Taylor Wimpey is to demolish 50,000 sq ft Beaufort Park at Crowthorne to build 68 homes.

The £18 million eco-friendly office building, completed in 2009, has never been occupied and has been the subject of a long-running planning battle over its redevelopment for housing.

The application, proposed by land owner JPP and Hodge Developments, was refused by Bracknell Forest Council in April 2018 over loss of the strategic gap.

But an appeal decision on October 29 this year by the Planning Inspectorate has ruled it can go ahead.

The judgement stated: “Given the site is already developed, and development would be contained within the envelope of the existing site, there would be no material impact on the function of the gap in terms of the physical and visual separation of settlements.”

Since the ruling, JPP Land, represented by Knight Frank, has sold the site to Taylor Wimpey and the housebuilder is already working on the next stage of the planning process.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we have exchanged contracts on the Beaufort Park site in Crowthorne, which has outline planning permission for 68 homes, and we will be preparing our reserved matters proposals for the site over the coming months.”

Tim Traynor, associate in the residential development land team at Knight Frank, said: “This is an excellent brownfield site with strong development potential. With JPP Land achieving outline planning permission for 68 homes on the site, it presented a good opportunity in a well-placed location, and we’re pleased to have disposed of the site on behalf of our client.”

The scheme’s initial refusal by Bracknell Forest Council was supported by many residents who packed the 2018 planning committee meeting. Representations were made by property industry  body, BSRIA (Building Services Research and Information Association), which had also opposed the redevelopment and had wanted to take a lease on the building.

Chris Peters of JPP Land said: “We’re delighted that Knight Frank have acted on our behalf and sold this site to Taylor Wimpey. With its private woodland setting near to green, open space, as well as its close proximity to the amenity offerings of Crowthorne and Bracknell, it presents a good opportunity to the housebuilder.”

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