Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee approved Dibbo Ltd’s application to demolish the former Gold Cup pub in Fernbank Road – empty since December 2011 – and replace it with five houses.
The plans will also include off-street parking and three bollards either side of the entrance to the development. However, many residents in the area park there, partly on the pavement, but this would be prevented if the bollards are installed.
While accepting housing in principle, some residents objected to the bollards, saying these would deprive them of much-needed parking spaces – and cause neighbourhood tensions in the scramble for spaces in the area.
Neil Davis, from Davis Planning, speaking at last Thursday’s meeting on behalf of Dibbo Ltd, said he understood the residents’ concerns and the developer was prepared to remove the bollards from the plans as an amendment.
He said “This is a set of high-quality houses to replace an unsightly and derelict building.
“We always want to listen to the concerns of residents and removing the bollards to help the parking issue is one thing we could do.”
Cllr Tony Virgo, of Ascot ward, defended the residents, saying: “The road is always absolutely full of traffic – a lot of development has gone on and the road cannot cope.
“All the nearby schools are full too. There is a great shortage of car parking for residents of Fernbank Road and this would make it worse.”
However, the majority of the committee decided not to take up his suggestion, with chairman Cllr Colin Dudley saying it was viewing the plans from a planning perspective.
He said: “Let’s be clear. Paths are for people and pedestrians and not for cars to half park on them. We judged the application from purely a planning perspective.”
The application had received 14 objections, with locals concerned about the removal of parking space and some worried the planned buildings are too high compared to neighbouring properties.
Fernbank Road resident Dan Williams, who spoke at the meeting on behalf of the objectors, said after the meeting: “We don’t want the building just standing there doing nothing just like everyone else but we wanted something in keeping with the area. Especially with the parking issue, the council is just going to create a fragmented community.”