South East Aylesbury Link Road approved by Bucks Council

A NEW 1.2 kilometre-long dual carriageway will be built to the south-east of Aylesbury after controversial plans were given the go-ahead despite strong local opposition.

By The newsroom
Monday, 15th February 2021, 10:24 am
The SEALR has been given permission despite local opposition
The SEALR has been given permission despite local opposition

The South East Aylesbury Link Road will be located between the B4443 Lower Road and the A413 Wendover Road and would cross the Chiltern Railway line.

It will be accessed by a new roundabout at the junction of the B4443/A4010 and will tie into the proposed Stoke Mandeville relief road and a new roundabout at the junction with the A413.

It is hoped the SEALR, which council road bosses say will support growth in Aylesbury, secure good local road connectivity in the town and will relieve pressure on routes to Stoke Mandeville hospital, will open by 2024.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The SEALR has been given permission despite local opposition

The plans, which will cost around £32 million, were approved despite strong community opposition.

Objections were sent to Buckinghamshire Council from 164 residents, with just 11 supporting.

Key concerns held by locals included the road’s impact on the surrounding landscape, ecology and open space, its initial impact on traffic and congestion, its impact on residents and more.

Aylesbury Town Council backed the plan, but Stoke Mandeville Parish Council opposed it.

Speaking at a meeting where the plans were discussed, Stoke Mandeville Parish Council’s Andrew Clarke asked councillors to defer the application to the autumn or refuse it altogether because other Aylesbury development projects, such as the re-diversion of the A4010 and the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan, have not yet been settled.

He said: “We feel it’s inappropriate to approve the application because of significant outstanding strategic issues, directly affecting the function and the design of the SEALR.

“Those will be closer to being resolved in the autumn.

“We feel the application is unsound as it stands today because it fails to address a key planning issue, which is how the SEALR meets Garden Town design principles.

“We feel that the design of the road is proposed of the road is inadequate and results in multiple breaches of the council’s own planning policies.”

He added: “The council officers have done a very fine job at putting lipstick on a corpse but this is an elevated dual-carriageway road which is supposedly one of the founding elements of the garden town.

“I submit it would be a hideous folly, a blight on the landscape for many months and years to come and that might be necessary, but it is not necessary for the council to make that decision today, and it will be better to wait until the autumn.”

A number of other community figures spoke against the plans before councillors quizzed officers on the technicalities of the scheme.

They then moved on to the debate, in which Cllr Richard Newcombe said: “It’s always very disappointing whenever there is a proposal to build a large road, because environmentally we know that large roads are not really very good for us.

“However, the fact is that Aylesbury needs a ring road and it’s needed for as long as I’ve lived in the area, which is now over 35 years.

“This is not a problem that will go away -- if we turn it down now, or we defer it, then we’ll have continuing misery and Aylesbury will not be moving forward.

“We can’t pretend Aylesbury is on the road to nowhere, there are large amounts of traffic which come through Aylesbury which really out to be going around Aylesbury.

“Regrettably, because it’s in my ward, I think I have to support this particular proposal. In the end, it’s for the greater good.”

Despite the opposition towards the plan from the community, councillors unanimously voted to approve the proposal at a meeting of the Strategic Sites committee on Thursday, February 11.