UPDATED: D-Day looms for decision on 5,800 new homes (but it’s still just the tip of the iceberg...)

Hampden Fields
Hampden Fields

A decision on whether more than 5,800 new homes can be built around Aylesbury is made public next week– but whatever the outcome, the Vale will still get up to 35,000 new homes by 2034.

Government planning inspector David Rose heard simultaneous appeals from rival developers wanting to build 3,000 homes at Hampden Fields (near Weston Turville, bordering A41 and A413), 2,745 homes at Fleet Marston Farm and 120 homes north of Buckingham Park way back in 2013.

After a long delay, residents will learn if any – or indeed all – of the homes will be allowed. Mr Rose’s decision, which has been passed to Secretary of State Eric Pickles for approval, is expected to be published on Monday.

The appeals arose after Aylesbury Vale District Council refused to give the applications planning permission.

The council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, Carole Paternoster, said it was ‘difficult to say’ what the inspector’s decision would be, but that the counci ‘did the best we can’ presenting the inspector with the case against the developments.

If the 5,800 homes get the green light, this would go towards the quota of homes required in the Vale up to 2034, which Mrs Paternoster warned could be up to 35,000.

She said: “In the great scheme of things these Aylesbury figures (of 5,800 homes) are not that large. We still have to find a lot more housing by 2034.”

The council is currently drawing up its local plan which sets out housing figures after the previous plan was found to be unsound by the government. Its assessment of the economic needs in relation to new housing should be completed by April.

The council should learn how many homes it needs to take from neighbouring authorities by the autumn. It has a ‘duty to co-operate’ with nearby authorities who don’t have the space to build new homes in their districts, for example because the land is protected as an area of outstanding natural beauty.

AVDC will then release its plan showing where it wants the homes to go, which will be put to consultation. The local plan should be implemented during 2016.

Phil Yerby, who gave evidence against the Hampden Fields development at the inquiry, said he was hopeful Mr Rose would block the homes but that he would not be surprised if all 5,865 were given the green light.