Sport England, Flood Authority and parish council object to controversial Stoke Mandeville housing proposals

A similar proposal was voted down earlier this year
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Plans by Bucks Council for a new housing development in Aylesbury are facing objections from organisations including Sport England and the flood authority.

Last month Bucks Council launched a new bid to turn the former Buckinghamshire County Council Sports and Social Club site into a 100-home development.

The application can be viewed on the council’s planning portal section by searching under the reference number: 22/03709/AOP.

The fenced off site chosen by the councilThe fenced off site chosen by the council
The fenced off site chosen by the council

But since the consultation period opened Sport England, the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) within Bucks Council and Stoke Mandeville Parish Council have raised objections to the scheme.

Sport England says the housing plans conflict with the governing body’s remit around protecting sports fields.

A spokesman said: “The proposal will result in the loss of the existing playing field land; associated ancillary facilities in the form of car parking and pavilion/clubhouse facilities; as well as 3no. hard-surface MUGAs/Courts adjacent to the eastern boundary of the playing field.”

While the public body accepts that the sports fields have been unused since 2017, it believes that an “appropriate replacement provision” has not been provided by the council.

Bucks Council’s plans do include a green space, an area which can be used for sport and a central garden square set to include children’s play facilities.

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Stoke Mandeville Parish Council has also spoken out against the potential housing project.

When a similar project was voted down at county council level earlier this year, the parish council did not state whether or not it supported the project. But this time it has raised issues including fears over further traffic congestion in the area, specifically on Lower Road, Kynaston Avenue, and Winterton Drive.

The parish council also believes removing a leisure area would have a negative impact on the local environment and a “lack of a need for the development”.

When submitting the new plans, Bucks Council raised the need to provide affordable housing to key workers commuting to the nearby hospital.

But the parish council has countered stating there are 171 purpose-built key worker houses available within a five minutes’ walk of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, already.

And the council’s flooding team has stated there is “insufficient information regarding the proposed surface water drainage scheme”.

As well as the influx of new homes, the council’s plan includes plans to improve transport links for Lower Road and hopes to build a new road that links Booker Park School with Lower Road, which is the main round surrounding the potential development.

It is not just public bodies that have objected to the plan – dozens of residents have submitted negative responses to the scheme too, while a campaign group has been set-up within the neighbourhood by locals hoping to launch a counter-bid.

The group is working with the parish council to prepare a bid which would see the centre reopened as a leisure centre.

Chairman of the Save Bucks Sports and Social Club Fields, Mungo Duncan said: “We have identified a major funding route toward buying the site but ultimately it comes down to whether Bucks Council will sell.”

Bucks Council believes its project will “benefit the whole community”, as it will lead to a currently shut space once again being open to the public.