Councillors grill developers over 772 new homes

Residents at a public consultation by Bellway Homes on June 19 PNL-140625-170836001
Residents at a public consultation by Bellway Homes on June 19 PNL-140625-170836001

Developers proposing a total of 772 new homes have pitched their latest plans to councillors.

Representatives from five developers – Bellway, Bellcross, Taylor Wimpey, Robert Swan and Hallam Land Management – presented their development proposals to Buckingham Town Council last night, Monday, for four schemes in the town.

Bellway and Bellcross Homes presented their plans to build 150 homes on an 11-hectare site off Moreton Road, to the west of two earlier phases of development. Phase one has already been completed.

Councillors expressed their disappointment that concerns they had raised at a previous meeting about the development had not been addressed.

Mitigating the impact of transport from the scheme remained a ‘big issue’ and the inclusion of sports pitches on a four-and-a-half hectare site north of the development was described as a ‘selling tool’ for the homes.

Councillor Warren Whyte said: “I’m flabbergasted there has been no attempt to make it palatable.”

Taylor Wimpey has put together a re-application for 86 homes in Tingewick Road after it withdrew plans at the start of the year.

Its representatives said the company had addressed concerns raised by councillors at the last full council meeting.

But the three-storey ‘frontage design’ of the development remains an issue for the council which has asked for ‘good architecture’ and says there are plenty or architects who would want to ‘make Buckingham better’.

Developers said the design would be similar to what is found in Moreton Road.

The proposal, which includes 14 affordable homes, was commended for including a riverside walk, as part of the section 106 agreement.

Councillors asked for Taylor Wimpey to consider spreading out the affordable homes to avoid creating ‘a ghetto’.

A presentation on behalf of Robert Swan, for 86 homes along the A422, received positive feedback. The developers were given the green light by councillors to build on its plans and return at the next full council meeting on August 18.

If given final planning approval, the homes would all be south-facing in a bid to gain from solar energy.

Councillors described the prospect as ‘bringing some innovation to the town’.

The final developer, Hallam Land Management, on behalf of New College Oxford, updated councillors on its 450-home proposal.

The development, based either side of Tingweick Road, includes a 100-year cemetery and allotment.

Councillors said a full archaeological dig of the site should be carried out and asked for amendments such as conservatories to be added as soon as possible.

It was commended for including larger homes with gardens as opposed to packing in many houses in a small area.

The 10-minute presentations were not a formal part of the planning process.