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New Homes Development?

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As many will know, the Parish Council is currently in the process of consulting residents to construct a Neighbourhood Plan, under the skilled and capable leadership of councillor Andy Fell. This document, once accepted by the appropriate planning authority and approved through a local referendum, will provide guidelines (with statutory powers) to define the type, location and physical appearance of housing and commercial development in and very close to the village.

The process of formulating a Neighbourhood Plan is continuing, but a significant problem has arisen: the Vale of Aylesbury Plan (with which our local plan needs to dovetail and be complementary) has recently been rejected by the national planning authority, as it failed to meet Government criteria. It is unlikely that a new Vale of Aylesbury Plan will be completed before late 2016, and may take significantly longer.

Why is this significant?

Firstly, until the Vale of Aylesbury plan is accepted and published, it may be impossible for Haddenham's Neighbourhood Plan to be finalised.

Secondly, in the absence of such a Neighbourhood Plan and given the pressure on local authorities to allow more homes to be built, Haddenham is at risk of significant development. This risk is all the more significant when our excellent transport links (the local railways station, access to the M40 motorway, etc) are taken into account — and it seems that developers are circling with interest.

Haddenham is due to absorb 100 new homes in the near future. There is a theoretical risk that these numbers could be significantly higher.

A likely area for development is the airfield. However, another zone that is attracting the particular interest of developers is the large plot of land bounded by Willis Road, Standbridge Road and Aston Road (see map — click on it to see an enlarged view).

A number of property owning residents living on the South side of Willis Road have been receiving letters inviting them to sell their homes (subject to planning permission) with a view to providing an access road onto that particular plot of land. You can read one of these letters by clicking on the 'Letter' PDF on this page.

Some current residents of Haddenham might argue that developing the plot of land in question would offer a degree of symmetry to the village and help with the relative balance of young children who would be suitably located to attend Haddenham St Mary's School rather than the Community Infant School. Others would have concerns about the loss of productive agricultural land and the partial loss of an open rural view enjoyed by existing residents in The Gables and on the Southern side of Willis Road.

Time will tell, no doubt.

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