This Website has been set up by the Save Jealott’s Hill Campaign to coordinate opposition to the removal of the Green Belt status on the Syngenta site.
Bracknell Forest Council has included a proposal in their revised 2020 Local Plan to change the status of the Green Belt at Jealott’s Hill to allow 2,000 houses to be built as "enabling development" (read "subsidy") to a Science Park for Syngenta. However, Syngenta has only developed half of the allocated built area on the current site. The unused built area is more than sufficient to accommodate the Science Park without the surrender of an additional 300 acres of Green Belt.
Bracknell Forest Council has stated the additional housing is not needed to meet the local housing need to 2036 and Syngenta, a privately owned multi-billion dollar company, is perfectly capable of funding their own facilities.
We are committed to getting this proposal stopped and prevent 2,000 unnecessary new houses being built over the Green Belt.
A great summary of the planning environment can be found at https://www.planninghelp.cpre.org.uk/planning-explained. Planning explained is part of a suite of materials produced in 2011 by CPRE in partnership with NALC to help local communities shape where they live.
The flowchart below has been extracted from a CPRE/NALC (2011) document called "Planning explained" which can be found at: https://www.cpre.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Planning_explained.pdf
Bracknell Forest Council is obliged to maintain an up to date Local Plan at all times.
The development of the current BFC Draft Local Plan began in late 2015 with an evidence gathering and notification process.
A Review of the Green Belt area was carried out in conjunction with Wokingham BC. In this review the land in the Jealott’s Hill site was found to make a contribution to meeting the Green Belt objectives.
In June/July 2016 there was a consultation process around Issues & Options.
Further evidence and analysis was carried out between July 2016 and February 2018.
A consultation was carried out in connection with this Draft Plan in February 2018. In the course of this draft the significance of the Jealott’s Hill site was covered in some detail and it was recommended that any future development on the Syngenta site should be limited to the area and height of the existing built on area.
A copy of that section of the February 2018 Draft can be found here:
This clearly set strict limits on any future development on the site as visualised by the Council.
Further consultations were carried out in the autumn of 2018.
In the autumn of 2019 BFC produced a Draft Local Plan Revised Growth Strategy Document. This document contained an Addendum to the Draft Plan which introduced a whole new view on Jealott’s Hill including a 4,000 home development and a Science & Innovation Park. The Consultation process surrounding this document and which ended on 6th December 2019 led to the formation of the Save Jealott’s Hill Campaign.
The section on Jealott’s Hill from the Draft Growth Strategy Review Consultation of December 2019 is accessible through the link below.
This Consultation produced 1,000's of objections. The draft summary of the responses to those objections has just been published by the Council.
This is where we are today.
NEXT STEPS IN THE PROCESS:
After giving an appropriate period for review the Council finalise the responses summary.
Council to produce what is called the “Submission Version” of the draft Plan and on which there will be a further consultation. We are told this is likely to be produced in or around mid-summer 2019.
Following the publication of this draft there will likely be a 6 week or so consultation during which there will be meetings and during which we will need to coordinate a range of responses challenging the Jealott’s Hill proposal should it continue to be in the draft.
This Draft Submission Document PLUS the objections to it will then be the subject of what is known as a Regulation 19 Inquiry involving at least on Inspector from the Planning Inspectorate and we will be pressing for this to be a Public Inquiry.
Normally it takes 10 weeks from the Council submitting these documents to the Inspectorate to the start of the Inquiry. It can take longer depending on the complexity of the issues but we will assume the 10 weeks are enough.
Our estimation based on what we hear is that the earliest an inquiry could start now is end of October.
Result of the Inquiry could be sometime mid to late Q1 2021
If there were no overwhelming complexities involved and if there was no legal challenge to the process or how planning law was applied in the inquiry then likely the Plan could be adopted in Q2 2021 (6 years after the process of developing the Plan began).
The Save Jealott’s Hill Campaign will only be fighting one section of the Plan and will be asking to have the proposal either thrown out or greatly scaled down. We have no interest in any other part of the Plan and indeed no mandate to have any interest.
We will need to recruit the services of expert witnesses in Planning Consultancy, Traffic & Transport and probably Ecology as well as legal Counsel to represent us at the Inquiry. This will be very costly and likely in the area of £100,000. If we cannot raise this money from the community then we cannot fight on beyond where we are now. So there will be significant CrowdFunding needed starting soon.