SHIPTON residents are breathing a sigh of relief, after a planning appeal over a 175-home development was turned down this week.
Gladman Developments Ltd has been fighting a lengthy battle to get planning permission for a housing development in the rural hamlet on the edge of Winslow for nearly two years.
The company put in an application to build 200 homes on land it owns between the B4032 and the Little Horwood Road in July 2009. Permission was refused by Aylesbury Vale District Council that October.
Gladman went to appeal, and a four-day public inquiry was held in February 2010. To the great delight of neighbouring residents, planning inspector Jennifer Vyse dismissed the appeal in April 2010
Gladman applied to the High Court for a Judicial Review of the approach the inspector used to reach her conclusion on housing land supply. At the same time it submitted a revised planning application for 175 homes.
Another public inquiry began last December and concluded in May.
Planning inspector Simon Berkeley finally delivered his decision on the appeal on Monday. In it he accepted that “the proposed development would have a positive effect on the district-wide supply of land for housing and would provide new homes in a sustainable location”.
But he concluded: “the weight to be accorded to the scheme’s advantages in relation to the district-wide housing land supply is lessened by the absence of any current pressing need for additional housing (in the area)”.
Mayor of Winslow Llew Monger, who has opposed the development on behalf of the town council, said: “One can never say never, but hopefully this decision now rules out any prospect of Winslow developing to the east of Little Horwood Road.
“The town council must now turn its attention to the new Vale of Aylesbury Development Plan, to which we must contribute by the end of this year. All communities in the Vale need to indicate to AVDC what level of housing and employment development they will support over the next 20 years. The town council will be reviewing comments about future development made by residents over the last three years and then consulting with them to establish a position to put to AVDC.
“Over 20 years, some level of new development is inevitable but how much, what type, where and at what pace have all to be decided. The Localities Bill, due for publication next year, will give communities the chance to have a much greater say.”