Homes at scout camp will be ‘dangerous’
Volunteer warns of impact houses will have on site
FRESH concerns have been raised over proposals to build hundreds of houses next to an 80-year-old scout camp.
An area of nearly 14 hectares next to the Paccar Scout Camp, in Chalfont Heights, Chalfont St Peter, has been earmarked for possible future development in the latest stage of the Local Plan.
Cliff Brooke, a volunteer at the camp, fears the negative impact that building 420 houses next to it could have and warned of its ‘danger’ at a parish council meeting on Thursday January 26.
The Local Plan is a central government housebuilding drive which will determine where and how many homes can be developed over the next 20 years.
A consultation stage carried out by Chiltern District Council and South Bucks District Council, which are jointly preparing the plan, finished in December and the options are currently being considered.
Mr Brooke said: “We don’t really want to take the pressure off just because the consultation period is over.
“We want to keep the pressure up while there’s still something there.”
Calling the camp a ‘young people’s activity centre’, Mr Brooke said there will be a ‘serious danger’ if there are a lot of homes built next to the camp, with ‘inquisitive children’ possibly climbing on building site equipment.
Warning that the site ‘will not become viable’, he said: “Parents are saying if we have a housing estate on our border they will not bring their children any more.
“At the moment it’s considered a very safe area because of it’s remoteness.”
Around 50,000 young people visited the site last year.
“It’s just immense,” Mr Brooke said.
“[Children] don’t have the facilities anywhere else.
“This is the only chance they have got.”
As the camp is run by volunteers and open all the time, Mr Brooke dismissed the idea of putting a gate on the camp and keeping the grounds patrolled.
He said: “We’re not a business.
“We’re run by volunteers and we can’t keep on top of that.”
He said that neighbours would not appreciate the noise and smoke [from camp fires] that the children make throughout the year.
Citing a scout camp in Essex that has had to close recently, he said: “They’ve had an estate build up over the last few years and they have just given up.
“It’s an inevitable consequence. Volunteers have said ‘I’m not up for a battle’.”
Building blocks: Tens of thousand of homes are due to be built in and around the Chilterns.