St Mary's Centre
By Prof. Roderick Floud - 21st August 2013 9:45am
Everyone agrees that Britain needs more houses; housing experts say that we need 250,000 new houses every year. But where should they be built? Specifically, how many should be in Haddenham and in which parts of the village should they be constructed?
Two plans are being written to answer these questions. The first is the Vale of Aylesbury Plan (VAP), the responsibility of the District Council, which has been through a period of public consultation and is now being considered by a planning inspector; public hearings will be held in the autumn. The VAP proposes that the building of new homes in the Vale should be concentrated in the larger "strategic" settlements — Aylesbury, Buckingham, Winslow, Wendover and Haddenham. It proposes that Haddenham should have an extra 100 new homes between 2015 and 2031.
The public consultation produced 8 comments on the VAP as it affects Haddenham. Several, apparently either from developers or from Winslow, suggested that Haddenham should receive significantly more houses, with figures such as 250, 400 or 500 being mentioned. These suggestions will now be considered by the Inspector.
The Inspector will take into account is called the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). This has identified five potential sites within Haddenham which might be suitable for 404 new homes to be built between now and 2031, in addition to those now being built next to the railway. These 5 sites are shown on this map — click on the map image to enlarge it, and on the magnifying glass to enlarge the map still further. One or more of these would be used for however many houses the Inspector thinks Haddenham should have.
This is where the second plan comes in; it is the Haddenham Neighbourhood Plan, currently being produced by a group led by Andy Fell, under the auspices of the Parish Council. The government is encouraging many local areas to make such plans, to express their views about housing developments and other possible changes to their communities. Thame has just produced one of the first plans. It covers housing, playing fields, cycle facilities and many other aspects of a community.
The Neighbourhood Plan is the means by which all of us in Haddenham can give our views on how many houses should be built in Haddenham, where they should be built and in what styles. Once ratified by a village referendum, the neighbourhood plan has to be taken into account in deciding on planning applications. Without a plan, there is a "presumption in favour of sustainable development"; Haddenham, with its railway, roads, shops and other services is considered a sustainable development area.
Before the Neighbourhood Plan is drawn up, members of the planning group intend to meet all the owners or potential developers of the sites in the village which have been identified (in the SHLAA) as "suitable" for development. As soon as we understand the ideas of developers, we will ask the whole village for its views before drafting the Haddenham Neighbourhood Plan for further discussion and submission to a referendum in 2014. Watch this space ...
Professor Sir Roderick Floud
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Workshop for Haddenham Residents:
Would you like to participate in public discussions about the development of Haddenham? The first consultation is taking place on Saturday afternoon, 31st August, in Haddenham Village Hall. For more information, please click here