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While many Haddenham residents accept the need for additional housing in this country, and the inevitability that our village will have to 'do its bit' in providing space for new homes, there is understandable concern that the scale of our community will be totally and irrevocably changed through disproportionate growth.

The draft Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) still includes provision for a "New Settlement", which implies a development of 5000+ new homes on a greenfield site. Haddenham has been shortlisted for this development — largely because of its railway station and its road access to Thame, Oxford and the M40. There are other options in the Vale.

Today (Monday 2nd January) the BBC has reported a Government announcement that seems likely to have relevance in the context of a New Settlement in the Vale of Aylesbury. We're not sure of any specifics at this stage, but for those who like to remain abreast of all relevant information, here's the piece put out by BBC News:

England's first garden villages will be built at 14 sites spread across the country from Devon to Cumbria, the government has announced.

Ministers have lent their support to 14 planned developments which will each deliver between 1,500 and 10,000 properties and establish new villages.

Larger garden towns in Buckinghamshire, Somerset and the Essex-Hertfordshire border were also approved.

The 17 new areas could provide almost 200,000 new homes, the government says.

The latest plans are in addition to seven garden towns that have already been announced.

The plans for garden towns and cities are expected to create new communities with green spaces, good transport links and high quality affordable homes to help tackle a lack of housing.

The new villages will receive about £6m in government funding over two years to help deliver the projects, with a further £1.4m of funding being provided for the delivery of the new towns.

The 14 new garden villages will be in:

  • Long Marston in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Oxfordshire Cotswolds
  • Deenethorpe in Northamptonshire
  • Culm in Devon
  • Welborne in Hampshire
  • West Carclaze in Cornwall
  • Dunton Hills in Essex
  • Spitalgate Heath in Lincolnshire
  • Halsnead in Merseyside
  • Longcross in Surrey
  • Bailrigg in Lancaster
  • Infinity Garden Village in Derbyshire
  • St Cuthberts in Cumbria
  • North Cheshire

The three new garden towns will be in:

  • Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury area)
  • Somerset (Taunton area)
  • Essex-Hertfordshire border (Harlow and Gilston)

Homes are already being built in Aylesbury, Taunton, Bicester, Didcot, Basingstoke, Ebbsfleet, and north Northamptonshire.

Dame Kate Barker. who carried out an independent review of UK housing supply in 2004, said it was a "step in the right direction" towards easing Britain's housing shortage.

But she told the Today programme that the plans would only make up one year's worth of the backlog of homes that should have been built since the financial crisis.

Media captionDame Kate Barker speaks to the Today programme about proposed "garden villages" housing projects.

She added: "It's very hard to tell from this announcement how far these are new and additional to existing local plans.

"But when the government set out its prospectus for the villages last year, it did say they want to be additional.
"The money on offer on the first instance, which is £6m spread across these garden villages, is not very large so we will certainly have to see infrastructure money as well going in to help make these places successful.

"But I think we should welcome welcome this announcement. It's certainly a step in the right direction."
Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said: "Locally-led garden towns and villages have enormous potential to deliver the homes that communities need.

"New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies."

Source: BBC News 02Jan17. You can read the original report from BBC News here.

You can also read comments and updates from local residents on our Facebook page, which appear to confirm that the 'Aylesbury Garden Town' reference in the Government announcement is the relevant bit, as far as we are concerned.

You may wish to join our Facebook page — this is where the most speedy updates on all matters Haddenham are posted. Hear the local village news there first!

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