Controversial housing development backed by planning officers

Map showing proposed housing development north of Brook Street, Aston Clinton
Map showing proposed housing development north of Brook Street, Aston Clinton

Controversial proposals for a housing development in Aston Clinton, which have received 306 letters of objection, are being supported by council planning officers.

Developers the CH Rolfe Will Trust want to build 91 homes and convenience store on farmland north of Brook Street and west of College Road South, on the outskirts of the village.

Aylesbury MP David Lidington, district councillors Phil Yerby and Carole Paternoster and Aston Clinton Parish Council have all objected to the scheme, alongside hundreds of residents.

Concerns include the pressure on local schools and the doctor’s surgery, encroachment into the open countryside, loss of valuable agricultural land and extra traffic which could cause accidents on narrow rural roads.

Mr Yerby said: “There are major concerns about traffic safety. Brook Street is a rural road. It is clear that the development is planned in the wrong place for a very small road.”

Mr Lidington added: “A development on this scale would impose major new pressures upon the village schools, both at Aston Clinton and Weston Turville. I note that Buckinghamshire County Council has suggested that if this development is approved there will need to be significant additional expenditure to provide the primary and secondary school places that would be needed.”

He said a ‘firm condition’ of any approval should be that the developer ‘contributes in full’ to additional school costs.

Several housing schemes in Aston Clinton have recently been given the green light, including 48 homes at Stablebridge Road (allowed by government planning inspector after an appeal), 47 at Chapel Drive (after appeal) and 27 on land to the rear of Brook Street. As of March 2014 there were 1,571 homes in the village, but these developments plus the Will Trust proposal would increase this by 14.5%.

Planning officers have recommended that councillors on the strategic development management committee, which meets to decide the proposal on Friday, January 9, approve the scheme subject to the completion of legal agreements.

In their report they say the site is ‘sustainably located’ and ‘would not adversely impact on highway safety or convenience’.

The scheme ‘would not appear as a significant obtrusion into the open countryside but as a “rounding off” of the existing form’. A financial contribution from the developer towards additional school places would be ‘secured by legal agreement’, while there is ‘adequate provision’ of surgeries in the area ‘such as not to warrant refusal on grounds of lack of access to such facilities’.