Car use 'will continue to be a problem' as 420 new homes agreed for Buckingham

Housing plan approved next to Buckingham Industrial Estate currently includes no provision for schools, shops or indoor leisure facilities

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 9:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 10:00 am

A controversial plan for a new 420-home development on the edge of Buckingham was approved last week.

Wates Developments was granted outline planning permission for the new estate off Osier Way, on the Buckingham Industrial Estate

The plan for 420 new homes - 147 of them affordable homes - was approved subject to a Section 106 agreement, at a meeting of Buckinghamshire Council’s Strategic Sites Committee last Thursday.

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The plan for the new development off Osier Way

A spokesperson for Wates Developments said: “We are truly delighted to have been guided and supported by Buckinghamshire Council during the application process for this scheme.

"This has led to a sustainable proposal which offers an excellent opportunity to bring forward much-needed family homes as well as contributing significantly to improving existing community infrastructure within the Buckingham area.

"We look forward to continuing to work with local stakeholders and community as the project progresses.”

Councillor Mark Cole, who chairs Buckingham Town Council's planning committee, represented the town council at the meeting.

He told the Advertiser: "Although Buckingham Town Council is disappointed that the new Vale of Aylesbury Plan overrides the Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan with regards to what and where new housing should go, we have worked closely with the developer Wates Group, to ensure that we made the most of the 420 new dwellings for which they were given the go-ahead by Buckinghamshire’s Strategic Sites Committee last week.

"We acknowledge that Wates will provide 35 per cent of them as affordable housing for local first-time buyers, which is higher than the 25 per cent which the VALP promotes.

"Of those, 15 per cent will be accessible, and we have asked that bungalows be among them."

Mr Cole said he has raised a number of issues with the Strategic Sites Committee - notably, the estate being on the other side of the bypass from the town, with no provision for schools, shops, leisure facilities or a meeting place, apart from outdoor play areas.

"The need to use cars will be continue to a big problem, contrary to the government’s policy to reduce car journeys," he said.

"Young children cannot be expected to walk a mile or more to school, and a weekly shop cannot be done on a bicycle."

The housing will also be on a site that had been designated as an Employment Area in the Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan, which the Vale of Aylesbury Plan (VALP) subsequently removed.

Mr Cole said this will greatly reduce employment opportunities for new residents.

He added: "The VALP’s designated employment areas for Buckingham are at Silverstone, eight miles away, and at Westcott, 15 miles away, neither of them accessible by public transport."

On behalf of the town council, Mr Cole has called for following mitigating measures to be put in place:

the Buckingham Transport Strategy to be reinstated as a policy for this and all future developments, including funding towards the provision of a Western Relief Road;

a Buckingham Education Strategy to be formulated to cope with the extra housing from all new estates;

both Buckingham Town Council and Gawcott with Lenborough Parish Council to be consulted on the terms of the Section 106 agreement and the Design Code.

Mr Cole said the town council will continue to push for these measures when the detailed application comes back before Buckinghamshire Council at some time in the future.