The requirement to build on brownfield land before greenfield and greenfield before Green Belt would appear to prompt few objections.

Rivers around the country, once lined either side with factories, are now home to many thousands of apartments as the classic brownfield sites gave way to a rising population.

But in Bracknell the brownfield site the council is considering for 900 homes is not without loss.

The Peel Centre and The Point, 1980s retail and leisure venues, add to the vibrancy of a town which had long been derided for what it offered.

Given the KPMG report that put the town centre bottom for Covid recovery, it could be argued the council is supporting the Lexicon by removing an edge-of-town alternative.

But running alongside a busy dual carriageway in a town which has had to limit the numbers of PDR conversions, the site hardly seems to offer somewhere for quality family homes where children can grow up near schools and parks.

At a time when the demand seems to be for more indoor and outdoor space along with good wi-fi, it would seem this site can only really accommodate yet more flats close to the station, encouraging people to live in Bracknell but work in London.

It may allow the council to meet its required housing numbers but it would seem unlikely the locals would readily swap shops and leisure for homes for people who may have little stake in the town.


U+I and AshbyCapital’s confidence in pursuing The Future Works in Slough, now looking somewhat different to its original design, is encouraging.

Coming just two months after Station Hill’s new office building of a similar size was approved in Reading, it seems to highlight a major change in sentiment since the early days of the pandemic.

Then, talk was about the death of the office. Now it seems to be all about building ever more impressive ones.

U+I clearly believes the future works, but it’s very difficult to predict.

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