Residents fear plans for industrial units would create blot on landscape at Aylesbury beauty spot

Proposed development at Watermead 'Circus Field' faces mounting opposition

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 11:34 am
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 12:43 pm

Plans for six industrial units at Watermead in Aylesbury have prompted fury among residents who claim the development would ruin a local beauty spot known as Circus Field.

The application, which is currently being considered by Bucks Council's planning department, would allow varying outline planning permission granted for a garden centre to erect six industrial storage units with parking and allocated spaces for access/loading bays.

Bucks Council's planning officers claim proposed development of the 4.78 acre site would create a high quality development, sympathetic to the area and amenities, with the potential to create a large number of jobs.

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The proposed development features building six industrial units on the 4.78 acre site at Watermead

But residents are unhappy and object on the grounds of access, increased traffic and are worried the development would ruin the views and landscape.

Mike Green, of Pintail Close, Aylesbury, said: "This is a totally inappropriate construction which will bring no benefit to Watermead and its residents and will lead to further traffic and congestion at a junction that already causes residents untold headaches.

"There is only one access route in and out of Watermead which is inappropriate for the number of houses there and this will add to the problem. In addition, the construction is not in keeping with the area and would most likely lead to further flooding issues. There are already a number of empty industrial/commercial units lying empty across Aylesbury and therefore there is no requirement for additional units."

Vicky Paxton, who lives close to the site, said: "I object to this as it would be damaging to the environment. It would be a eyesore for local residents as that is the only access point for Watermead. It would also potentially cause more issues with traffic. And people go to Watermead to enjoy the views and landscape This would change that.

Objections include concerns over flooding of the picturesque area which is recognised as a local beauty spot

"It is a residential area and not industrial so it's not suitable for this kind of building. Keep it a leisure area that we, as residents, have enjoyed, ie the circus and fairs."

Mr Glenn Smith, of The Falcon, Watermead, agrees. He said: From a practical reason, the spine road into Watermead is already busy and there's a lot of parking along that road at times. It's an area of land that until now has been used for exactly the purpose it was meant for - leisure - in this case the circus is on this land several times a year.

"And come on, seriously? Watermead is an established and popular housing estate with a significant focus on being an area of beauty which hardly wishes to be turned into an industrial estate."

Neighbour Natalie Eshelby commented: "This is firstly an eyesore and not in keeping with the area The branch road into Watermead is already busier due to the crematorium and increased traffic is also dangerous. It would also be detrimental to the wildlife."

In a report, the applicant’s planning consultant Gareth Jones, said: "It is acknowledged the proposal would lead to an increase in built form at the site. However, the fall-back option would produce a large, intensive garden centre with little landscaping or open space.

"In comparison, the current proposal seeks an appropriate mix between built form and open space by way of hard standing and landscape features to create an engaging scene. Furthermore, nearby buildings and the residential properties located at Cavalry Path are of substantial scale and well screened from the surrounding area and similar landscaping features could be utilised in order to screen the proposed development on top of what is already proposed. This would allow for an improvement on the landscape character of the area as well as improving the natural qualities and features of the area."

Sue Severn, chair of Watermead Parish Council, said: "I anticipate councillors will ask that the matter be referred to the development management committee for further public consideration."

The application will be discussed at a specially convened planning meeting of Watermead Parish Council before the deadline for comments on October 21.