UPDATED: Secretary of State delays plans for 280 homes near Tiggywinkles from going ahead

Campaigners against a proposed homes development in Haddenham protest outside Aylesbury Vale District Council offices ahead of the meeting

Campaigners against a proposed homes development in Haddenham protest outside Aylesbury Vale District Council offices ahead of the meeting

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Minister Eric Pickles has issued a direction to Aylesbury Vale District Council preventing them from granting planning permission for 280 homes on the Glebe in Haddenham.

Lightwood Strategic wants to build the homes on the land, which is owned by the Oxford Diocese, and on agricultural land north of St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital.

The application also includes garages, parking, estate roads, footways, pedestrian linkages, a public open space, burial ground and community sports facility.

The proposals were passed subject to technical details yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) by six votes to three after councillors accepted the planning officer’s recommendations.

However an e-mail from Mr Pickles’ office has told the district council not to grant permission until he has had time to consider whether to call in the application. If this happens, he would then decide whether the development should go ahead, with the possibility that he could over-rule the district council.

Chairman of the parish council’s communications committee Richard Moore said: “We are very glad that the secretary of state stepped in in this way and it was very unexpected.

“Personally, I don’t know if it will get called in because there is no political mileage.

“If it is called in it will be on the basis of it being an outrageous decision by Aylesbury Vale District Council.

“280 homes may seem like a lot for Haddenham, but I am concerned that for him it may seem like small fry.”

Mr Moore added he wanted to thank the hundred or so Haddenham residents who turned up at the meeting.

He said: “I am surprised that the six councillors who voted for the homes to be built were not impressed by the number of residents that turned up.

“They are heartless people if they don’t take all their feelings into account.

“It is not as if everyone there was a grumpy pensioner, we had a great spread of ages and interests from right across the community.”

Before the meeting dozens of residents protested outside the AVDC offices in Aylesbury.

A statement from the parish council following AVDC’s decision said: “We were extremely disappointed by the decision to approve the application by the district council’s strategic development management committee.

“The decision to approve was made contrary to the manifest wishes of the residents of Haddenham whose emergent Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to AVDC on Tuesday January 27.

“It is Haddenham Parish Council’s opinion that this refusal to take account of Haddenham’s Neighbourhood Plan sets a dangerous precedent for undermining the neighbourhood planning process on a national scale.“