More her­itage will be de­stroyed

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

RE Bucks Advertiser, July 2, P17, ‘New homes are given ap­proval’ YET another piece of English Her­itage to­day stands con­demned.

As re­ported in last week’s Advertiser, New­stead Wood, in Den­ham Green is to be sac­ri­ficed on the al­tar of short-term fi­nan­cial gain.

De­spite warn­ings from res­i­dents and eco­log­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Wood­land Trust and the Cam­paign to Pro­tect Ru­ral Eng­land (CPRE) that this de­vel­op­ment will threaten pro­tected species as well as the wood­land it­self, South Bucks Dis­trict Coun­cil has granted out­line plan­ning per­mis­sion to build a hous­ing es­tate within this an­cient and pro­tected wood­land which records show dates back to 1590.

This eco­log­i­cal van­dal­ism calls into ques­tion the demo­cratic process as the plan­ning com­mit­tee not only ig­nored the very sound ar­gu­ments against the pro­ject from 35 ob­jec­tors but also sev­eral of its own lo­cal plan poli­cies.

At the com­mit­tee meet­ing, (fol­low­ing a coun­cil­lors’ site visit of only 10 min­utes), not one men­tion was made by “our rep­re­sen­ta­tives” of the huge im­pact this will have on the qual­ity of life of lo­cal res­i­dents, ie those whom the coun­cil­lors are sup­posed to rep­re­sent, mem­bers pre­fer­ring in­stead to rub­ber-stamp the plan­ning of­fi­cer’s rec­om­men­da­tion.

Apart from the im­pact on the wood­land, other is­sues to­tally ig­nored by the plan­ners in­clude the lack of ad­e­quate park­ing fa­cil­i­ties, lack of ad­e­quate refuse col­lec­tion ar­range­ments, the over­look­ing of neigh­bour­ing prop­erty and a two-way ac­cess road which will re­quire the de­struc­tion of trees and hedges and will pass next to our liv­ing room.

The devel­oper, Brook­worth Homes, has re­peat­edly ig­nored re­quests by res­i­dents for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

With this cava­lier at­ti­tude and the dis­dain shown by the dis­trict coun­cil, what chance is there for or­di­nary peo­ple?

The one glim­mer of hope for democ­racy came from Den­ham Parish Coun­cil, which op­posed the plan on our be­half.

Need­less to say, this was dis­missed by the dis­trict coun­cil.

JOHN HOL­LANDS

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