Bracknell is a former new town developed after the Second World War from a small market town. Very little of the original town was left. The location was chosen over White Whitfield, an alternative possibility, because the Bracknell site avoided encroaching on good quality agricultural land. The town expanded beyond the intended size into farmland to the south. Recent plans to redevelop the centre of the town from Legal and General and Allied London Properties were rejected by the government. The most visible landmark is the 3M building, a twelve storey building housing the companies' UK headquarters, which can be seen from over a mile away.
The structure of the town is intended to be a series of communities around the town centre where shops and services are located in a predestrianised area within a ring road. The estates are known as Great Hollands, Bullbrook, Whitegrove (formerly Warfield Green, built in the late 90's), Priestwood, Popeswood, Easthampstead, Wildridings, Harmanswater, Crown Wood, Birch Hill, Martins Heron and Hanworth.