Campaigners react to 'extremely disappointing' housing development decision in Aylesbury

The campaigners opposing housing development plans in Aylesbury have responded to news Bucks Council is persisting with the project.

By James Lowson
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 1:15 pm

Yesterday (7 June), the local authority confirmed it had received the greenlight to submit new proposals for a housing development to be built in Stoke Mandeville.

It will be constructed on the site of the closed Buckinghamshire County Council Sports and Social Club site.

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the provisional plans presented to the public by the council

When the council revealed proposals for a potential 100-home housing project on the site, concerned residents contacted councillors.

Main points of dispute, were the lack of playing fields in the Stoke Mandeville area, and the fact five housing projects had been recently launched nearby.

After initial meetings with council officials campaigners set up a Facebook group which attracted over 300 members and handed out leaflets in local neighbourhoods highlighting their concerns.

The field was fenced off during lockdowns, photo from @Stoke_Leys

Last night a spokesman for the Save Bucks Sports and Social Club Fields group released a statement in response to the council’s announcement.

The spokesman said: “We are naturally extremely disappointed at Bucks Council’s decision to entirely disregard the views of the Stoke Mandeville community who had through the recent public consultation overwhelmingly made clear their wishes for the former Bucks Sports and Social Club site to be retained as a green space for community use rather than be used for development of a further 100 houses.

"The Council’s view was very much that resident objections are simply a fact of life and could be overlooked, that the land was theirs to develop as they see fit regardless of the views of their electorate.”

Bucks Council did address residents concerns in yesterday’s announcement saying the response to initial plans was ‘mixed’.

The local authority stated it hopes to address residents concerns when a new plan is submitted for approval.

Save Bucks Sports and Social Club Fields reports that already 2,300 additional homes are being constructed within the parish area.

Another source of frustration for campaigners is that the site is listed as a Asset of Community Value.

The group concluded: “Our view is that this is too important for the local community to accept the Bucks Council decision without question.

"As a residents group we will reassess the situation all of the options available to us, to continue to press for this development proposal to be shelved,

and to request once again that Bucks Council and local Councillors start to engage credibly with resident groups to develop a mutually acceptable solution.”