UPDATE: Councillors back proposal to remove covenant protecting Blue Mountain golf course

Published: 22 Jan 2014 23:004 comments

FURIOUS protesters have blasted a "shameful" decision by Bracknell Forest councillors to back plans to build 400 homes and an education village on parts of Blue Mountain golf course in Binfield.

At a fiery full council meeting tonight, 34 councillors voted in favour of removing a legal covenant protecting the land from being built on.

Six councillors - including four Conservatives - voted against the proposal.

The four rebels were Cllrs John Harrison, Brenda Wilson and Ian Leake, who represent Binfield with Warfield, and Cllr Robert Mclean, of Warfield Harvest Ride,

Both UKIP Cllrs - Shelagh Pile and Michael Sargeant both voted against the proposal, while Cllr Clifton Thompson was not present at the meeting.

Borough Mayor Cllr Jan Angell repeatedly threatened to halt the debate as angry residents chanted "disgrace" and "shame on you" at councillors.

A final decision on whether to remove the covenant will be taken by executive member for planning and transport, Cllr Chris Turrell, next month.

He abstained from voting.

Jump to first paragraph.

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  • paulth
    1 post
    Jan 22, 23:22
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    I was at the meeting and am not sure if some councillors didnt vote according to party whip (even though it was claimed not to be a whip vote). When it was stated to be an open non-whip vote the councillor in front of me (Councillor Blatchford) gave a knowing nod to the councillor to his left (Councillor Allen).

    As a Binfeild resident I am not against development in the area, but why develop a thriving recreational area..! Especially when a 125 year covenent was in place to protect that. There was mention made of not extending the development beyond what has been stated, however given that the council have gone back on a legal cevenent how can we trust ANYTHING they now say..!

    Recommend?   Yes 38     No 0

  • Forester
    36 posts
    Jan 23, 11:25
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    Most of Bracknell's councillors reneged like sheep on the 125 year commitment to maintain open space between Bracknell and Binfield and in the process have let down EVERY local resident in the borough.

    So look forward to miserable urban sprawl, wholly inadequate infrastructure and permanent congestion - a legacy to blight East Berkshire for generations long after this shower have gone.

    Recommend?   Yes 25     No 1

  • DavidBinfield
    1 post
    Jan 23, 14:19
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    I was at the meeting and the vote went as predicted. Councillors local to the area were against and all the NIMBY's vote for as the school is clearly needed and why not suggest this is the ONLY site in Bracknell because no-one else wants it built in their area. This way, all councillors get re-elected by their local residents because they have served their 'local residents'

    I thought some of the arguments made by one or two of the councillors was very poor indeed and factually incorrect, and I still struggle with the removal of this legal agreement and previous promises that the council have made on this. This is where central government should step in and reverse the decision because clearly mistakes have been made along the way and I don't feel anyone has a grip on this issue.

    This is all far from transparent and it is clearly the easy option for the Borough. I for one will not be staying in Binfield and will be looking to move out of Bracknell Forest. The Council thinks it is doing the right thing but will come to regret the decision they have made in haste. I would like to see a survey of the parents who did not get their first choice of school - how many of these would really support a school on Blue Mountain? ...and by the way, the reason kids go to St. Cripins is because the schools are better in Wokingham and Garth has only recently turned itself around! There are no guarantees that a new school on Blue Mountain will be successful and kids will still need to be bused/driven to school.

    Recommend?   Yes 21     No 1

  • Jamesr
    1 post
    Jan 23, 16:28
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    This is another classic example of BFC not listening or thinking through what it is doing. This is evident by how they have managed the planning at Jennetts Park and the developers lack of interest in providing shops. The poor way the Twin Bridges roundabout development has happened and the subsequent excuses by the planning team and the cllrs about what a difficult project it is. Now we loose more green space and a thriving golf club to fit more houses in. The planning and transport team can't even get the retender of the bus services right, as seen by sacking Courtney, putting Thames Travel in for a few months and then hastily giving it to First. As for the bin collections, it has to be one of the worst services I've ever seen.

    The entire planning & transport department should be removed and I would say fired for gross misconduct. There shouldn't be any payouts to those that don't deliver, can't perform and make very bad decisions.

    Recommend?   Yes 17     No 1