Plans for 3,000 homes and Southern Link Road submitted to council

Hampden Fields map, released February 2016 (OS data licence number: AL100012293.  Copyright: SLR Consulting Ltd)
Hampden Fields map, released February 2016 (OS data licence number: AL100012293. Copyright: SLR Consulting Ltd)

Revised proposals for 3,000 new homes on the fringes of Aylesbury have been submitted to the district council – twelve months after the original plans were thrown out by a government inspector.

The outline application for Hampden Fields between Bedgrove and Weston Turville would see 3,000 new homes as well as a Southern Link Road between the A41 Aston Clinton Road and the A413 Wendover Road, which is the biggest new addition to the revised plans.

According to the Hampden Fields Consortium, it also includes ‘substantial employment area aimed at growing smaller local businesses, two primary schools and a local centre with a vibrant mix of commercial, retail and community facilities’.

Their statement adds: “Approximately half of the entire site is also proposed as open green spaces providing an extensive network of parklands, play spaces and sports facilities. A site for a Park and Ride on the A41 is also proposed in addition to new bus services and a package of improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes providing improved travel choices.”

In late-January 2015 a government planning inspector dismissed an appeal from the consortium, which comprises Aylesbury College, Taylor Wimpey and the Fairfield Partnership.

The result was celebrated by many in the community, who raised £65,000 to fight the plans. However, it was always likely the proposals would return as the inspector said the scheme’s benefits were ‘very substantial and sufficient to outweigh the shortcomings of all but one of the main considerations’, which was its impact on roads.

The consortium, which first revealed their revised plans in September, hopes the carrot of a link road will alleviate concerns over traffic.

It would connect directly to the Eastern Link Road and Stocklake Link beyond, which are now being brought forward through a combination of government and developer funding. In theory it means you would be able to drive from, for example, the Wendover bypass, to Milton Keynes without having to go through Aylesbury. Its design has changed since September from a single to dual carriageway to take into account the combined pressures on the road system from other housing development in the area.

The consortium said highways modelling demonstrates that the Southern Link Road ‘will have a beneficial effect on the management of traffic on the local highway network’.

“[It] will result in a reduction in traffic through Weston Turville and Bedgrove and at the Walton Street gyratory, addressing the Secretary of State’s single reason for dismissing the appeal for the previous scheme, in January 2015.”

Their statement said they have been ‘committed to engaging with the local community and other interested parties and has continued to liaise with a working group in Weston Turville, led by the Parish Council, through which a package of traffic calming measures for the village has been agreed’.

It added: “Discussions have also taken place with the District Council members representing Bedgrove, to identify other improvements that could be delivered along Camborne Avenue to help increase pedestrian safety and improve the immediate environment in the vicinity of Jansel Square.”

A spokesman for the consortium said: “We have submitted an outline planning application for sustainable development at Hampden Fields. As identified by the Secretary of State in his decision on the appeal for the previous planning application, the proposed development will deliver substantial benefits to the area, including new homes to help meet the Council’s significant need for new housing and allow local people a vital first step onto the housing ladder; the long held strategic aspiration for a Southern Link Road providing a high capacity route around Aylesbury; and, a wide range of other additional key infrastructure and facilities.

“The submission of the application follows widespread consultation with local residents, groups and politicians, through which the proposals have evolved to include a number of further benefits for the local community. We will continue to engage with local groups and residents to help understand any concerns as the application moves forward.”