St Mary's Church, Thame
By Peter Jeffery - 7th January 2015 10:30am
For many months now the number of houses that might be built in the village has often been in the local headlines, particularly here on Haddenham.net.
The UK is desperately short of housing, and some growth of Haddenham is inevitable — we have to do our bit to provide homes for people to live in. However, the most recent development proposals are causing serious concerns over the rapid, disproportionate and arguably unsustainable development of the village.
Since early December there have been three applications to AVDC for development in the village. The first of these — an outline application by agents for the owners Lands Improvement — was for 233 houses, a 64-bed care home and other matters.
The second relates to the land bordered by Aston Road and Stanbridge Road. This second outline application by the agents Lightwood Strategic Ltd amends the previous one for that site for 350 houses, reducing that number to 280, including 35 age-restricted dwellings.
The third application — for land between the station and Pegasus Way — is for 45 houses by agents for the builders, W E Black Limited. Earlier there was an outline application for this site for 36 houses by the then owners of the site, Lands Improvement. The increase from 36 to 45 (i.e., some 25%) is illustrative of the sort of increase in numbers which does often happen when the landowner sells the land on to a builder. (The same may happen on the Aston Road-Stanbridge Road site, should developers receive planning permission.)
The Parish Council is in discussions with AVDC, and will be putting in their comments to them regarding all the above applications.
While the Parish Council is certainly not in favour of all of the above, the fact is that the very best chance that we have of curtailing developers' plans is to ensure that the Haddenham Neighbourhood Plan is published and ultimately agreed by residents through a local referendum: this would limit the total number of houses to 430.
At present developers are probably looking to build something in excess of 1,000 houses in our village.
You will have received a summary of the plan through your door just before Christmas (an A5 size leaflet "Haddenham Focus Issue 3"). This summarises the Plan, including the number of houses proposed for each of the known sites in the village, and making up the total of 430.
For a more detailed account, see page 32 of the Draft Neighbourhood Plan.
The summary and the full Draft Plan are available in the Community Library. You can also view the Draft Plan now, by clicking on the PDF below the images on this page.
The team responsible for preparing the Neighbourhood Plan, in consultation with Haddenham residents, is keen to hear your views on the draft document as it currently stands. You should be sure to have your say by Saturday 17th January. You can make comments on the plan at the parish council's dedicated website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, good old paper-based letters can be delivered through the new letterbox at the Parish Council office located at the South-East corner of the village hall.
You may find some details of the current planning applications, and of the Haddenham Neighbourhood Plan, on the notice board in the Community Library during the coming weeks. You will be able to request photocopies of such postings at the counter.
News and updates will also feature very prominently here on Haddenham.net