Bid to demolish eyesore former 3M building revived

Published: 7 Jan 2014 09:302 comments

PLANS to demolish the derelict former 3M building and replace it with new multi-storey blocks of flats have been resubmitted – despite a public consultation over the future of the building and Bracknell Market still ongoing.

Bilrose Ltd has put forward plans for a 19-storey building comprising 311 flats, shops, a restaurant and a leisure centre, plus the creation of an outdoor market between The Red Lion and Skimped Hill Health Centre, in High Street.

The company – a subsidiary of Comer Homes, which owns the building – outlined its plans for the future of the site in two planning applications to Bracknell Forest Council.

The plans have been welcomed by Janet Gilbert, who lives in Kennel Lane, Warfield.

In a letter to the council, she said: “I am in full support of this application. It should have happened years ago.”

The planned 311 flats will be made up of 94 one-bedroom, 186 two-bedroom, 29 three-bedroom and two penthouse apartments.

There would also be

363 sq m of shops, a 436 sq m

restaurant and a 825 sq m leisure centre, plus 356 car park spaces, including 17 for disabled drivers.

In its transport statement, Bilrose Ltd said this equated to an average of 1.1 parking spaces allocated to each property – above the 0.9 spaces required by the National Planning Policy Framework.

However, in a letter to the council, Calvin Kent, from Underwood, Great Hollands, said: “Although I agree with the application in principle I strongly object to the pitiful amount of proposed parking for this development.”

He warned of “continuing problems with residents causing parking congestion on surrounding roads for years to come”.

Comer Homes submitted a similar application in April 2012 which was turned down by the council on a technicality after an environmental impact assessment was not submitted within the required deadline.

However, in this latest application, there is an environmental statement.

Outline planning permission was granted last year for the redevelopment of the site as part of the overall town centre regeneration. These latest, detailed planning applications for the new building and the outdoor market are due to be decided in March and the former 3M building could be demolished by November.

To comment, visit the planning section of and search for application references 13/01068 and 13/01065.

Meanwhile, the consultation on the future of the former 3M building – officially called Winchester House – and Bracknell Market, which is underneath the building, gives residents three options.They are:

l Keep Bracknell Market and Winchester House as they currently stand and do not redevelop the site

l Move Bracknell Market to an outside location and re-

develop Winchester House

l Close Bracknell Market and redevelop Winchester House.

The consultation runs until January 13. Visit


Jump to first paragraph.


Have your say - post a comment on this article

Registered users log in here
If you are registered with us, you can login here. If you are not registered, please do so now. Once logged in you wont have to complete word verification each time you post.

  • Scooby41
    16 posts
    Jan 7, 13:11
    Report abuse

    I agree that parking maybe an issue, but I believe the council are implementing a permit system for residents parking in streets close to the town entre, as part of the wider regeneration. As long as the council monitor parking within those areas, there will be fines for those who park without one.

    Lack of parking is a given for any town or city centre residential development and when you buy or rent in such a development, you are aware that you are limited to one or two designated spaces. If you require more parking, you have to pay for it. Windsor residents recieve a discount for overnight parking in some of the towns car parks.

    I remember when the apartments were completed on the site of the old Met Office. Those residents spilled over onto Deepfield Road and the grassed area across the road. Existing resients were unhappy and the grassed area was turned into a huge mud bath. One resident of the new development told the local press that the developer or the council should do more.

    Why I ask myself? If these residents have more than one car, they should have thought about that beforehand. Land is extremely expensive in such locations, which is why there are not acres of parking. If those residents were offered addtional parking spaces at £15k each, perhaps they would not have been so blase about it.

    Recommend?   Yes 19     No 1

  • timespassing
    27 posts
    Jan 7, 15:01
    Report abuse

    The parking spaces are available though as Comer have access to over 500 in their car park, they just don't want to use them. Looking at other Comer developments they tend to attract "buy to let" landlords and parking issues seems to occur in the larger ones. Yes, there is a permit scheme planned and Priestwood residents will probably have to pay to park their cars or park in a neighbouring area to avoid the charge thus pushing the problem even further outwards and affecting an even greater area. A resident of the new tower block using their car only at weekends probably wont mind having to walk a little distance to park their car, I can though see issues for the persons who have cars parked up outside their homes from one week to the next. The council are also being less than honest by linking the permit scheme to the possibility of building workers parking in side streets when it was always about this development. I was told by MBW there are also possible plans to turn Eagle House to residential use putting further strain on resources.

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 8