NIMBY or Not? Bracknell Office Space in Question.
A campaign group believes that nearly 50% of the additional homes needed in Bracknall could be provided by converting empty office space ΓÇô providing a boost to the townΓÇÖs rejuvenation plans in the process.
According to the Northern Arc Action Group (NAAG), the conversion or construction of 5,000 homes on the site(s) of currently vacant office space would provide a way for Bracknell Forest Council to reach its target of just under 11,000 new homes.
The plan, which was formed following a backlash from local residents in nearby Binfield, Warfield and Crowthorne ΓÇô where the council has proposed the creation of 1,000ΓÇÖs of new home ΓÇô claims that the converted offices and brownfield sites they occupy would be a better location for such homes.
But of course this bid to protect the existing status quo is not so clear cut, with the removal or reallocation of commercial office space providing, in theory, a potential time bomb that could do nothing more than delay the spread of new builds to the surrounding villages as initially planned by the Council.
As has been reported widely, the construction of new office space has decreased dramatically, with rising rents being driven by stock shortages across the UKΓÇÖs major towns and cities.
While the delivery of new homes is an avoidable necessity, would it really make sense to dilute the supply of office space in a town such as Bracknell? Particularly when the sites being discussed seem to be in central areas ΓÇô areas where businesses are most likely to need space to expand when the impact of the financial downturn is finally shaken off?
Is this Nimbyism pure and simply? Or have the residents identified a practical solution to the councilΓÇÖs predicament?