'Delighted' Watermead Parish Council celebrate winning six-year battle against plans for flats
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Watermead Parish Council is celebrating winning a six-year battle against plans for two, three-storey blocks of flats in the the main piazza that would have “blighted” the area.
As reported by The Bucks Herald, the revised proposals for 21 flats on Watermead were rejected by the council.
A similar application launched by the Compton Group received hundreds of objections from residents, with the risk of flooding and additional congestion among the most common complaints.
Developers wanted to reallocate the car park making certain spots available to the public while others would be private spaces reserved for people living in the apartments.
With the potential homes close to Watermead lake, the council was concerned at how the building would disrupt the appearance of the area.
The Parish Council argued the proposals would have an extremely detrimental impact on the appearance of the area, traffic flow and parking, wildlife, business and the community in general.
Residents and businesses in the Piazza and beyond were concerned, making their objections known individually.
They highlighted the development proposal by Comptons Group did not take into account that Watermead is unique as an Aylesbury community. It has distinctive pastel coloured houses and elegant Victorian style lamp posts, lakes and numerous walks and open spaces. A modern block of flats would severely damage the character of the area.
The carpark proposed for development was adjacent to the central ‘Piazza’ area meaning the new dwellings would be highly visible to nearby residents. In a submission condemning the proposals the Parish Council wrote: “Given the proximity of the proposed new homes to the Piazza, and unique character of Watermead, we believe this application is injurious to an existing community. The application by reason of its size, scale and bulk would not appear to be in keeping with the existing dwellings.”
The Parish Council flagged that it would be detrimental to wildlife nesting there and exacerbate traffic issues at rush hour with only one road in and out of the village. It would also be contrary to the local plan which states building must be in keeping with existing development.
Chair of Watermead Parish Council, Sue Severn, said: “This development would have blighted the community. Watermead is renowned for being the most attractive community in Aylesbury with its lovely pastel-coloured houses, lakes and numerous walks and green spaces. A three storey block of flats would’ve been totally out of keeping with the distinctive character of the area. It would have caused chronic parking problems and made the rush hour tailbacks impossibly long. Residents made it clear to us, and the council agreed, that we should fight this proposal. We are delighted this application has been refused.”
Watermead Unitary Councillor Ashley Bond added: “The Parish Council has done an amazing job fighting this totally unsuitable proposal. I’m pleased Bucks Council has realized this development would’ve been totally out of keeping and thrown the application out.”
Fellow Watermead Cllr Diana Blamires praised the parish council for their hard work.