Major 1,100-home urban expansion approved in Aylesbury despite dozens of objections
A major urban expansion that will transform a huge area in the county has been approved, despite dozens of objections.
Bucks Council has permitted an outline planning application by Buckinghamshire Advantage (BA) for a “phased” expansion across 200 hectares of land east of Aylesbury (subject to financial contributions).
The area in question has the A41 Aston Clinton Road to the south, College Road North to the east, and the Grand Union Canal to the north. Arla Dairy is also nearby. The Kingsbrook development is north.
Among its significant development plans, BA will build up to 1,100 homes (20 per cent affordable), supported by nearly 103,000 sqm of new employment space, and new restaurants, bars, and cafes.
There is also mention of a 16-hectare sports village with pitches and 10 eight-bed apartments for use as ‘athlete accommodation’, and even a velodrome.
A new primary school, a 3,500 sqm leisure facility, a hotel and conference centre (5,700 sqm), and a 4,000 sqm mixed-use local centre is also planned.
Up to 60 residential extra care units will also be built.
Other features mentioned as part of a legal agreement include a health centre, public open space, and play areas.
As part of the development, a new link road connecting to the Eastern Link Road (ELR) (N) and the A41 Aston Clinton Road will also be constructed, as will other transport infrastructure.
More than 150 objections have been raised about loss of open countryside, highways safety, ‘noise and air pollution’, flooding, lack of services, and impact on Aylesbury and surrounding villages, to name a few.
The development will be built in phases to ensure there is infrastructure to support it.
The first phase, which includes enlarging the Woodlands Roundabout, building the ELR(S), and access at College Road North, is set to be complete by 2024.
Construction of the remaining elements is anticipated to start in 2025, with completion anticipated by 2034.
The plans were approved by the former Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) in October 2017.
The matter recently came back to Bucks Council to be assessed again following changes in policy and a public consultation.
The site forms part of an allocated area for development in the adopted VALP (Aylesbury Vale Local Plan).
Planning officers recognise a scheme of this size would do “harm to the character of the landscape” and “significant change” in appearance.
“However, these impacts would be mainly localised and would be mitigated to a degree by the proposed strategic landscaping and buffer around and within the site itself,” a report states.
It also states there will be “significant economic benefits” from population growth, investment in construction and the local economy.
It said the development “will not have a severe cumulative residual impact” on the highway network, nor will it have an “unacceptable impact on highway safety”.
“The development would make financial contributions towards the SEALR (South-East Aylesbury Link Road) and deliver major strategic benefits to the town’s highway network,” a report adds.
The membership of BA is comprised of Bucks Council.