Keep ‘vul­tures’ off the green belt

Coun­cils’ com­ments on joint lo­cal plan warn against in­ap­pro­pri­ate devel­op­ment on pro­tected vil­lage land

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Tom Herbert tom.herbert@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

‘VULTURE’ de­vel­op­ers have been warned to keep their hands off the green belt when con­sid­er­ing po­ten­tial ar­eas of devel­op­ment.

In re­sponse to the emerg­ing joint Lo­cal Plan con­sul­ta­tion, South Bucks Dis­trict Coun­cil (SBDC) and Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil (CDC) have also been told that build­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate hous­ing in ar­eas with­out suf­fi­cient in­fra­struc­ture is a no-go.

The plan de­ter­mines the level of devel­op­ment in both SBDC and CDC to en­sure ar­eas meet gov­ern­ment hous­ing quo­tas by 20136.

There was wide­spread fear when the plan was first an­nounced that in­ap­pro­pri­ate devel­op­ment would hap­pen on im­por­tant com­mu­nity as­sets and the green belt, along with con­cerns that ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture would not cope with the num­ber of homes and sizes of devel­op­ment sug­gested.

In their con­sul­ta­tion re­sponse Ger­rards Cross Town Coun­cil wrote: “Ger­rards Cross is al­ready over­whelmed with an on­go­ing 4% an­nual in­crease in pop­u­la­tion by devel­op­ment from prop­erty spec­u­la­tors with no pro­vi­sion for in­vest­ment in sup­port­ing in­fra­struc­ture, such as schools, med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties, util­i­ties, park­ing, roads and pave­ments that are sadly lack­ing.

“Re­leas­ing these ar­eas from green belt will be an open door to land own­ers and prop­erty de­vel­op­ers to build homes that will be be­yond af­ford­abil­ity for most peo­ple and will do noth­ing to at­tract work­ers into the South Bucks to sup­port new em­ploy­ment.

“If this green belt is re­leased, spec­u­la­tive de­vel­op­ers will de­scend like vul­tures upon these ar­eas im­me­di­ately, as ev­i­denced by the sur­vey­ors al­ready mea­sur­ing up the fields be­tween Bull Lane and the A40 as we speak.”

In re­sponse to the ques­tion: “Do you have com­ments on the sug­gested level of un­met needs in Chiltern/South Bucks?” Chal­font St Peter Parish Coun­cil wrote: “In re­spect of a set­tle­ment such as Chal­font St Peter, tak­ing into ac­count the ex­ten­sive Green Belt and devel­op­ment con­straints, rel­a­tively un­sus­tain­able lo­ca­tion and high level of ex­ist­ing com­mit­ments the over­all con­tri­bu­tion to­wards meet­ing ad­di­tional re­quire­ments for devel­op­ment is likely to be lim­ited.”

Chal­font St Giles Parish Coun­cil cited ‘sig­nif­i­cant re­straints’ in their ‘in­fra­struc­ture de­liv­ery’.

They also ar­gued that there are a num­ber of AONBs in the vil­lage which are ‘phys­i­cally un­suit­able for any devel­op­ment’ as they lie on flood plains.

It adds: “We feel that this land (cur­rently un­der green belt pro­tec­tion) should have ex­tra pro­tec­tion ap­plied on it that binds CDC and/or fu­ture own­ers to pro­tect it for the good of Chal­font St Giles and to never al­low devel­op­ment of any kind, on any scale, in­clud­ing but not ex­clu­sively hous­ing, com­mer­cial build­ings or of­fices.”

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