Bracknell council votes to end protection of Binfield site

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Media captionAbout 450 new homes could be built at the site

New homes and two new schools can be built on green space in Berkshire after a council voted to remove a covenant protecting it from development.

The decision by Bracknell Forest Council means 450 new homes could be built on the Blue Mountain Golf Course in Binfield.

Council leader Paul Bettison insisted the decision was necessary.

Campaigners at a full council meeting on Wednesday evening called the move "a complete whitewash".

The agreement, signed in 1990, was designed to protect the site from development for the next 125 years.

Councillor Bettison added: "Had for some reason the vote not gone the way it did, then we would have had to have found another way to get around that obstacle.

"I'm afraid to say that the decision having been made to develop that site means it will be developed."

A new football stadium for Bracknell Town FC is also earmarked for the Blue Mountain site.

The 50 hectares (124 acres) formerly known as Park Farm in Binfield were protected by the then Berkshire County Council, Bracknell Town Council and landowner Luff Farms Limited in 1990 by a Section 52 agreement.

Nigel Rennie, of the Nothern Arc Action Group, said building on the land would remove a "green gap" between Bracknell and Binfield.

"They're planning to build thousands of homes in and around Binfield, but by doing that they are removing one of the few recreational green spaces we have," he said.

A petition against the plans by residents had attracted 2,000 signatures.

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