Village of Haddenham

No Consultation for New Road

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The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway is a proposed dual carriageway linking the two cities. The proposal aims to establish the route by linking existing roads and building new ones.

Three potential routes are being explored and the most southerly option would embrace the A418, thus bringing a major dual carriageway very close to Haddenham. This would open up the region for major levels of housing and commercial property development.

To the concern of many local residents, there appears to be no intention to consult with the members of the public until after one of the three routes has been selected, despite the impact that such development would impose on us.

Challenging the failure to conduct any public consultation, Roderick Floud (Chairman of the Haddenham Village Society) has written to various key parties, including Martin Tett — Leader of Bucks County Council; Colin Matthews — Chair of Highways England, Neil Blake — Leader of AVDC; John Bercow MP and David Lidington MP.

Below is Roderick's letter, together with the reply from Martin Tett, Bucks CC.

Letter to Martin Tett, Leader of Bucks County Council:

I write on behalf of the Haddenham Village Society, which has over 300 family members.

The Society understands that Bucks County Council has been asked by Highways England to express its preference for the route of the proposed Oxford-Cambridge expressway. We also understand that you intend to do this without consulting the parish councils or other community organisations in the areas affected.

We consider this to be wholly unacceptable. Good governance, together with the Government's policies on localism, requires that communities should be given an opportunity to give their views on proposals that affect them deeply before their representatives respond to such requests. The proposed southern route — from Milton Keynes to north of Aylesbury, then south of Stone, north of Haddenham and through Thame to Oxford — would have enormous consequences for Haddenham and its neighbouring communities. The Society has played a major role in drawing up Haddenham's neighbourhood plan and recognises the need for development, both of housing and of economic opportunities. But we demand that we are given a chance to express our views.

We are particularly surprised that, at the recent Local Area Forum held in Haddenham, neither Councillor Harriss nor Councillor Irwin made any reference to these proposals nor to the request by Highways England. What is the Forum for if not to consider such matters?

The Society would be delighted to host a meeting in Haddenham at which you and your officers could present the alternative routes and seek the views of those affected.

In view of the national importance of this issue, I am copying this letter to the Rt. Hon. John Bercow, M.P. and the Rt. Hon. David Lidington, M.P., in the hope that they will reinforce our view that we must be consulted. I am also writing in similar terms to Councillor Neil Blake of AVDC and to the Chairman of Highways England. Finally, I am copying the letter to Councillors Harriss and Irwin.

Professor Sir Roderick Floud
Chairman, Haddenham Village Society

Reply from Martin Tett

To read the reply, click on the PDF located below the image on this page