, enabling disposal at the nearest appropriate installation.


         In determining planning applications, local authorities should encourage the
         submission of site waste management plans to identify the volume and type of material
         to be demolished/excavated, opportunities for re-use, and how off-site disposal of
         waste will be minimised and managed. Good design and layout in development should
         be encouraged in order to facilitate sustainable waste management, recycling and
         collection.


11.467 The RSS incorporates the principles of sustainable development into its objectives and
         policies. Policy Q1 requires that urban areas should be the prime focus for new
         development and for redevelopment, and, amongst other things, local planning
         authorities should seek to ensure that new developments are well designed and




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         consistent with the objectives of sustainable development. Paragraph 5.9 of the RSS
         provides a checklist of sustainable design principles:


             •    Use of waste prevention and minimisation techniques;
             •    Installation of pollution abatement technology to reduce emissions to air and
                  water;
             •    Control measures for surface water drainage as close to its source as possible;
             •    Building design which facilitates the use of renewable energy;
             •    Energy efficient installations, including passive solar design for buildings and
                  improved insulation;
             •    Water efficient installations, including the use of grey water systems;
             •    Use of renewable and recycled materials during construction and design to
                  facilitate recycling systems, including combined heat and power and
                  community heating schemes; and
             •    Use of ‘soft’ construction and maintenance techniques harnessing natural
                  processes.


         Chapter 10 in the RSS provides further detail on the Supply and Development of Other
         Infrastructure – Water, Waste and Energy.             The achievement of sustainable
         development requires that these matters be addressed, particularly given the demand
         for development in the south-east region.        Demand for water, energy and waste
         disposal facilities could continue to increase significantly unless more sustainable
         alternatives can be achieved, and this is the challenge for the planning system.


         Policy INF2 requires that new development should be located and its implementation
         planned in such a way as to allow for sustainable provision of water services, and
         enable timely investment in sewage treatment. Techniques to improve water efficiency
         should be encouraged, and redevelopment should identify and rectify any legacy of
         contamination or drainage problems.


         The issue of waste disposal is of mounting importance in the south-east region because
         it is heavily populated, generates large volumes of waste and has increasingly limited
         options for disposal. A waste hierarchy has been developed which seeks in the first
         instance to reduce waste.       Re-use is the next best alternative, followed by value




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         recovery through recycling, and finally disposal. Policy INF3 seeks provision for
         waste disposal within the region’s own boundaries, wherein waste management would
         then be subject to the hierarchy described above.


11.468 The South-East Plan has further developed current thinking on sustainability by
         including a number of ‘cross-cutting’ policies that apply to all types of development.
         These are as follows:


         Policy CC1 -        The overarching objective of the Plan is to achieve and maintain
                             sustainable development.


         Policy CC2 -        The Plan will promote measures to mitigate and adapt to the forecast
                             effects of climate change through improved energy efficiency, reduced
                             travel, carbon sink land uses, renewable energy and waste reduction.


         Policy CC3 -        Sustainable resource use will be encouraged in new development and
                             through the adaptation of existing development to reduce use of
                             energy, water, etc.


         Policy CC4 -        Building construction should adopt sustainable standards and
                             techniques including energy and water efficiency, best use of natural
                             light/heat etc, recycling of construction waste, flexible building usage.


         With specific reference to the use of water resources, Policy NRM1 requires that water
         supply and quality will be maintained and enhanced through the avoidance of adverse
         effects of development.


11.469 In the Berkshire Structure Plan a series of sustainability objectives have been
         developed, and the plan policies generally assessed against these objectives to ensure
         their sustainability. Thus, the application of these policies to individual development
         proposals will secure sustainable development.           With specific reference to waste
         disposal arising from new development, Policy W4 reflects the hierarchy set out in
         regional guidance.




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11.470 The local plan policies have, similarly, been subjected to a sustainability appraisal to
         ensure compliance with the structure plan and national guidance. Thus, it is a stated
         objective to ensure that new development accords with the best principles and practices
         of sustainable development.


11.471 The statutory development plan policies relating to waste remain those contained in the
         Waste Local Plan for Berkshire 1998. The following policies are therefore relevant:


         WLP6 -              Development proposals should include provision for waste and means
                             of disposal.


         WLP7 -              Local authorities will encourage initiatives to reduce waste and its re-
                             use.


         WLP8 -              In considering proposals local authorities will ensure that development
                             provides for the use of recycled materials.


         WLP9 -              Major development proposals shall include recycling facilities for the
                             public, and facilities for waste separation/storage in individual
                             properties or premises.


11.472 (ii) The Proposals


         The application proposals have been previously described and the intention in this sub-
         section is to consider how any and all aspects of the OPA address the need to secure
         sustainable development. This may, for example, manifest itself in the following ways:


         (a)      The location/type of the development.
         (b)      Encouragement given to non-car modes of transport and restraint upon car use.
         (c)      The management of construction waste.
         (d)      Building construction techniques.
         (e)      Approach to energy conservation in buildings/renewable energy generation.
         (f)      Water conservation and drainage.
         (g)      Pollution abatement.
         (h)      Minimisation and management of waste.




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11.473 (iii) Findings of the Environmental Statement


         Various chapters in the ES touch upon issues of sustainability, such as transport, air
         quality, noise and contamination; and others deal with matters such as the preservation
         of the natural and historic environmental for which sustainability is also a goal.
         Chapters 10 and 16, however, deal directly with the issues of water resources and
         sustainability, and a resumé of each is set out below.


11.474 Bracknell Town Centre is not located in an area of sensitivity in relation to
         groundwater or surface water resources.         No major industrial or other effluent
         discharge would be generated; surface and foul drainage would be accommodated via
         similar arrangements as the existing town centre.

         The main likely significant effects of the scheme relate to the potential impact of
         construction works; changes in the amount of storm water run-off generated by the
         redeveloped town centre and how this would be controlled; and the effect of increased
         water demand on supplies from the River Thames.


         During construction, the application of normal site drainage controls and protective
         systems would ensure that contamination of groundwater would be prevented during
         the construction process. These measures would be implemented during the
         construction period as part of a Construction Environmental Management Plan
         (CEMP).


         Following completion of the development, surface water discharge arrangements
         would be similar to the existing provision. Some changes in the proportion of
         landscaped area to hard-surfaced area are expected, although the changes would be far
         smaller than the increase in development floorspace. Preliminary estimates have been
         made of the requirements for storm water retention capacity to deal with the changes
         envisaged, and as part of the development a Sustainable Urban Drainage Strategy
         (SUDS) would be developed to reduce peak run-off rates of rainfall from the town
         centre as a whole.




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         An assessment has been carried out of the impact of the increased water demand on the
         River Thames. The assessment indicates that the town centre development proposals
         would not cause significant effects on the quantity or quality of water in the Thames.
         Proposals for water efficiency would form a key element of the overall town centre
         sustainability strategy, and would be important measures in the mitigation of off-site
         (secondary) environmental effects arising from the abstraction of potable water from
         the Thames and discharge of treated foul effluent to The Cut from Bracknell STW.
         These measures would help reduce water demand, and thus the rate of water
         abstraction at the Bray water treatment works that is a key source of potable water for
         the town. Additionally the increase in the quantity of treated sewage discharged from
         Bracknell STW would be constrained.


11.475 Chapter 16 of the ES concludes that the development is in accordance with current
         Government policy including planning guidance in respect of sustainability. The site is
         previously developed land that would be regenerated and redeveloped, with a mix of
         land uses to create a sustainable community. The location of a substantial number of
         residential units within the development would help relieve pressure for development
         of greenfield sites for housing in Berkshire.


         The site already has comprehensive public transport links, which would be enhanced.
         The development involves substantial proposals for increasing cyclist and pedestrian
         accessibility to the town centre. The proposed parking strategy aims to encourage the
         use of public transport, and the proposals for hypothecation of car parking fees would
         fund public transport improvements, and promote a reduction in travel by car.


         The design of the buildings and their energy systems would meet standards that taken
         as a whole would achieve substantial energy savings relative to the requirements of the
         Building Regulations. The proposals for a CHP based on biomass fuel would further
         reduce the dependence of the proposals on non-renewable energy sources.


         A positive approach is being adopted to materials selection and design of buildings and
         their systems to meet high environmental sustainability standards. A Demolition
         Material Recycling Study would be undertaken prior to demolition commencing, and a
         strategy to maximise the re-use or recycling of materials, on or off-site would be drawn
         up. The design of the buildings will adopt appropriate measures to achieve BREAAM




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         ratings of very good. (The Building Research Establishment Environmental
         Assessment Method assesses developments on the basis of management, energy use,
         health and well being, pollution, transport, land use, ecology, materials and water
         consumption. Ratings are applied ranging from ‘pass’ to excellent’.)


         A Waste Strategy for the town centre would be based upon the provision of sufficient
         and appropriate facilities to enable waste minimisation and waste recycling in
         accordance with national waste objectives and the local waste plan. In addition
         management measures are being considered to encourage responsible waste
         management by tenants and other occupants of the town centre.


         The development proposals have carefully considered the public realm, and the
         proposals seek to encourage the vitality of the town centre. The detailed design would
         address issues of crime and security. The public spaces seek to reinforce a sense of
         place by drawing on what is positive about the present town centre and combining
         these with innovative new spaces accessible to the public.


11.476 (iv) Representations


         There are no third party comments specifically on the issue of sustainability.


11.477 (v) Planning Analysis


         In paragraph 11.472 above there are identified a number of aspects of the development
         to which sustainability principles should be applied. These are considered in more
         detail below:


         (a)      This is a comprehensive mixed use development for Bracknell town centre that
                  entails significant amounts of retail, commercial and residential floor space.
                  These uses are major generators of travel. The development is in a town centre
                  location with access to alternative modes of transport, and to be developed on
                  brownfield land. Importantly, the proposals would regenerate and enhance the
                  town centre. These locational considerations fulfil the basic principles of
                  planning policies intended to secure sustainable development.




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         (b)      The detailed analysis of the transportation aspects of the scheme have been
                  described earlier, but in essence these proposals would enable Bracknell
                  residents to fulfil their needs within the town, thereby reducing car journeys to
                  other centres. A single trip to the town centre could potentially fulfil several
                  purposes, and opportunities are created to encourage the use of public
                  transport.


         (c)      There are significant opportunities to manage and recycle construction waste
                  on a project of this magnitude, and the ES mitigation requires production of an
                  assessment prior to demolition commencing.           This can be secured by
                  condition.


         (d)      The design and construction of new buildings would provide an opportunity to
                  conserve natural resources through careful materials selection. Whilst much of
                  this detail is controlled through the Building Regulations, a sustainability
                  strategy can be required for the different aspects of the development.


         (e)      The development will be expected to achieve high standards of energy saving
                  through, amongst other things, orientation of buildings and energy efficient
                  materials. Again, these details can be secured via a sustainability strategy.
                  The generation of renewable energy from the CHP is innovative and to be
                  welcomed, as it would reduce reliance on other sources of power.


         (f)      In the ES there is a recommendation that a sustainable urban drainage strategy
                  be implemented for the redeveloped town centre, and this is also a requirement
                  emanating from the consultation with Thames Water. A condition to this
                  effect will be imposed. The sustainability strategy for the development must
                  also include proposals for water efficiency to help reduce water demand.


         (g)      The measures described in Chapters 7, 8 and 11 of the ES, to be secured by
                  conditions, will ensure that the development does not result in contamination
                  of air, noise or land.


         (h)      The applicants have produced an Illustrative Waste Management Strategy in
                  accordance with advice in PPS10, and a planning condition is required to




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                   ensure that this is worked up in more detail at reserved matters stage, and
                   implemented thereafter.


11.478 Overall, although the application is in outline form only, it is considered that there is
         significant potential to achieve a sustainable development that accords with the very
         fundamental principles of planning policy described above. Much will depend upon
         the submission of detail required by various conditions, but the indications are that the
         applicants are committed to achieving a sustainable development for Bracknell town
         centre.




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12.0     IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPREHENSIVENESS


12.1     The need for regeneration of the town centre has long been recognised and was
         reflected in the 2001 decisions by the Secretary of State, who accepted the need for
         redevelopment and regeneration in Bracknell Town Centre to improve and increase the
         retail provision through a significant amount of investment. The Council’s initiative in
         producing the Masterplan to promote town centre redevelopment is supported by
         ODPM advice (see for example paragraphs 11.6 – 11.8 above) and positive expressions
         of the development potential of the site are to be found in local, county and regional
         policies. Section 11 of this report has concluded that the application proposals comply
         with the adopted policies and, subject to the prior completion of a Section 106
         Agreement described in the next section and numerous planning conditions, it is
         recommended that outline planning permission should be granted.


12.2     In broader terms however the Council’s policy objective is to secure a comprehensive
         mixed use redevelopment of the town centre, (Proposals PE1(i) and (ii)) and this report
         has so far focussed on the comprehensiveness of the proposals themselves. However,
         achieving comprehensive delivery is an equally important consideration in this case.


12.3     The implementation of the scheme must hold out the prospect of a comprehensive
         solution if Council policies are to be fully realised. Three issues need to be addressed:


         (a)      Is the development consistent with the overall framework for comprehensive
                  town centre redevelopment
         (b)      Will it provide the main infrastructure and public realm elements required for
                  comprehensive re-development, and
         (c)      Would it be likely to provide an environment in which other development will
                  be encouraged.


12.4     Whilst the Section 106 Agreement and planning conditions can ensure that some
         aspects of the scheme come to fruition, such as mixed use development, public realm
         provision and transportation infrastructure, in the interests of proper planning and in
         order to meet the aspirations of policy, it would not be considered reasonable for the
         Council to structure the permission in such a way as to require implementation of the
         whole of the planning permission. If anything, it is likely to be counter productive and




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         militate against the regeneration the town centre clearly needs, particularly as it
         involves sites in third party ownership. In light of this, and given the objective of
         Council policy to secure a comprehensive redevelopment, it is necessary to consider
         whether or not those parts of the scheme that the applicants do intend to carry out
         would create the right conditions for development on other sites to come forward for
         redevelopment in the fullness of time.


12.5     The applicants have commissioned a report to consider these issues, and a copy is
         included as Appendix 12. The report describes the main elements of the regeneration
         of the town centre, BRP Development A, which the applicants are committed to
         implement and comprising the majority of the new retail, leisure and civic buildings,
         public realm and transportation improvements, in the following terms:


         (i)      73,907 sq m of the maximum retail floorspace principally in the northern part
                  of the town centre but also including a new food store near the railway station.


         (ii)     2,500 sq m of community/leisure floorspace in the northern sector of the town
                  centre.


         (iii)    350 residential units.


         (iv)     Relocation of the Council offices, library and other civic facilities and the
                  creation of a new civic square to replace Jubilee Gardens.


         (v)      Relocation of the British Legion, the Police Station and the Magistrates Court
                  building.


         (vi)     A new and improved public realm throughout the town centre including High
                  Street, Charles Square, Stanley Walk, and the pedestrian route linking the
                  railway station and Stanley Walk.


         (vii)    Public transport improvements including the relocation of the bus station.


         (viii)   Creation of new dedicated cycle and pedestrian routes.




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         (ix)     Inclusion of bus priority measures.


         (x)      Significant remodelling of the highway network in and around the town centre
                  to change the balance of priority and reduce the adverse impact of vehicular
                  traffic on the town centre; and


         (xi)     A programme of junction modifications on corridors outside the town centre to
                  mitigate traffic impacts.


         The development footprints listed above would constitute nearly 60% of the total
         maximum footprint proposed in the outline planning application in addition to the
         infrastructure works described. The remaining floorspace would be delivered on third
         party sites and on other sites owned by the applicants in response to future market
         demand. BRP Development A includes the infrastructure and other public works
         prescribed by Proposals PE1(i) and (ii) in the adopted local plan, and it therefore
         provides the essential framework for the comprehensive redevelopment of the town
         centre. (These works are shown coloured brown on the Illustrative Composite Plan
         previously referred to in this report and relate to projects inside the application site
         boundaries. Off-site highway works have been described earlier in this report)
         It is proposed that the delivery of those works be secured by planning obligations and
         conditions.


12.6     The works described as BRP Development A are proposed to be carried out in phases
         over a 5 or 6 year period and the phasing arrangements are described in the
         Environmental Statement as amplified in the Regulation 19 submission. A condition is
         recommended to secure compliance with the phasing whilst allowing for the possibility
         that the sequence of implementation should, subject to Council approval, be relatively
         flexible to reflect changes in the future, albeit consistent with the approach assumed in
         the ES. The implementation of BRP Development A does not however forestall the
         implementation of development on sites in third party ownership. It is encouraging
         that most of the relevant owners have indicated their intention to bring these sites
         forward within a reasonable timeframe. However, it is relevant to ask the question as
         to whether or not BRP Development A would further enhance the attractiveness of
         these opportunities thereby encouraging development on a comprehensive basis in the
         fullness of time?




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12.7     It is to be noted at this point that whilst BRP Development A would facilitate most of
         the necessary strategic infrastructure required by development plan policies and the
         Masterplan, the development of a third party site by the current or future owners in
         accordance with the outline planning permission would also be required to bear certain
         Section 106 requirements in order to mitigate the impact of development of those sites
         and to achieve other legitimate planning objectives.


12.8     The report commissioned by the applicants also considers whether BRP Development
         A will have a positive effect on the rest of the town centre, thereby enhancing the
         prospects of implementation of those other sites in the town centre in the future in
         order to ensure comprehensive regeneration has the best prospect of being achieved.
         This has been done chiefly by reference to other recent town centre regeneration
         schemes carried out in the United Kingdom, focusing on four towns in the South East.


12.9     The report identifies Bracknell as having a strong and growing economic base, with the
         fifth fastest growing population in the country. This derives mainly from its success in
         attracting major business occupiers, notwithstanding the downturn in the ICT sector,
         and this growth is expected to continue into the future. Conversely the town centre
         performs relatively poorly in the national retail rankings, (it is ranked 183rd in the UK)
         and compares with towns such as Weston-super-Mare, Scunthorpe and Dunfermline.
         Other towns nearby such as Reading, Guildford and Basingstoke are all ranked in the
         top 50 and have recently benefited from substantial new investments.              Although
         Camberley is currently ranked 132nd in the UK, it also has a major new town centre
         development planned.        The report comments that Bracknell has seen no new
         investment in recent years, and other new towns built in the same era such as
         Stevenage, Horsham and Hatfield are similarly all in the process of seeking to renew
         and extend their retail offer.


12.10    The applicants’ report reviews government policy documents and research carried out
         in recent years for organisations such as the Association of Town Centre Management
         and the British Council for Shopping Centres which demonstrate the critical role that
         retail development can play in the regeneration of town centres by acting as a catalyst
         and a financial driver of town centre regeneration. For example, a research project in
         2001 into town centre accessibility found that this is one of three critical factors for a




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         town’s success, alongside the range and quality of facilities on offer and the underlying
         economic growth prospects. It is clear that Bracknell enjoys good accessibility by road
         and public transport and it has strong prospects for household and business growth, and
         so the lacklustre quality of the facilities in the town centre is a major constraint to its
         success. The report suggests that BRP Development A will remedy this by improving
         the range and quality of facilities and retail offer, also bringing about an enhanced
         public realm and significant infrastructure improvements; and the sustainable transport
         initiatives proposed would further enhance the likelihood of successful regeneration of
         the town centre. The application proposals are therefore likely to significantly improve
         the prospects of the town’s economic performance in the future.


12.11    Further research in 2002 into Sustainable Funding for Town Centre Management
         explored opportunities for wider initiatives to improve town centre performance.
         Examples may include place marketing, environmental enhancement and crime
         reduction, and BRP propose to include these initiatives in their proposals. Again it is
         considered that this will help re-invigorate town centre management and encourage
         conditions in which businesses can thrive.


12.12    A report by Building Design Partnership (BDP) in 2002 recognised that retail
         developments are no longer confined to identified boundaries and are expected to form
         part of a wider vision for the regeneration of a centre by integrating with existing
         fabric, creating streets and spaces and delivering other facilities essential for a
         successful environment. In recent years retail-led regeneration has become a catalyst
         to unleash the potential of town centres by providing the necessary investment and
         infrastructure, uniting disparate areas of a centre, and sustaining a critical mass to
         support the other facilities essential to a vibrant town centre. Thus, developers are
         expected to provide far more than just retail floorspace, and it is clear that this
         application responds positively to this requirement.


12.13    The case studies included in the report reviewed the effects of new town centre
         developments in Reading, Southampton, Basingstoke and Banbury, providing evidence
         to demonstrate the economic success of retail-led redevelopment in the regeneration of
         town centres. Both Reading and Southampton show the regeneration spin-off effects
         of retail-led major development on other parts of the town centres, Basingstoke is an
         example of town centre renewal in circumstances similar to Bracknell, and the Banbury




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         example has a broadly similar catchment and economic profile to Bracknell. The
         studies, which compared the situations in each town before and after development,
         highlighted positive benefits in terms of retail rents, house prices, office rents and
         unemployment levels. With regard to retail rentals the benefits were not short-lived;
         there was continued demand for retail space despite the large influx brought about by
         the developments and this was a product of growth in the market rather than supply
         exceeding demand. In other words, these areas became more attractive locations to
         retailers through the creation of a modern and vibrant shopping environment, thereby
         creating inward investment.


12.14    The overall conclusion drawn from the report is that BRP Development A will deliver
         substantial elements of the application proposals and supporting infrastructure, in
         addition to which there is a firm expectation that this will encourage further
         development on sites owned by third parties. The delivery of the comprehensive
         framework by BRP Development A is an essential precursor to the regeneration of the
         town centre as a whole and, based on experience elsewhere, it is likely that these
         improvements will increase economic confidence in Bracknell and help retain
         expenditure in the town, thereby generating increased attraction in terms of
         employment and living opportunities. BRP Development A will therefore act as the
         catalyst for further development and investment producing the comprehensive solution
         desired.




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13.0     THE SECTION 106 AGREEMENT


13.1     The creation of planning obligations by Section 106 Agreement is vital to achieving the
         Council’s planning aims and objectives for a redeveloped town centre as set out in the
         BFBLP and the Bracknell Town Centre Masterplan. In line with ODPM Circular
         05/05, the Development Plan and “Limiting the Impact of Development” guidance
         approved in October 2001, Section 106 planning obligations can be sought where
         directly and reasonably related to development. It is reasonable to expect developers to
         contribute towards infrastructure and facilities which would not have been necessary
         but for their development.


13.2     The application is for major and comprehensive town centre redevelopment such that if
         development takes place as proposed, a much more successful, lively, accessible and
         attractive town centre will be the outcome.        In addition to transport and retail
         improvements, a mixture of development/uses is intended and the proposed
         commercial uses, residential development and community facilities included in the
         application will all add to town centre vitality and enhance the quality of the proposed
         redevelopment. Such major redevelopment will have an impact on infrastructure and
         facilities by creating an extra demand not met by existing provision, and to enable the
         redevelopment to go ahead that impact must be appropriately mitigated. The timely
         provision of infrastructure and facilities as development progresses is vital.         The
         applicant’s have acknowledged this by the submission of initial proposals for Section
         106 obligations, and throughout 2005 your officers have been discussing these matters
         with them.     It has been accepted that certain key elements, as well as necessary
         infrastructure and facilities, should be secured by Section 106 planning obligations.
         Broad agreement has been reached on the Heads of Terms, and a copy is included at
         Appendix 13. The following paragraphs summarise the provisions that are included.


13.3     Redevelopment to Include some Residential Elements – The applicant has accepted that
         there is a need to secure a minimum amount of housing as the development progresses
         and it has been agreed this would be in the following areas:


             •    8,000 sqm of housing above The Eye shopping centre.




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             •    1,500 sqm of housing above development proposed on Stanley Walk (on the
                  site of British Legion).


         As the application is outline with details to be approved, the final number of dwellings
         is unknown, but a minimum of 9,500 sqm of residential floorspace would be secured
         by Section 106 planning obligations.         This would amount to approximately 104
         affordable and 40 private units above the Eye, with 34 private units above Stanley
         Walk. An additional 7000 sqm of residential accommodation (84 affordable units)
         may be developed on the Jubilee Gardens site.


13.4     Residential Development on land not under the Applicant’s Control – The proposals
         made for these sites (along Market Street, at Winchester House, the Skimpedhill Lane
         Health Centre and Enid Wood House) are considered to be viable and more likely than
         not to come forward within a reasonable time. Provision depends upon the relevant
         landowner/developer bringing these sites forward and agreeing to Section 106 planning
         obligations, the need for which is directly related to their development. The applicant
         has agreed to an obligation to liaise with owners of these other (third party) sites as the
         town centre redevelopment progresses, and not to hinder the bringing forward of the
         proposed residential elements.


13.5     Access to High Street Car Park – The provision of a new pedestrian route from
         Princess Square through the car park to ground level at the rear of Humphries on
         Market Street to facilitate an eventual link via Legion Square to the Peel Centre.


13.6     Affordable and Key Worker Housing – The applicant has accepted that a significant
         proportion of the housing provided should be affordable. Also, that such housing
         requires an element of subsidy if it is to be accessible to people whose incomes are
         insufficient to afford housing locally and/or whose employment is of particular
         importance to the local community. The applicant’s initial proposals entailed a total of
         38% provision as required by the SPG, but an unacceptable tenure mix. The proposals
         now set out in the Heads of Terms aim to secure within BRP Development A no less
         than 30% overall, consisting of 46% social rented units, 19.5% home-buy units and
         34.5% shared ownership units, although it should be noted that the Heads of Terms do
         permit variations on tenure mix if appropriate agreements cannot be secured between
         the developer and the RSL. The fall back position is that 38% of units will be home-




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         buy units if no agreement is reached. The units in the northern part of the town would
         be constructed in at least two development blocks, whilst in the south the units would
         be built on serviced land, most likely the site of the present Jubilee Gardens. (see
         further paragraph 11.296)


13.7     Public Art – Provision is made for an audit of existing art in the town centre and its
         appropriate protection/retention during construction. The developer will also prepare
         and submit a New Public Art Delivery Plan for each development zone, for the scrutiny
         of a Public Art Panel. The value of new commissions has also been agreed.


13.8     Public Realm – As highlighted earlier in this report the upgrading and re-provision of
         public realm is an essential element of these proposals, and the lengthy heads of terms
         reflect the complexities of this issue. The terms provide that the developer shall
         prepare and submit an overall strategy for public realm areas across the whole
         application site incorporating twenty requirements, together with a management
         strategy. Following approval thereof, the town centre is divided into ten public realm
         zones for which detailed schemes will be prepared and implemented as development
         progresses. Specific requirements and triggers are set out for seven of the zones, and
         particular importance is attached to the provisions which aim to secure the opening up
         of Market Square. The heads generally provide that new floorspace shall not be used
         until public realm has been laid out.


13.9     Millenium Way – Provision is made for a financial contribution to upgrade the street.


13.10    Works Adjacent to McDonalds & Block C2 – The application indicates that the
         McDonalds premises will be demolished in order to open up the west end of High
         Street, an important requirement of the Masterplan. However, in the event that the
         entrance to the High Street is not re-configured Block C2 would not be built. The
         Heads of Terms also contain provisions aimed at securing improvements to the High
         Street adjacent to Bentalls.


13.11    Eastern Entrance to The Eye – Concern has been expressed (see paragraph 11.355d)
         about the amended footprint of Block N4.4 at the eastern end of the Eye, and this
         provision will enable an improved design at reserved matters stage.




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13.12    CCTV – Provision of a report to assess the feasibility of connecting the Council’s
         existing system into a new system to be specified and provided by the developers. The
         new system would include 24/7 monitoring and the developer is obliged to permit the
         Council and third parties to link into the system if feasible.


13.13    Mitigating the Impact of Residential Development – Developer contributions towards
         open space, education, youth community facilities, and waste management/recycling.


13.14    Re-provision of Town Centre Uses – Provides for the relocation of uses such as the
         Council offices, Police Station etc and assistance to the Citizens Advice Bureau and
         Day Nursery.


13.15    Recycling – Provision of recycling facilities to replace those on the bus station site.


13.16    Access to Bracknell Market – Continued access during construction work.


13.17    Securing Good Design – Facilitates the formation of a Design Review Panel to
         consider proposals for new buildings in the town centre.


13.18    Employment Strategy – Requires the developer to formulate a strategy to mitigate the
         impacts of the development on labour supply and to set up a ‘one stop’ employment
         service facility.


13.19    Special Protection Area – Includes obligations to mitigate the potential effects on the
         SPA including:
             •    leaseholder restrictions on dog ownership in the town centre;
             •    contributions towards improvements to existing major open spaces
             •    contributions towards management proposals for open spaces in the SPA
                  which monitor use;
             •    promote better education and sensitive use of the open space facilities.


13.20    TV & Radio Interference – Requires the developer to carry out pre and post
         development surveys to establish whether any adverse impacts have arisen and to
         mitigate those impacts if necessary.




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13.21    On-Site and Off-Site Highways Works – Obliges the developers to carry out highway
         works within and outside the site, as set out in the Transport sub-section. (paragraphs
         11.143 – 182)


13.22    Car Park Management & Revenue Hypothecation – The developers shall prepare,
         submit and comply with a management strategy for the car parks to control charging.
         The charges will be reviewed annually. In addition a levy shall be imposed within the
         parking charge, and this is to be paid quarterly into a Public Transport Fund as a
         subsidy to public transport.


13.23    Public Transport Initiative – Requires the payment of a commuted sum before
         development commences towards public transport facilities. The effectiveness of the
         initiative is to be monitored regularly.


13.24    Shopmobility & Community Transport – The provisions limit the opening of more than
         7000 sqm of floorspace unless and until a lease has been agreed for a shopmobility
         facility in a suitable location and with access to car parking facilities.          Similar
         restrictions apply to a community transport drop-off and pick-up facility.


13.25    Other Transport Initiatives – These include subway improvements, real time
         information systems, variable message signing, urban traffic control, park and ride
         facilities, bus station re-provision, travel plans etc, and the payment of commuted sums
         for the maintenance of the above facilities.


13.26    Appendix 14 sets out the proposed provisions for Third Party Sites. The matters to be
         secured by way of a planning obligation include (inter alia):-

         •   Securing that a mix of business and residential floor space is provided.
         •   Affordable Housing (it is proposed that 38% of residential units should be
             Affordable Housing).
         •   Matters relating to existing Public Art and Public Realm Strategies to mirror the
             provisions of the BRP Agreement.
         •   The provision of/payment of contribution towards new Public Art.
         •   Public Realm improvements in the North West Development Zone including
             contributions towards the improvement of Market Square (the basis on which
             contributions should be proportioned between development blocks is still under
             consideration).
         •   The improvement of central Market Street.




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         •   The improvement of High Street East.
         •   Contributions towards improving other specified Public Realm areas.
         •   CCTV.
         •   Financial contributions to mitigate the impact of residential development.
         •   Ensuring that the Market is either retained or replaced.
         •   Provisions to safeguard the Special Protection Area as per the BLP Agreement.
         •   Contributions from Development Blocks in the West Development Zone towards
             improvement of transportation infrastructure (the assessment of contributions for
             individual development blocks is still under consideration)

         If planning permission were to be granted for the development it would permit
         development to be carried out in accordance with the terms of the permission by
         owners who have not entered into planning obligations. Although the carrying out of
         development on that part of the land within the applicants’ ownership would provide
         the main infrastructure, it is still considered necessary for planning obligations to be
         entered into by third party owners to secure affordable housing, mitigate the impact of
         the relevant parts of the development and make some contributions towards
         infrastructure provision. The proposed Heads of Terms for Section 106 Agreements
         for third party sites are set out in Appendix 14. However, it should be noted that whilst
         there have been extensive negotiations between your officers and the applicant’s
         representatives as to the Heads of Terms for the Agreement to be entered into with the
         applicant, there has been no such negotiation with third party owners. It is considered
         appropriate that third party owners should be afforded the opportunity to make
         representations on the proposed Heads of Terms affecting their sites and accordingly it
         is recommended that such a process of consultation should commence and the outcome
         reported to a further meeting of the Committee.


13.27    Section 106 planning obligations are required to secure the timely provision of
         infrastructure, facilities and contributions made necessary by the development. The
         proposed development is considered satisfactory subject to a legal agreement to secure
         infrastructure works and other contributions towards the provision of local facilities.
         Other Section 106 obligations will enhance the quality of this major development.




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14.0     CONCLUSIONS


14.1     The starting point for the determination of any planning application is the development
         plan. In this case, although there is a very substantial raft of planning policies to take
         into account, the fundamental policy objective is to secure the regeneration of
         Bracknell town centre through a comprehensive redevelopment. (Local Plan Proposals
         PE1(i) and (ii) refer – see Appendix 9).        These proposals make it clear that a
         comprehensive mixed use development is required to regenerate the town centre as a
         whole and, in the event that separate applications are submitted for each site, neither
         development scheme shall prejudice the other.             The proposals may include
         redevelopment, refurbishment and townscape enhancements to strengthen and improve
         the retail area, add to diversity, improve environmental quality and strengthen the
         vitality and viability of the town centre. Any new development should be integrated
         with the surrounding urban fabric and well related to adjoining retail areas. Proposals
         should also accord with the Urban Design Framework and include a greater sense of
         identity, improved access into and through the town centre, the enhancement of the
         quality of the public realm, an appropriate mix of uses and a flexible development
         form.


14.2     The adopted policies are supplemented by the Council’s Masterplan for the town
         centre, itself adopted as SPG in 2002. This document sets out the detailed regeneration
         objectives and principles to be observed by any re-development proposals, (see
         paragraphs 9.2 and 9.3 of this report) and it goes on to propose a solution in the form of
         a Masterplan to secure those objectives. It is important to bear in mind, however, that
         this Masterplan is not prescriptive and so any planning application that may be
         submitted may offer an alternative solution.


14.3     The principles of the scheme are considered at Section 11(i) in this report (paragraphs
         11.17 to 11.22) and it is concluded that the criteria set out in the proposals PE(i) and
         (ii) are fulfilled, as are the criteria in Policy E1 of the Local Plan. Similarly, the
         application addresses the policies in the Structure Plan, Regional Spatial Strategy and
         ODPM guidance. Amongst the consultation responses it is notable that SEERA
         consider the proposals comply with current and evolving regional policies, and the
         Joint Strategic Planning Unit broadly welcome the application as it corresponds with




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         the Masterplan and it is central to the realisation of the vision for Bracknell set out in
         the Berkshire Structure Plan.


14.4     The comprehensiveness of the application is further reviewed in Section 12, drawing
         on the report submitted by the applicants, because this is inherent in the Council’s
         policy. It is known and accepted that the Council cannot require the applicants to
         implement the permission in its entirety, but what is important is to consider the extent
         to which BRP Development A would create the right conditions for other
         developments to follow, thereby securing a comprehensive treatment of the town
         centre. It is clear that the applicants are committed to BRP Development A, and
         associated with that phase of the development as a Section 106 requirement will be a
         substantial package of infrastructure, mitigation works and public realm provision.
         This would facilitate a comprehensive re-development of the town centre, in particular
         by encouraging investment on other sites. These sites, a number of which are owned
         by third parties, are capable of independent development in any event. However, they
         would not be over-burdened by infrastructure provision because BRP Development A
         will be obliged to deliver the majority of the infrastructure needed to deliver
         comprehensive redevelopment. It can therefore be reasonably concluded that these
         sites are more likely than not to come forward for development, and this will help to
         bring about the comprehensive re-development of the town centre.


14.5     Section 11 of this report also considers other aspects of the development under a series
         of topic headings which are broadly related to different areas of planning policy. The
         following paragraphs summarise the conclusions made on each topic.


14.6     Bracknell Town Centre is in decline and in need of regeneration. It does not serve its
         catchment area well for provision of retail and other town centre services.             The
         development and regeneration of the town centre is necessary to reverse this decline
         and to enable the town to serve its population and that of its catchment area adequately.


14.7     The proposal is of an appropriate scale to facilitate the performance of Bracknell’s role
         and function as advised in RSS, emerging RSS, Structure Plan and Borough Local
         Plan. The proposals would not adversely impact on the vitality and viability of any of
         the nearby towns identified.




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14.8     The proposals accord with Policies Q1 and Q5 of the RSS, Policy S1 of the Structure
         Plan and Policies E1, E5, E6 and PE(i) and (ii) of the Borough Local Plan. The
         proposal accords with Policies TC1, TC2 and paragraph 1.33 of the emerging RSS.
         The proposals accord with the advice of PPS6, in particular paragraph 2.10 in relation
         to the role and function of town centres and paragraphs 3.20 and 3.23 in relation to
         effect on town centres nearby.


14.9     The highways and transportation aspects of the scheme are of considerable importance
         in this case because of the emphasis in ODPM guidance upon linking development and
         transportation decisions with a view to promoting sustainability, and the policy
         requirement to provide an accessible town centre served by a range of means of
         transport. The conclusions in sub-section 11(iii) are supportive of the proposals, but
         reliant upon securing implementation through a Section 106 Agreement. In a few
         respects conditions will be necessary to ensure that some details of the scheme are
         revised and improved, and other conditions are recommended to ensure that details of
         the scheme are delivered.


14.10    The inclusion of a substantial amount of new housing in the development is to be
         welcomed to the extent that it reflects national and local policies, makes good use of
         existing developed land within a town centre well-served by public transport, and will
         promote life and activity in the town centre throughout the day.          The proposed
         floorspace would more than fulfil the SPG objective to provide ‘over 950 homes’, and
         in policy terms it would also help create a better balance between jobs and workers. As
         this is an outline application, the form and size of dwelling units can be controlled
         through planning conditions but, importantly, agreement has been reached on the
         provision of affordable housing to be developed by a registered social landlord.
         Significantly also, the applicants have agreed to develop a proportion of the private
         dwelling units at the same time as the retail scheme, and further units in the south of
         the town centre within 3 years of completion of a specified amount of Class A
         floorspace in the same area. This will contribute to the achievement of a truly mixed
         use development.


14.11    The outline planning application makes provision for new and replacement
         employment floorspace, but on a lesser scale to that suggested in the SPG. This is not
         considered to be an issue, as it would help create a better balance between jobs and




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         workers, but further reductions in floorspace may give rise to concern. To the extent
         that an imbalance may remain causing an in-migration or workers, an Employment
         Strategy is proposed as a Section 106 obligation.


14.12    An employment issue also arises in the consideration of the Balance & Mix of Uses,
         because the new floorspace, unlike the Masterplan proposal, is largely concentrated in
         the west and north-west zones. It is also clear that the construction of new employment
         floorspace on the applicants own sites will be market led, as no new floorspace is
         proposed in BRP Development A. The conclusion drawn from Section 12 is that BRP
         Development A will facilitate the delivery of a comprehensive re-development
         framework and favourable investment conditions to encourage third party sites to come
         forward.     These sites could provide approximately one-third of the maximum
         employment floorspace in mixed use developments, particularly along Market Street.
         In other respects the distribution of new uses and development around the town centre
         broadly accords with the Masterplan, and the character areas can be achieved. It is
         important, however, to create and maintain vibrant and interesting public thoroughfares
         and nodes of activity, and this can be secured through planning conditions and the
         Section 106 Agreement.


14.13    In the Built Environment sub-section a review is carried out of building relationships in
         and around the site, and the urban design aspects of the application. In most respects
         the juxtaposition of built form is considered acceptable, but there are some instances
         where new buildings could potentially have an undesirable impact upon the street scene
         or existing properties. Conditions are therefore recommended to ensure that these
         impacts are mitigated.    The application is also tested against the Urban Design
         Framework for the town centre, which has been largely superseded by the Masterplan.
         In the main it is concluded that the application is broadly in accordance with these
         documents at outline stage, and the detailed elements can be drawn out in the reserved
         matters. The issue of the bus stations’ relocation is explained through the evolution of
         the Masterplan, and whilst the outline application provides adequate information to
         assess the proposed bus station adjoining Market Square, a recommended condition
         requires further detail of interchange facilities at the railway station to ensure it is
         delivered to the Council’s satisfaction. In other respects there are few remaining areas
         of concern from an urban design perspective and it is considered that the matters raised




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         in paragraphs 11.355 - 363 can be resolved at detailed design stage through quality
         design and the imposition of conditions and obligations.


14.14    Turning to the issue of listed buildings, it is the statutory duty of a local planning
         authority when considering applications relating to listed buildings to have special
         regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting, or any features of
         architectural or historic interest which it possesses. It is also a requirement of planning
         policy and the Masterplan that the five listed buildings in the town centre be retained.
         This is achieved by the application proposals, and the accompanying Environmental
         Statement recommends that a number of principles be followed at detailed design stage
         to ensure a satisfactory relationship between new built fabric and those buildings. A
         condition has been proposed to this effect, but additionally consultation responses have
         raised concern about the potential over-dominance of new buildings behind The Bull
         PH and Boots Opticians. For this reason further conditions are suggested to limit the
         height of some new buildings, to ensure that a satisfactory setting is maintained for the
         listed buildings. Also in this sub-section it is recognised that archaeological issues are
         unlikely to be a major concern and the matter can be covered by condition.


14.15    The issue of public realm provision is also of considerable significance in this case
         because of its importance in the perception of the town centre and the
         policy/Masterplan objectives to secure substantial improvements to the existing
         situation.   The analysis focuses upon the existing and proposed spaces and the
         thoroughfares that will link them. The report concludes that in simple quantative terms
         there is no major difference between the amount of space existing and that proposed,
         but the proposals would establish a clear hierarchy and distribution of spaces around
         the town centre, and facilitate different characters and uses. The Masterplan
         emphasises the importance of these spaces in terms of activity and interest which will,
         in part, be created by the land uses surrounding them.            A condition has been
         recommended to ensure that suitable uses are introduced in these key areas. High
         quality treatment of spaces and thoroughfares in all areas affected by the development
         will be secured through the legal agreement.


14.16    The provision of public art is integral to the public realm issue, and the extent of work
         proposed in this case dictates that consideration be given to the preservation of existing
         works of art as well as the provision of new. Given the complexities of public art




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         retention, re-instatement and new provision arising from these proposals, the issue has
         been covered by Section 106 obligations in order to ensure that development plan
         policy is fulfilled.


14.17    Existing trees are also an important feature of the public realm. Although there are
         quite a few of them within the application site, it is concluded that some tree loss has
         to be contemplated if the town centre is to be comprehensively redeveloped. A few
         individual trees and small groups that are particularly beneficial in the street scene have
         been identified for retention by condition. In other areas, certain development blocks
         in key prominent locations need to be constrained by condition, to ensure that adequate
         space is available for new landscaping.


14.18    A number of issues are considered under the heading of Natural Environment, chief
         amongst them the potential impact of new residential development on the Special
         Protection Area. Although English Nature subsequently withdrew their objection to
         the proposals, it remains to be considered as a planning issue in its own right and it is
         also incumbent upon the decision making body to ascertain with certainty that the
         proposal will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of the SPA before it may grant
         planning permission.       (By virtue of the parallel requirements under the Habitat
         Regulations).       The full and thorough Appropriate Assessment carried out by the
         Council established that the development would possibly have an adverse effect on the
         SPA.     However, by adopting a precautionary approach, it was concluded that the
         delivery of appropriate mitigation in advance of residential development being
         occupied would preclude the possibility of the development contributing, in
         combination with other projects, to an overall effect which might conceivably be
         harmful. A package of mitigation works has therefore been agreed as a Section 106
         obligation.


14.19    In respect of ground contamination, micro-climate and signal transmissions, the
         Environmental Statement found no cause for concern, and any impacts arising could be
         adequately dealt with by planning condition or obligation. The issues of air quality and
         noise, particularly during the construction phase, would give rise to impacts on local
         residents and business/shop occupiers. Although the matter can again be dealt with by
         planning conditions, it will be important to ensure that the details submitted are




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         comprehensive and effective in resolving the impacts, and that proper monitoring will
         take place.


14.20    The proposed Combined Heat & Power Plant has emerged as the issue that has
         produced most objections. There have also been numerous expressions of support for
         the idea in principle. In particular objections have been made to the proposed location
         of the CHP, but neither government advice nor planning policy, of which there is a
         considerable amount in favour of such developments, seems to indicate that a CHP
         must be consigned to an industrial estate or some other discreet location. Rather, CHP
         developments are positively encouraged in conjunction with mixed use developments
         as a sustainable source of power, and they need to be located in close proximity to the
         developments they serve in order to optimise the benefits derived. Residents’ concerns
         have been taken into account in considering this issue and conditions are recommended
         to constrain the footprint of the building, external uses, noise from machinery and type
         of fuel to be used, etc.


         The appearance of the CHP is also a major concern to objectors, however, because of
         the location of the site. The visibility of the site itself does not make it unacceptable. It
         is axiomatic that an industrial building of the size and appearance of that in
         Southampton would be totally unacceptable in this location. The Illustrative Design
         Statement accompanying the application requires that a high standard of design be
         incorporated in the redevelopment proposals, and this site is no exception. There is no
         reason why the applicants could not design an iconic building for the CHP on this site,
         and although the design will need to take account of operational requirements, your
         officers are satisfied at this stage that a satisfactory design can be achieved


14.21    Turning to the issue of sustainability, in all aspects of planning policy new
         developments, especially on a significant scale, are expected to demonstrate
         sustainability credentials. In some respects the very location of this development in a
         highly accessible town centre will fulfil policy objectives, but there are many other
         ways in which resources and energy can be used to optimum benefit, and these are
         highlighted in the Environmental Statement. These opportunities must be secured at
         detailed design stage, and so a condition is recommended to ensure that a sustainable
         strategy for the development is prepared and observed during construction and




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         operation of the development. A requirement to obtain at least 10% of the energy
         needs of the development from renewable sources is also recommended.


14.22    The overall conclusion on the planning merits of this scheme is that the application
         complies with the provisions of the development plan, albeit that in some detailed
         respects conditions are required to ensure that potentially adverse impacts are mitigated
         and/or other policy requirements can be secured at a later stage. The Heads of Terms
         for a Section 106 Agreement are also an essential ingredient to secure compliance with
         development plan policies, to mitigate various impacts outside the site, and to ensure
         that a comprehensive mixed use development is achieved. Subject to these provisions
         it is concluded that these outline proposals will successfully result in the redevelopment
         and regeneration of Bracknell Town Centre and approval is recommended accordingly.




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15.0.    HUMAN RIGHTS CONSIDERATIONS


15.1     The Convention Rights applicable to the formulation of the Council’s position on the
         application are Articles 6 and 8 and Article 1 of the First Protocol.


15.2     Article 6 of the Human Rights Act provides that:-


                  “In determining his civil rights and obligations....everyone is entitled to a fair
                  and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial
                  tribunal established by law.”


15.3     Article 8 states that:


                  “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and
                  his correspondence.....interference is justified however, if it is in accordance
                  with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national
                  security, public safety or the economic well being of the country, for the
                  prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for
                  the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”.


15.4     Article 1 of the First Protocol states that:-


                  “Every natural or legal person is entitled to peaceful enjoyment of his
                  possessions”. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public
                  interest and subject to the conditions provided for by the law and by the
                  general principles of international law....”


15.5     The proposals have been extensively publicised, consultation has taken place with
         interested parties that will be affected by the grant of planning permission.        Further
         consultation is proposed to take place with the Owners of third party sites in relation to
         the proposed scope of the Section 106 Agreements which, should they chose to
         implement the planning permission granted in respect of their ownership, will need to
         be put in place. The Courts have held in the House of Lords case of Alconbury that the
         planning system in this Country is compatible with the European Convention on




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         Human Rights (ECHR) given the recourse which is available to all affected parties for
         administrative decisions to be judicially reviewed through the Courts.




15.6     Officers do not consider that the proposal is incompatible with Articles 6 and 8 nor
         with Article 1 of the First Protocol. It will be necessary to consider the implications of
         the Human Rights Act on any proposal to compulsorily purchase land in order to
         implement the scheme in the future should the Council resolve to use such powers in
         the public interest.


15.7     Overall, Officers are satisfied that the redevelopment of the Town Centre will have a
         positive impact on the social and economic well being of local residents and will
         provide an overall improvement in the quality of life for local residents in the public
         interest.




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16.0     RECOMMENDATION & CONDITIONS


(i)      Subject to:-


         (a)      referral of the application to the Secretary of State under the Shopping
                  Direction


         and      the Secretary of State not giving a Direction pursuant to Section 77 of
                  the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requiring the application for
                  planning permission to be determined by him instead of being dealt with
                  by the Local Planning Authority


         (b)      the completion of an Agreement pursuant to Section 106 of the Town and
                  Country Planning Act 1990 in accordance with the proposed Heads of Terms
                  set out in Appendix 13.


         (c)      further consideration by the Committee of the proposed Heads of Terms for the
                  draft Agreements to be annexed to the planning permission pursuant to
                  Condition 4 following further consideration of the outcome of the consultation
                  to be conducted pursuant to Recommendation (ii) below.


         The Head of Planning & Building Control be authorised to approve the application
         subject to the conditions set out in (vi) below.



(ii)     The Head of Planning & Building Council be authorised to consult owners of those
         areas of land to which Condition 4 will apply, on the proposed Heads of Terms for
         those Agreements as set out in Appendix 14


(iii)    A further report to be submitted to the Committee on the outcome of the consultation
         conducted pursuant to Recommendation (ii) above.


(iv)     The Borough Solicitor in consultation with the Head of Planning & Building Control
         be authorised to determine the draft Agreements to be annexed to the permission
         pursuant to Condition 4, subject to their being in compliance with the proposed terms




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         as set out in Appendix 14, as may be varied by the Committee on consideration of the
         further report pursuant to Recommendation (iii) above.


(v)      The Head of Planning & Building Control be authorised to take all such action as is
         required by Regulation 21 of the Town & Country Planning (Environmental Impact
         Assessment) (England & Wales) Regulations 1999.


(vi)     Conditions:-


Statutory Time Limits and Reserved Matters


1.      The development hereby permitted shall be begun not later than whichever is the later
        of the following dates: (a) the expiration of seven years from the date of this planning
        permission or (b) the expiration of two years from the final approval of the reserved
        matters for each development block, or in the case of approval on different dates, the
        final approval of the last such matter to be approved.
        REASON: To comply with Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


2.      No application for the approval of reserved matters shall be made to the local planning
        authority later than five years from the date of this permission.
        REASON: To comply with Section 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


3.      The development of a Development Block shall not be begun until approval is obtained
        from the local planning authority for the reserved matters of
        REASON: To comply with Section 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


4.      No works shall be carried out under this planning permission on any land to which this
        condition applies unless and until all parties with any legal or equitable interest in the
        respective area of land have entered into an Agreement pursuant to Section 106 of the
        Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in the terms set out in the proposed Section 106
        Agreement annexed to this permission for the respective area of land, and the title to
        such area of land has been properly deduced to the Council. This condition shall apply
        to the following areas of land:-
        [Areas of land to be referred to by Land Registry Title No. but will be the third party
        sites shown on the Illustrative Composite Plan. The detailed Section 106 Agreements




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        remain to be drafted but are proposed to be in accordance with the Heads of Terms for
        third party sites set out in Appendix 14 annexed to the report]
        REASON: To secure the appropriate infrastructure and housing provision appropriate
         for the development and to ensure that necessary provision is made to mitigate the
         impact of carrying out of part of the development.
         Policies: BSP, DP4, T4, H5, W4; BFBLP SC1, M4, H8 R4; BFBLP Supplementary
        Planning Guidance: Limiting the Impact of Development as approved 25 October 2001
        (including any subsequent revision). BFBC Housing Needs Study.


Construction and Phasing


5.      (i)      The development hereby permitted shall not be carried out save in accordance
                 with a construction and phasing programme which shall define development
                 phases, is approved by the local planning authority before the development
                 hereby permitted is begun.
        (ii)     The development shall thereafter only be carried out in accordance with the
                  approved construction phasing programme unless otherwise agreed in writing
                  by the local planning authority and the approved construction phasing
                  programme shall be monitored and reviewed in accordance with review
                  mechanisms and at such intervals as may be determined in writing by the local
                  planning authority as part of the initial strategy submission.
        (iii)    The construction phasing programme shall comprise the following three
                  documents unless otherwise agreed in writing with the local planning
                  authority:
                 •       A Construction Programme which shall set out the timetable for the
                         construction of Development Blocks and for demolition works,
                         earthworks, replacement of key Town Centre uses, public realm works,
                         landscaping works, highways works, and utility works.
                 •       A Planning Submission Programme which shall set out the order and
                         dates for the submission of reserved matters, strategies, other details and
                         samples of materials as referred to in other conditions attached to this
                         permission and the reserved matters, strategies, other details and
                         samples of materials shall thereafter be submitted in accordance with
                         the approved Planning Submission Programme unless otherwise agreed




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                         in writing by the local planning authority, and in any event, within the
                         time limits set out in Condition 2.
                 •       Phasing Diagrams which shall include the following details:
                         -         Development     Block       by   Development         Block     works
                                   commencement and completion dates
                         -         Landscape and highways works/public realm works on
                                   Development Zone by Development Zone basis
                         -         Access for vehicles and pedestrians
                         -         Scaffolding and hoarding lines
                         -         Services
                         -         Access arrangements for existing and new premises
        REASON: In order to ensure a phased programme of development in the interests of
        the proper planning and the comprehensive re-development of the area.
        Policies: SEP, CC5, TC1, TC3; RPG9 Q3; BSP DP4, DP5 , BFBLP E1, PE1(i), PE1(ii)


Parameter Plans


6.      Subject to Conditions 44 to 53 inclusive and Conditions 26 and 64 the development is
        to be carried out in accordance with the parameter plans for the development as set out
        in the following parameter plans:


        RL1          -       Red Line Area Plan
        PP1          -       Development Zones Plan
        PP2B         -       North Development Zone
        PP2.1B       -       North Development Zone Sections
        PP3B         -       North West Development Zone
        PP4B         -       East Development Zone
        PP5B         -       Central Development Zone
        PP6B         -       West Development Zone
        PP7B         -       South Development Zone
        PP8          -       Demolished and Retained Buildings
        PP9B         -       Finished Ground Levels
        PP9.1B       -       Existing Ground Levels Plan
        PP10         -       Utilities Plan
        PP11B        -       Detailed Transport Plan




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        REASON: To ensure the development is carried out in accordance with the parameters
        assessed in the Environmental Statement, as may be modified by those conditions set
        out below which the local planning authority considers necessary to secure a
        satisfactory development.
        Policies: BSP DP1, DP4, DP5 , BFBLP E1, PE1(i), PE1(ii)


7.      No application for reserved matters shall be submitted until the following (which shall
        be in accordance, where relevant, with the Environmental Statement) have been
        approved by the local planning authority:


        (a)      A servicing strategy to include servicing of the premises for the duration of the
                 construction of the development and its use thereafter and to provide details of
                 proposed changes in servicing facilities within the application sites (including
                 existing retained units).


        (b)      An access strategy for all including provision for people with disabilities, who
                 are visually impaired, have mobility difficulties, and for parents with
                 pushchairs and to include areas of public realm, and areas within buildings and
                 other structures.


        (c)      A waste strategy for non-residential uses.


        (d)      A strategy for the disposal of foul water from the developments.


        (e)      A drainage strategy including a study of the current surface water drainage
                 system and measures to dispose of surface water in a sustainable way.


        (f))     A sustainability strategy that adheres to the statements in Chapter 16 of the
                 Environmental Statement.


         (g)     A landscape strategy to include long term objectives and management
                 responsibilities.


         (h)      A strategy for the management of noise including that arising from units
                  permitted for any use within the following Use Classes namely A3/A4/A5/D2




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                  [as defined within the Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order 1987 as
                  amended] where they maybe located in close proximity to residential
                  development including sound insulation measures, and that arising from
                  external plant, machinery and ventilation equipment.
        Any application for the approval of reserved matters required to be submitted pursuant
         to Condition 3 shall be in accordance with the strategies above and development shall
         be carried out in accordance with the approved strategies as agreed in writing by the
         local planning authority or as may be amended (subject to any such amendment being
         in compliance with the Environmental Statement) by written agreement with the local
         planning authority.
        REASON: The Strategies are required to ensure that a satisfactory development is
        carried out in accordance with the Environmental Statement.
        Policies: SEP NRM1, NRM8; EN1, TC1, TC3


Construction Environmental Management Plan


8.      No development of any Development Phase shall be begun until the local planning
        authority has approved a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) in
        accordance with the Environmental Statement and the details in Schedule 1. The
        approved CEMP shall be observed and complied with in full during the carrying out of
        the Development Phase.
        REASON: To ensure the development is undertaken in an acceptable manner and in
        order to protect the facilities available to users of the Town Centre and the amenities of
        current occupiers and future occupiers for the duration of the development works.
        Policies: SEP NRM7, NRM8; BFBLP EN25


Control of Uses / Schedule of Areas


9.      Any applications for reserved matters shall accord with the schedule of floor space and
        allocated uses in Schedule PA2B (received on 25 May 2005) attached as Schedule 2 to
        this permission and in accordance with the parameter plans referred to in Condition 6.
        No floorspace including mezzanine floors additional to that approved shall be created.
        REASON: To ensure that a mixed use development which provides that a range of
        appropriate town centre uses that accord with the provisions of planning policy and
        Supplementary Planning Guidance is provided and having regard to the level of




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        development acceptable in this location to ensure that adequate infrastructure is
        provided and to ensure that neither the retail nor environmental impact of the
        development exceeds that which has been assessed in consideration of the application
        and the Environmental Statement.
        Policies: SEP TC1, TC3; BSP: S1, BFBLP PE1i, PE1ii, E1


Foul and Surface Water


10.     The development of a Development Block shall not be begun until a detailed scheme
        for the disposal of foul and surface water from each Development Block consistent
        with the strategies approved pursuant to Condition 7 above has been approved by the
        local planning authority. The scheme for that Development Block shall be constructed
        and completed in accordance with the approved plans, and the development block shall
        not be occupied until the scheme has been implemented and is in place to receive foul
        and surface water discharges from that Development Block.
        REASON: To prevent pollution of the water environment.
        Policies: BFBLP EN13, EN25


Contamination


11.     No development of a Development Block shall be begun until a comprehensive soil
        investigation report has been approved by the local planning authority and until:
        (1)      either the local planning authority has confirmed no remediation or mitigation
                 works are required, or
        (2)      the local planning authority has approved a scheme of remediation and
                 mitigation works including implementation, timetable and monitoring and
                 validation of the technology.
        Any such scheme shall be implemented and performed in full.
        REASON: In order to protect public safety and the environment.
        Policies: BFBLP EN25


Transfer arrangements of the bus station


12.     Unless otherwise agreed by the local planning authority, no development hereby
        permitted shall be begun within the footprint of the existing bus station (as shown




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        edged red on the plan marked Schedule (Annexe) 3 for purposes of condition 12
        attached to this permission) until the following have been approved by the local
        planning authority:-
        (a)       proposals for the provision of a permanent replacement bus station and taxi
                  facilities, and
        (b)       (only if it is proposed that the permanent replacement facilities should not be
                  provided and fully operational before development is begun within the
                  footprint of the existing bus station) proposals for temporary arrangements to
                  ensure the provision of an adequate temporary bus station and taxi facilities
                  pending the permanent replacement facilities becoming fully operational
                  (including proposals for the removal of the temporary arrangements upon the
                  permanent facility replacement becoming fully operational).
        The proposals approved pursuant to (a) above shall be implemented. Unless otherwise
         agreed by the local planning authority, no retail trading shall commence from any
         floorspace in the North Development Zone until the permanent replacement facilities
         have become fully operational. Any proposals approved pursuant to (b) above shall be
         implemented and complied with.
         REASON: These details are not included in the application and the Local Planning
         Authority wishes to ensure that adequate public transport provision is made and to
         ensure that the provision is acceptable in terms of visual amenity pedestrian movement.
         Policies: SEP T6; PPG13; BFBLP M8


13.     Notwithstanding the requirements of Condition 12 above, no development within the
        South Development Zone shall begin until details have been approved by the local
        planning authority of proposals for the bus/rail interchange adjacent to the railway
        station. Such details as may be approved shall be implemented and operational before
        the opening of the northern development zone for retail unless otherwise agreed in
        writing by the local planning authority.
        REASON: These details are not included in the application and the Local Planning
         Authority wishes to ensure that adequate public transport provision is made and to
         ensure that such provision is acceptable in terms of visual amenity, pedestrian
         movement and the retention of the link between bus and rail transport modes.
        Policies: SEP T6; BFBLP M8




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Car parking


14.     The first application pursuant to Condition 3 for approval of reserved matters in respect
        of a Development Phase or any part thereof shall be accompanied by proposals and a
        programme for the following in respect of car parking for such Development Phase:-
        (a)       total number of spaces
        (b)       directional signs and their locations
        (c)       surface markings
        (d)       pedestrian routes within the car parks (if any)
        (e)       details of car parking for people with disabilities, parents with toddlers
        (f)       car parking signage
        (g)       lighting
        (h)       means of access and egress control, including location of any barriers
        (i)       working details of any ramps and entrances/exits, including any consequent
         amendments to their widths
        (j)       the layout and operation of car parks, including a detailed dynamic capacity
         study to demonstrate whether there is sufficient reservoir capacity to prevent queuing
         extending onto the public highway
         (i)      Details of the ventilation of basement car parks.
        No development of a Development Phase shall be begun until the Council has
        approved proposals and a programme for the matters referred to above. The approved
        proposals shall be implemented in accordance with the approved programme and
        thereafter car parking shall be retailed in accordance with the approved proposals save
        as may otherwise be agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
         REASON: To ensure adequate provision is made for each phase of development; in the
         interests of the convenience of car park uses and to ensure that an adequate level of
         safety for car users and pedestrians will be provided during the course of the
         development and on completion.
         Policies: SEP T8; BSP T1, BFBLP M9, PE1(i), PE1(ii)


15.      The car parking provision for residential units shall not exceed a ratio of 0.9 spaces per
         dwelling.
         REASON: To accord with the provisions of the Environmental Statement and the
         Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999
         and the Appropriate Assessment and mitigation measures in respect of the SPA




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         Policies: SEP T8; BSP DP5, EN3, T5; BFBLP M9


16.      No car parking provision in addition to that shown in an approved reserved matters
         application complying with Conditions 3 and 15 above as being provided for
         residential dwellings shall be provided for those dwellings.
         REASON: To accord with the provisions of the Environmental Statement and the
         Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999
         and the Appropriate Assessment and mitigation measures in respect of the SPA
         Policies: SEP T8; BSP DP5, EN3, T5; BFBLP M9, PE1(i), PE1(ii)


Access


17.      The development of a Development Block shall not be begun until details of the means
         of vehicular access, parking and turning facilities together with associated means of
         access for mobility impaired pedestrians and, where appropriate, community transport
         vehicles and vehicles over 2 metres in height have been approved in writing by the
         local planning authority. The Development Block shall not be occupied until the
         approved details have been implemented as approved and shall thereafter be retained
         and kept available for use unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning
         authority.
         REASON: In the interests of accessibility and to ensure compliance with the
         Environmental Statement and the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact
         Assessment) Regulations 1999.
         Policies: SEP T6; BFBLP EN22, M7


18.      In the siting and design of the development required to be submitted as reserved
         matters pursuant to Condition 3 above, the gradients of footways, the gradient of rights
         of way and the gradients of cycleways shall not exceed those shown on Parameter Plan
         12B as included in the Submission received on 25 May 2005 made in response to a
         request from the Council under Regulation 19 of the Town & Country Planning
         (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999 at Annex 3.1 unless alternative
         gradients which do not have a significant environmental impact are agreed in writing
         by the local planning authority.




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         REASON: In the interests of accessibility and to ensure compliance with the
         Environmental Statement and the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact
         Assessment) Regulations 1999.
         Policies: BFBLP EN22, M7


19.      The development of a Development Phase shall not be begun until details of the design
         (including sections) of all ramps, pedestrian walkways or bridges, together with details
         of any alternative nearby access by lift or escalator or a programme for their provision
         have been approved in writing by the local planning authority. The approved details
         shall be implemented in accordance with the approved programme and retained in
         working order in accordance with the approved details unless otherwise agreed in
         writing by the local planning authority.
         REASON: In the interests of accessibility and to ensure compliance with the
         Environmental Statement and the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact
         Assessment) Regulations 1999.
         Policies: BFBLP EN22, M7


Servicing


20.      The development of a Development Phase shall not be begun until details of servicing
         arrangements in accordance with the Servicing Strategy approved pursuant to
         Condition 8 above and a programme for their implementation has been approved by the
         local planning authority. The servicing details shall include the following:
         (a)      details for the servicing of the units to be provided as part of each
                  Development Block.
         (b)      details of the proposed changes in servicing to the existing retained units.
         (c)      the proposed management of the service areas
         The approved details shall be implemented in accordance with the approved
         programme and the facilities shall be retained thereafter or as may be amended by
         agreement in writing by the local planning authority.
         REASON: - To ensure the proper planning and operation of servicing provision both
         during and following completion of the development.
         Policies: BSP W4, BFBLP M5




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



Cycle Routes


21.      The development of any Development Phase shall not be begun until details of all
         cycle routes within and serving that phase and including linkages to the local cycle
         route network and details of associated road markings and signage, and a programme
         for the provision thereof have been approved by the local planning authority. The
         approved details shall be implemented in full in accordance with the approved
         programme and the cycle routes, markings and signage shall thereafter be retained and
         kept available at all times, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning
         authority.
         REASON: To encourage and make provision for cycle transport as an alternative mode
         of transport.
         Policies: BSP T1; BFBLP M1, M6


22.      The development of any Development Phase shall not be begun until a proposal for the
         provision of cycle parking spaces, to include the number, type and location of cycle
         parking stands, lockable cycle cages and cycle equipment lockers to be provided within
         car parks and the public realm included in the phase and a programme for their
         provision have been approved by the local planning authority. The approved proposals
         shall be implemented in accordance with the approved programme and the cycle
         parking spaces shall be retained and kept available at all time, unless otherwise agreed
         in writing by the local planning authority.
         REASON: To encourage and make provision for cycle transport as an alternative mode
         of transport.
         Policies: BSP T1; BFBLP M1, M6


23.      The development of any Development Phase shall not be begun until details of
         advisory pedestrian and cyclist direction signs for all cycle routes and places of interest
         and a programme for their provision have been approved by the local planning
         authority. The approved details shall be implemented in accordance with the approved
         programme and the signs shall thereafter be retained and kept available at all times,
         unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority.
         REASON: To encourage and make provision for cycle transport as an alternative mode
         of transport.
         Policies: BSP T1; BFBLP M1, M6




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Other Highways Conditions


24.      The development of any Development Phase shall not be begun until details of the
         design and layout of all new and modified accesses to the Development Phase,
         including access for pedestrians and cyclists, visibility splays and a programme for
         their provision have been approved by the local planning authority. The development
         shall thereafter be carried out in accordance with the approved details and programme
         and the accesses shall be retained thereafter.
         REASON: To ensure the development is in accordance with the local planning
         authorities approved standards and in the interests of safety for pedestrians, cyclists and
         other users of the highways.
         Policies: BFBLP M1, M4


25.      The approved visibility splays shall be kept free of all obstructions to visibility over a
         height of 0.6 metres measured from the surface of the carriageway.
         REASON: To ensure the development is in accordance with the local planning
         authorities approved standards and in the interests of safety for pedestrians, cyclists and
         other users of the highways.
         Policies: BFBLP M1, M4


26.      No application for the approval of siting and/or layout as reserved matters pursuant to
         Condition3 shall be made in respect of Development Blocks W7; W8; W9 and W10 (or
         any of them) until detailed plans are approved by the local planning authority for the
         Market Street/High Street junction including a design which facilitates segregated and
         controllable access and egress to Development Block W1 separately from the other
         uses served by this junction including the required bus, taxi, pedestrian and cycle links
         between the bus station, town centre and Peel Centre. Any application for the approval
         of siting and/or layout as reserved matters for Development Blocks W7; W8; W9 and
         W10 shall comply with the approved plans. No building within the North Development
         Zone shall be occupied until the approved details have been implemented in full.
         REASON: Interests of highway safety or capacity.
         Policies: BFBLP M4




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



27.      The North Development Zone shall not be begun until detailed plans have been
         approved by the local planning authority for a new vehicular egress from High Street
         car park to Market Street. Such details as approved shall be fully implemented prior to
         the closure of the northern part of The Ring, and shall be retained thereafter.
         REASON: Interests of highway safety
         Policies: BFBLP M4


Waste


28.      In respect of all land uses except residential, no development of a Development Phase
         shall be begun until measures to:
         (a)      Minimise, re-use and re-cycle waste;
         (b)      Minimise the pollution potential of unavoidable waste;
         (c)      Provide for on-site storage of waste awaiting collection; and
         (d)      Dispose of unavoidable waste in an environmentally acceptable manner;
         have been approved in writing by the local planning authority. The approved measures
         shall be implemented during the course of building operations and retained, maintained
         and complied with during the subsequent use of the building(s) thereafter.
         REASON: To ensure the sustainable management of waste.
         Policies: BSP W1, W4, BFBLP M5


Environmental Statement Mitigation Measures


29.      The development of a Development Block shall not be begun until proposals for
         measures relevant to that block to secure compliance with the Sustainability Strategy
         approved pursuant to Condition 8 above have been approved by the local planning
         authority.   The development of the Development Block shall be carried out in
         accordance with the approved measures which shall thereafter be implemented,
         operated and retained and complied with unless otherwise agreed in writing by the
         local planning authority.
         REASON: To ensure compliance with the Environmental Statement and the Town and
         Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999.
         Policies: SEP TC3; BSP EN8




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                       9 February 2006



30.      The development hereby permitted shall not be begun until details of a Relocation
         Strategy for existing businesses, including a programme for implementation (to be
         consistent with the Environmental Statement) is approved by the local planning
         authority.   The approved strategy shall be implemented in accordance with the
         approved programme.
         REASON: To ensure compliance with the Environmental Statement and the Town and
         Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999.
         Policies: BFBLP PE1(i) PE1(ii), E4


31.      No development of any Development Block nor any site clearance or demolition works
         shall be begun until details of an ecological survey of bats and other protected species
         has been undertaken and submitted and any measures required to mitigate the potential
         effects of the development on bats or other protected species (as defined by the
         Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981) have been approved by the local planning authority.
         Any measures approved shall be implemented in full.
         REASON: To ensure compliance with the Environmental Statement and the Town and
         Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999.
         Policies: SEP NRM4; BSP EN3; BFBLP EN3


32.      The development hereby permitted shall not be begun until:
         (i)      Proposals for air quality monitoring have been approved in writing by the local
                  planning authority, the proposals to include the use of indicative monitors for
                  NO2 diffusion tubes at agreed sites in the vicinity of the Town Centre and on
                  haulage routes.
         (ii)     The approved proposals have been implemented for a period of one year.
         A report setting out the results of the Air Quality monitoring and analysis shall be
         submitted to the Council on the expiration of a period of one year from commencement
         of monitoring and thereafter on 1 April each year. Air Quality monitoring shall
         continue in accordance with the approved proposals until a period of one year has
         expired from completion of the development.
         REASON: To ensure compliance with the Environmental Statement and the Town and
         Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999 and to enable
         monitoring of the development and impact on air quality.
         Policies: SEP NRM7; RPG9 E7; BFBLP EN25




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



33.      No demolition of any Development Block shall be undertaken until:
         (i)      a demolition material recycling study in respect of that Block and,
         (ii)     demolition proposals to include recycling of demolition material on or off site
         have been approved by the local planning authority. The approved strategy shall be
         complied with in full.
         REASON: To ensure compliance with the Environmental Statement and the Town and
         Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999.
         Policies: BSP W1, W4


34.      No site clearance of any Development Block, including tree and vegetation removal
         and demolition of buildings, shall be undertaken during the main bird-nesting period of
         1st March to 31st July inclusive unless measures required to mitigate the impact on
         nesting birds, if any, have been approved in writing by the local planning authority.
         Any such measures shall be implemented in full.
         REASON: To ensure compliance with the Environmental Statement and the Town and
         Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999 and in the
         interests of nature conservation.
         Policies: SEP NRM4; BSP EN3; BFBLP EN3


35.      The details of siting and design of Development Blocks proposed to be sited adjacent
         to Listed Buildings pursuant to condition 3 above shall accord with the design
         principles contained in paragraph 12.4.4 of the Environmental Statement (pages S12 –
         14).
         REASON: To ensure compliance with the Environmental Statement and the Town and
         Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999 and to protect
         the setting of the Listed Buildings within the site.
         Policies: BSP EN4


CHP


36.      No application for the approval of reserved matters for the Development Block NW1,
         the proposed combined heat and power energy centre (CHP), shall provide for
         construction of any building, vehicle parking, loading, or storage area within 30m of
         the front main wall of the dwelling at 24 Binfield Road, nor within 50m from the rear
         main wall of the dwelling at 1 Fowlers Lane.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                           9 February 2006



         REASON: To ensure a satisfactory form of development and to protect the amenities
         of nearby residential properties.
         Policies: BFBLP EN20, EN25


37.      The flues to the Development Block NW1 and the proposed CHP shall not exceed a
         maximum height of 106m AOD.
         REASON: To ensure a satisfactory form of development and to protect the amenities
         of nearby residential properties.
         Policies: BFBLP EN20, EN25


38.      No vehicle parking; loading or offloading of fuel, materials plant or equipment; open
         storage facility, or any other activity undertaken in connection with the CHP
         (Development Block NW1) shall be undertaken within either of the areas referred to in
         condition 39 above.
         REASON: To ensure a satisfactory form of development and in the interests of the
         amenities of the occupiers of nearby residential properties.
         Policies: BFBLP EN20, EN25


39.      The Development Block NW1, the proposed CHP, shall not be begun until details of
         the proposed fuel supply for the CHP which shall be confined to clean uncontaminated
         forestry residues and thinning, and wood chip from short rotation coppicing [derived
         from an energy forestry scheme] or mains supply gas as a back-up fuel as specified in
         the Environmental Statement and the submissions by letter from BRP dated 14
         September 2005 pursuant to a request by the local planning authority pursuant to
         Regulation 19 of the Town & Country Planning (EIS) Regulations 1990, have been
         approved by the local planning authority.
         REASON: The CHP shall only be operated in accordance with the approved details
         and to ensure compliance with the Environmental Statement as supplemented by the
         Regulation 19 information.
         Policies: BSP EN8, BFBLP EN25


40.      The development of Development Block NW1, the proposed combined heat and power
         energy centre, shall not be begun until a scheme for the control of noise emanating
         from the building and associated plant and equipment has been approved by the local
         planning authority. The approved scheme shall be fully implemented prior to the




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         building being brought into use and thereafter the measures shall be operated in
         accordance with the approved scheme unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local
         planning authority.
         REASON: In the interests of the amenities of the occupiers of nearby residential
         properties and premises.
         Policy BFBLP EN20 and EN25


Housing


41.      No more than 50% of residential units permitted pursuant to the planning permission
         shall have more than one bedroom.
         REASON: Having regard to the housing needs study, the appropriate assessment
         submitted to English Nature by the Council in respect of the proximity of the
         development to the SPA it is necessary to ensure that each phase of the development
         comprises residential development that has an appropriate distribution of 1 and 2
         bedroom flats.
         Policies: SEP H6; RPG9 H4; BSP EN3, BFBLP EN3


42.      In respect of each Development Phase that includes residential use, no development
         within that phase shall be begun until details within that phase for the mix of 1 and 2
         bedroom residential units (such details to include a cumulative total of the mix between
         1 and 2 bedroom residential units which have already been agreed by the local planning
         authority in respect of earlier or agreed reserved matters phases) have been agreed in
         writing by the local planning authority. Any application for the approval of reserved
         matters for the relevant phase shall be in accordance with the approved details.
         REASON : Having regard to the housing needs study, the appropriate assessment
         submitted to English Nature by the Council in respect of the proximity of the
         development to the SPA it is necessary to ensure that each phase of the development
         comprises residential development that has an appropriate distribution of 1 and 2
         bedroom flats.
         Policies: SEP H6; RPG9 H4; BSP EN3; BFBLP EN3


43.      Any application for the approval of design and/or layout as reserved matters in respect
         of any Development Block which is to include residential units shall identify which of
         those units are intended to be fully accessible to wheelchair users.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



         REASON: In order to ensure that accessible housing is provided in accordance with the
         planning policies.
         Policies: SEP H6; RPG9 H4; BFBLP H14


Parameter Plans Limitations


44.      Notwithstanding the details shown on Parameter Plan 5B, the maximum height of
         Development Block C4 shall not exceed the floor level of any habitable room in the
         adjacent adjoining building on the west side of Charles Square, and no plant or
         machinery shall be placed on the roof of the new block without the prior written
         permission of the local planning authority.
         REASON: To protect the amenity of existing residents
         Policies: BFBLP EN20


45.      Notwithstanding the details shown on Parameter Plan 6B, a continuous gap of at least
         10m in width shall be maintained between Development Blocks W4 and W5, as a
         thoroughfare between Legion Square and the lifts serving High Street Car Park without
         the prior written permission of the local planning authority.
         REASON: To ensure that a satisfactory form of development is achieved.
         Policies: BFBLP EN20


46.      Notwithstanding the details shown on Parameter Plan 3B, the gross business floorspace
         to be accommodated on Development Block NW2 shall not exceed 35,000 sq m and
         the maximum height of any building on this Development Block shall not exceed 89m
         AOD.
         REASON: To ensure an adequate level of sun lighting and day lighting is achieved in
         respect of the nearest residential property on the north side of Millennium Way whilst
         achieving a gateway building of high design.
         Policies: BFBLP EN20


47.      Notwithstanding the details shown on Parameter Plan 2B, the maximum height of any
         part of Block N3.1 within 19m of the rear boundary wall of The Bull Public House, 56
         High Street, Bracknell shall not exceed 83m AOD unless otherwise approved in
         writing by the local planning authority.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                      9 February 2006



         REASON: To secure a satisfactory setting of the Bull Public House, a Listed Building.
         BSP EN4, BFBLP EN20


48.      In respect of Block N3.2, notwithstanding the details shown on Parameter Plan 2B, the
         block shall not exceed 10m in height within a distance of 24m measured from the
         rearmost wall of the 36 High Street, Bracknell. With the exception of single storey
         shop units, the depth of the building measured from the street frontage towards the
         flank wall of Ferriby Court shall not exceed 20m within a distance of 38m measured
         from the rearmost wall of 36 High Street, Bracknell, unless otherwise approved in
         writing by the local planning authority
         REASON: To secure a satisfactory setting of the Listed Building, and to ensure that the
         development does not have an unacceptable impact upon the building or the residential
         amenity of occupiers of Ferriby Court.
         Policy BSP EN4; BFBLP EN20


49.      Notwithstanding the details shown on Parameter Plan PP7B the detailed design of the
         developments required to be submitted for approval of reserved matters pursuant to
         Condition 3 above shall not exceed 102m AOD in respect of Development Blocks S6.1
         and S6.2.
         REASON: To ensure an adequate level of sun lighting and day lighting is achieved in
         respect of the nearest residential property on the north side of Blocks S6.1 and S6.2
         (the Presbytery adjoining St Joseph’s Church).
         Policy BFBLP EN20


50.      In respect of Blocks S6.1 and S6.2, the detailed design of the developments required to
         be submitted for approval of reserved matters pursuant to Conditions 3 above shall
         ensure that there are no windows serving habitable rooms in the north elevation of
         S6.2, or in north elevation of Block S6.1 for a distance of 50m measured east of the
         point at which it abuts Block S6.2 unless the prior written permission of the local
         planning authority is obtained for any variation thereto. More work needed
         REASON: To restrict overlooking and protect the privacy and amenities of the adjacent
         residential property.
         Policy: BFBLP EN20




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                       9 February 2006



51.      Notwithstanding the extent of the Development Blocks shown on the Parameter Plans,
         any application pursuant to condition 3 for the approval of reserved matters for a
         Development Block referred to in column (B) below shall include details of:
         (i)      The design of the proposed Development Block
         (ii)     The building line of the proposed Development Block
         (iii)    Servicing and access arrangements
         (iv)     Pedestrian and cycle routes
         (v)      Highway safety measures
         (vi)     Lighting/Signage
         (vii)    Landscaping
         (viii)   Tree planting; and
         (ix)     The relationship of each matter within (i) to (viii) above with all of the other
                  matters
         within the distance specified in Column (A) below measured in to the Development
         Block from the maximum parameter edge for the Development Block, specified in
         column (B) below in the same row in which the distance is specified. The development
         of a Development Block shall not be begun until the local planning authority has
         approved details for those matters specified above in relation to the Development
         Block.


          Column (A)                 Column (B)
          9 Metres                   Block N1 for the full extent of its frontage to Millennium
                                     Way
          3 Metres                   Block N7 for the full extent of its frontage to Millennium
                                     Way
          3 Metres                   Block N8 for the full extent of its frontage to Millennium
                                     Way
          9 Metres                   Block N2 for the full extent of its frontage to Millennium
                                     Way
          9 Metres                   Block N2 for the full extent of its boundary fronting the
                                     Met Office Roundabout
          9 Metres                   Block NW2 for the full extent of the Millennium and 3M
                                     roundabout frontage
          9 Metres                   Block NW5 for the full extent of its western edge and that




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                                  fronting Skimped Hill
          3 Metres                Block NW4.1 and NW4.2 for the full parameter extent
          3 Metres                Block NW3 for the full extent of its boundary facing
                                  Market Square and that facing the Health Centre site.
          3 Metres                Blocks W1,3,4,5 & 6 for the full extent of their boundaries
                                  facing Market Street.
          5 metres                Block S3 for the full extent of its boundary with Market
                                  Street and Station Road
          3 Metres                Block S4,S5.6 & S3.5 for the full extent of its frontage with
                                  Market Street.
          5 Metres                Block S5.4 & S5.5 for the full extent of its frontage with
                                  Church Road


         The Development Block shall be constructed in accordance with the approved details.
         REASON: To achieve good design and landscaping - interest visual amenity
         Policy: BFBLP EN20


52.      Notwithstanding the details shown on Parameter Plan 3B;
         (i)      the gross floorspace to be accommodated on Development Block NW4.1 shall
                  not exceed 7,500sq m, and the maximum height of any buildings shall be 90m
                  AOD and
         (ii)     the gross floorspace to be accommodated on Development Block NW4.2 shall
                  not exceed 7000 sq m, and the maximum height of any buildings shall be 81m
                  AOD.
         unless the prior written permission of the local planning authority is obtained to any
         variation thereto.
         REASON: To ensure that a satisfactory form of development is achieved.
         Policies: BFBLP EN20


53.      Notwithstanding the details shown on Parameter Plan 2B, the details required to be
         submitted for approval of reserved matters pursuant to Condition 3 above for
         Development Block N4.3 shall provide for a building not exceeding 15m in depth (east
         to west) and 22m in width unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning
         authority.
         REASON: To ensure that a satisfactory form of development is achieved.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                             9 February 2006



         Policies: BFBLP EN20


General Conditions


54.      Any application pursuant to Condition 3 for the approval of siting and/or layout as
         reserved matters in respect of a Development Block in the North Zone shall be
         accompanied by proposals as to a range of unit sizes for Class A uses (as defined in the
         Town and Country (Uses Classes) Order 1987 as amended or any order revoking and
         re-enacting the Order with or without modification) within the Development Block.
         The development of any such Development Block shall be carried out in accordance
         with the approved proposals and, save with the prior written agreement of the local
         planning authority, no alteration shall be made in the unit sizes of those unit sizes to
         which this proposal relates.
         REASON: To ensure a range of unit sizes are provided.
         Policies: BFBLP E1, BFBLP E3


55.      Any application pursuant to Condition 3 for the approval of siting and/or layout as
         reserved matters in respect of a Development Phase shall, where appropriate, be
         accompanied by proposals as to a range of unit sizes for Class B1 (Business) uses (as
         defined in the Town and Country (Uses Classes) Order 1987) within the Development
         Phase. The development of any such Development Phase shall be carried out in
         accordance with the approved proposals and, save with the prior written agreement of
         the local planning authority, no alteration shall be made in the unit sizes of those unit
         sizes.
         REASON: To ensure a range of unit sizes are provided.
         Policies: BFBLP E1, BFBLP E3


56.      Unless otherwise approved by the local planning authority no part of any Development
         Block along the active frontages adjoining the public realm areas of Charles Square,
         The Eye, New Jubilee Gardens and Market Square shall be used other than for Classes
         A1 (Shops), A3 (Restaurants and Cafes) or A4 (Drinking Establishments) as defined in
         the Town and Country Planning (Uses Classes) Order 1987).
         REASON: To ensure that active frontages are provided and retained where adjacent to
         public realm areas in the interests of the character and vitality of the area.
         Policies: BFBLP E1, E9




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                             9 February 2006




57.      Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted
         Development) Order 1995 (as amended) there shall be no change of use of Class A3
         (Restaurants and Cafes) or Class A4 (Drinking Establishment) units along the active
         frontages referred in condition 59 above, to A2 (Financial and Professional Services)
         save with the prior written consent of the local planning authority.
         REASON: To ensure that active frontages are provided and retained where adjacent to
         public realm areas in the interests of the vitality and character of the area.
         Policies: BFBLP E1, E9


58.      The development of a Development Phase shall not be begun until the local planning
         authority has approved proposals to secure that:-
         (a)      features of archaeological interest can be investigated and recorded, and
         (b)      if considered appropriate by the local planning authority any such features are
                  preserved in the ground undisturbed.
         The approved proposals shall be implemented and complied with.
         Reason: In the interests of recording and preserving the archaeological and historical
         heritage of the Borough.
         Policies: BFBLP EN7


59.      No development of a Development Block shall be begun until a scheme to secure a
         minimum of 10% of the predicted total energy requirements of the Development Block
         from renewable energy sources has been approved by the local planning authority. The
         scheme shall be fully implemented prior to the development block being brought into
         use, or alternatively, in accordance with a phasing scheme that has been agreed in
         writing by the local planning authority. The approved scheme shall be retained in
         place and operated thereafter unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning
         authority.
         REASON: To ensure a proportion of sustainable energy provision to the development.
         Policies: SEP CC2; BSP EN8


60.      No part of Development Blocks N3.1, N4.1, S6.1 and S6.2 shall be used for any use
         within Use Class D2 (Assembly and Leisure) as defined in the Town and Country
         Planning (Uses Classes) Order 1987 save with the prior written agreement of the local
         planning authority.




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         REASON: To protect the residential amenities of occupiers of nearby existing and
         proposed residential properties.
         Policies: BFBLP EN20, EN25


61.      Any application for the approval of the detailed design and layout of each
         Development Block to be submitted for approval of reserved matters pursuant to
         Condition 3 above shall include measures for pest-proofing the Development Block
         from pigeon infestation in terms of the form of construction and intended operation
         thereafter. Such details as may be approved shall be implemented in full and retained
         thereafter.
         REASON: To ensure that measures to deal with pigeon infestation are incorporated
         into the design of the building in the interests of achieving a quality development.
         Policies: BFBLP EN20


62.      The details of siting and design for the North Development Zone required to be
         submitted pursuant to Condition 3 above shall be accompanied by proposals for
         covered and open air shopping areas, in accordance with the arrangements shown in
         Parameter Plan 2B unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority.
         REASON: To provide a mix of shopping unit type.
         Policies: SEP TC3; BFBLP E1


63.      No application for the approval of siting and design as a reserved matter pursuant to
         Condition 3 shall be made in respect of a Development Block until the local planning
         authority has approved a detailed design strategy, including the range of materials to be
         used in external surfaces, for the Development Zone in which the Development Block
         is situated, such strategy to comply with the principles set out in the Illustrative Design
         Statement accompanying the outline planning permission. Any application for the
         approval of siting of design should comply with the approved design strategy.
         REASON: To produce a coherent design across the development in the interests of
         proper planning and the visual amenities of the area
         Policies: SEP TC3; BFBLP E1, EN20




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



Tree Protection


64.      Notwithstanding the extent of the Development Blocks shown on the approved
         parameter plans, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority the
         following trees and groups of trees shall be retained as part of the development:
         (i)      Millennium Way Nos 111 to 126 (Excluding 119 &102 located adjacent to
                  119)
         (ii)     Met Office Roundabout Nos 396 to 412 (Excluding 411)
         (iii)    Health Centre Nos 487 to 491
         (iv)     Fitzwilliam House Nos 202 and 461 to 486
         (All reference numbers shown on Tree Survey by Charles Funke Associates submitted
         by the applicant and received on 9 February 2005)
         REASON: In order to safeguard the trees that are considered worthy of retention in the
         interests of the visual amenities of the area.
         Policies: BSP DP5, BFBLP EN2 and EN20


65.      No development of Development Block S6.2 shall be begun until the Council has
         approved proposals to:-
        (a)       ensure that no tree within the tree screen identified by Charles Funke
                  Associates Surrey numbered 812 and 824-831 submitted by the applicant and
                  received on 9 February 2005 which dies or is damaged during or in
                  consequence of the construction of the Development Block and
        (b)       in the event of any such tree dying within a period of 5 years from the
                  completion of Development Block S6.2 in consequence of that construction, a
                  replacement tree of a species to size to be specified in writing by the local
                  planning authority should be provided.
         The approved proposals shall be implemented and complied with.
         REASON: To protect the privacy and residential amenity of the occupier/s of The
         Presbytery St Josephs.
         Policies: BFBLP EN20


66.      No development within a Development Phase shall be begun until details of all trees to
         be retained and a scheme for the protection of such trees in accordance with British
         Standard 5837 has been agreed in writing by the local planning authority.




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



         REASON: In order to safeguard the trees that are considered worthy of retention in the
         interests of the visual amenities of the area.
         Policies: BSP DP5, BFBLP EN2 and EN20


67.      No tree shown to be retained in accordance with the details approved pursuant to
         Condition 67 above shall be cut down, uprooted or destroyed, nor shall any retained
         tree be topped or lopped other than in accordance with the approved plans and
         particulars, without the written approval of the local planning authority. Any topping
         or lopping approved shall be carried out in accordance with British Standard 5837. If
         any retained tree is removed, uprooted or destroyed or dies, another tree shall be
         planted at the same place and that tree shall be of such size and species, and shall be
         planted at such time, as may be specified in writing by the local planning authority.
         REASON: In order to safeguard the trees that are considered worthy of retention in the
         interests of the visual amenities of the area.
         Policies: BSP DP5, BFBLP EN2 and EN20


68.      Within each Development Phase the erection of fencing for the protection of any tree to
         be retained shall be undertaken in accordance with the agreed scheme agreed pursuant
         to Condition 67 before any equipment, machinery or materials are brought on to the
         site for the purposes of carrying out the development, and shall be maintained
         thereafter until all equipment, machinery and surplus materials have been removed
         from the site. Nothing shall be stored or placed in any area fenced in accordance with
         this condition and the ground levels within those areas shall not be altered, nor shall
         any excavation be made, without the written consent of the local planning authority.
         REASON: In order to safeguard the trees that are considered worthy of retention in the
         interests of the visual amenities of the area.
         Policies: BSP DP5, BFBLP EN2 and EN20


Landscaping


69.      Any application pursuant to Condition 3 for the approval of landscaping as a reserved
         matter shall be accompanied by proposals for the following in respect of the relevant
         Development Zone:
         (a)      The proposed finished ground levels or contours;




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                       9 February 2006



         (b)      Proposed and existing functional services above and below ground (e.g.
                  drainage, power, communications cables, pipelines etc. indicating alignment,
                  manholes etc.); and
         (c)      Planting plans; written specifications (including cultivation and other
                  operations associated with plant and grass establishment); schedules of plants,
                  noting species, plant sizes and proposed numbers/ densities where appropriate.
         (d)      A programme for the implementation of landscaping works.
         (e)      Proposals for and a schedule of landscape maintenance for a minimum period
                  of ten years
         The approved proposals shall be implemented, observed and performed. REASON: To
         ensure the development is landscaped in the interests of the visual amenities of the
         area.
         Policies: BSP DP5, BFBLP EN2 and EN20


70.      Any trees or shrubs which are approved in a scheme pursuant to Conditions 3 and 69
         and which within a period of 5 years from planting, die, are removed or become
         seriously damaged or diseased, shall be replaced in the next planting season with others
         of a similar size and species, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning
         authority.
         REASON: To compensate for any damaged or dead vegetation in the interests of the
         visual amenities of the area .
         Policies: BSP DP5, BFBLP EN2 and EN20


Public Art


71.      No development shall be begun on Development Blocks W3, W4, W5 and W6 until a
         scheme for public art provision within the relevant development block has been
         approved by the local planning authority. The approved scheme shall be implemented
         before the first occupation of the relevant Development Block or Blocks. The public
         art shall thereafter be retained unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning
         authority.
         REASON: In the interests of the visual amenities of the area and the heritage of the
         Borough.
         Policies: BSP DP5, BFBLP EN27




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                     9 February 2006



Schedule 1 - Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)
The Construction Environmental Management Plan will cover:-
   • a scheme for the routes of construction vehicles and vehicles associated with the
       construction work to and from any part of the Development from the adjacent highway
       network, such routes to be used for the duration of construction works;
   • details of the provision to be made for entry and exit to the site and the parking of
       construction plant and vehicles and construction workers vehicles within the site, clear
       of the highway;
   • details of loading and unloading facilities
   • details of vehicle wheel cleaning facilities for all construction/waste removal vehicles
       leaving the site; and road cleaning facilities
   • details of any public rights of way through and around the site which are affected by
       the Development, in which connection, those to remain open shall be marked and
       fenced for the duration of construction works in the vicinity of such routes in a manner
       to be agreed with the Local Planning Authority in consultation with the Highway
       Authority;
   • details of the measures for the suppression of dust arising from those works, such
       measures to be carried out in accordance with the mitigation measures set out in the
       Environmental Statement and retained and operated for the duration of the works;
   • details of the levels of, and mechanisms for, the storage, disposal and removal of spoil
       and waste arising from excavation or construction works;
   • site security arrangements, including all site hoardings and other means of temporary
       means of enclosure;
   • details of service access to retained premises within, and adjoining, the Development,
       including the hours that the access will be available;
   • details of the provision of temporary taxi ranks as may be required;
   • details of measures to ensure that construction works are managed in a way that
       minimises their impact on land drainage and water features in accordance with the
       mitigation measures set out in the Environmental Statement;
   • handling and disposal procedures for contaminated wastes that may be discovered
       during construction
   • measures for the installation of noise reduction mechanisms on all plant, machinery
       and vehicles to be used on site
   • details to ensure that construction shall be carried out using best practicable means in
       accordance with BS5228 and in such a way as to minimise the effects of noise and
       vibration in accordance with the Environmental Statement
   • details of construction works involving noisy activities, piling or vibro compaction
       methods to be carried out, the monitoring and control of noise
   • no construction, excavation, earthmoving or similar works shall be carried out other
       than between 0700 hours and 1900 hours Monday to Friday inclusive, 08.00 hours to
       13.00 hours on Saturdays and not at anytime on Sundays or Bank Holidays without the
       prior written consent of the Local Planning Authority.
   • prevention of fires on site
   • delivery times and considerate driving agreement for all vehicles
   • site lighting proposals
   • measures for responding to complaints by a competent authority on site
   • control of surface water run-off




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Planning & Highways Committee                         9 February 2006



SCHEDULE 2




Redevelopment of Bracknell      286   Bracknell Forest Borough Council
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Planning & Highways Committee                             9 February 2006



SCHEDULE (ANNEXE to Conditions) 3
For purposes of condition 12.




Redevelopment of Bracknell          287   Bracknell Forest Borough Council
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Planning & Highways Committee                                                       9 February 2006



Informatives:


1.       Any detailed design shall have regard to the advice in the Building Research
         Establishment (BRE) “Site Layout Planning for Daylight & Sunlight – A Guide to
         Good Practice”.


2.       Measures to minimise the effects of external noise on new dwellings will need to
         include sound attenuation, landscaping, building orientation and design and should
         demonstrate that the following noise levels expressed as LAeq.tdB are to be achieved:
                   Time                Location                      Noise Level
          0700-2300                    Habitable rooms               40 dB(A)
          2300-0700                    Habitable rooms               35dB(A)
         If fixed shut glazing forms part of the scheme, dwellings should incorporate a
         specifically designed artificial ventilation system capable of meeting the requirements
         of Building Regulations.


3.       Under the terms of the Water Resources act 1991, the prior written consent of the
         Environment Agency is required for any discharge of sewage or trade effluent into
         controlled waters (e.g. watercourses and underground waters), and may be required for
         any discharge of surface water to such controlled waters or for discharge of sewage or
         trade effluent from buildings or fixed plant into or onto ground or into waters which are
         not controlled waters. Such consent may be withheld. Contact Environment Agency
         01276 454447 for further details


4.       Under the terms of the Water Resources Act 1991, the prior written consent of the
         Environment Agency is required for dewatering from any excavation or development
         to a surface water course. Contact Environment Agency 01276 454447 for details.


5.       In order to carryout effective fire fighting operations all aspects of Section B5 of
         Approved Document B (The Building Regulations) and the Berkshire Act should be
         taken into account when developing plans for this project. Contact Royal Berkshire
         Fire and Rescue Service for details.


6.       Thames Water recommends in order to ensure that the foul and surface water discharge
         from the site is not prejudicial to the existing sewage system that the Applicant consult




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                      9 February 2006



         with them regarding means of connection to Public Sewers pursuant to Sections 98 to
         101 of the Water Industry Act 1991.


7.       Any detailed design shall have regard to the advice in shall have regard to Energy
         Efficiency with reference to the Building Research Establishment Environmental
         Assessment Method (BREEAM standards).


8.       All dwellings should meet the ‘Secured by Design’ criteria. Information is available at
         www.securebydesign.com


9.       Food Registration – The proposed development includes premises which will be
         required to comply with the Food Safety Act 1990, the Health and Safety at Work etc.
         Act 1974 and related Regulations. Further information should be sought by contacting
         the food and safety team on Bracknell (01344) 352000.


10.     The proposed development includes businesses which will be required to comply with
        the Food Safety Act 1990, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and related
        Regulations. Further information should be sought by contacting the food and safety
        team on Bracknell (01344) 352000.


11.     Surveys and schemes required to be submitted in respect of trees to be retained shall
        have regard to the requirements of British Standard BS 5837 ‘Trees in Relation to
        Construction Recommendations’ (2005).


12.     All landscaping schemes required to be submitted shall have regard to the requirements
        of British Standard 4428 ‘General Landscape Operations’ (1989) and British Standard
        3998 ‘ Specification of Trees and Shrubs’ (1992).




Redevelopment of Bracknell                     289                 Bracknell Forest Borough Council
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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



Glossary:
    •    Key Town Centre Uses
         Offices of BFBC (currently at Easthampstead House/Seymour House)
         The Public Library
         Police station
         Magistrates Court
         Royal British Legion premises

    •    Retail Areas – as shown in the Colliers CRE retail capacity study February 2002
         AREA 1-The Bracknell Urban Area
         AREA 2- A surrounding hinterland including several major towns representing the
         predicted geographical extent of the town’s hinterland.
         AREA 3-The area covering the extent to which most, though not necessarily all, longer
                 distance shopping trips will be made.
         These areas do not relate to drive time distances.

    •    GEA - Gross External Area is the area of the building measured externally at each
         floor.

    •    GLA - Gross Lettable Area is the usable area within a building measured to the
         internal face of the perimeter walls at each floor level. GLA excludes non productive
         space i.e. staircases and escalators, lift shafts and motor rooms, fire escape corridors,
         plant rooms, structural columns, landlord support areas including common means of
         escape and loading bays. It does include non-sales floorspace created as part of the
         tenants fit out i.e. storage, staff rooms, staff canteens, admin, offices etc. as shown on
         the SPG masterplan

    •    The Development – unless defined otherwise this relates to the whole of the land
         within the Red Line shown on plan RL1 in the Outline Planning Application.

    •    The Development as defined in Schedule 1 (BRP Development) – This term will be
         amended once a plan has been produced but it includes development blocks that BRP
         are likely to be able to control and areas of public realm that BRP will be responsible
         for bringing forward.

    •    The Development as defined in Schedule 2 (non BRP Development) – As above this
         term will be amended once a plan has been produced but it will include the
         development blocks which will remain outside of BRP’s ownership and any public
         realm works being brought forward by third parties (if any).

    •    Development Block – As defined in Parameter Plans PP2B, PP2.1B, PP3B, PP4B,
         PP5B, PP6B, PP7B.

    •    Development Zone - As defined by Parameter Plans PP2B, PP2.1B, PP3B, PP4B,
         PP5B, PP6B, PP7B.

    •    Development Phase – a phase of development which could include one or more
         Development Blocks and as defined in a phasing strategy.

    •    Commencement of development – this excludes works such as service diversions/
         infrastructure works, construction hoardings or temporary construction




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Planning & Highways Committee                                                        9 February 2006



         accommodation. It includes excavation works and foundation works to facilitate the
         development. (Need to be confirmed)

    •    Environmental Statement – This means the Environmental Statement submitted in
         November 2004 as supplemented by further environmental information received on 23
         May 2005 and 14 September 2005.

    •    Parameter Plans – Indicate Development Blocks (coloured orange) within each
         Development Zone. The development to be within the height parameters indicated in
         table and/or by cross sections and within the floorspace indicated for different uses in
         the Parameter Plans. It should be noted that the extent of the Development Block does
         not indicate the footprint of the proposed building/s and that certain conditions restrict
         development within some of the Development Blocks

    •    Reserved Matters – The details required as reserved matters in this application are
         siting (with the exception of blocks C1-5), design, external appearance and landscaping
         of the relevant development block.

    •    Infrastructure - Basic services necessary for development to take place, for example,
         roads, electricity, sewerage, water, education and health facilities.

    •    Strategy - An overarching planned approach to the various elements of the
         development.

    •    Programme – a sequence of specific events and works.

    •    AOD - Above Ordnance Datum (mean sea level)

    •    SPA – The Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) is a network of
         heathland sites which are designated for their ability to provide a habitat for the
         internationally important bird species of woodlark, nightjar and Dartford warbler. This
         area is designated as a result of, and is protected by, the European Habitats Directive.
         The Habitats Regulations implement in Great Britain the requirements of the Habitats
         Directive. The Regulations aim to protect sites in the UK that have rare or important
         habitats and species, such as the Thames Basin Heaths SPA, in order to safeguard
         biodiversity.

    •    BFBLP Bracknell Forest Borough Local Plan adopted 2002
    •    BSP Berkshire Structure Plan adopted 2005
    •    SEP South East Plan (emerging regional policy)
    •    RPG9 Regional Planning Guidance
    •    SPG - Supplementary Planning Guidance – Bracknell Town Centre Masterplan 09/02




Redevelopment of Bracknell                     291                   Bracknell Forest Borough Council
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