Pickles’ verdict supports town plan

Communities secretary MP Eric Pickles (left)
Communities secretary MP Eric Pickles (left)

Townspeople have welcomed a decision by the Secretary of State for Local Government supporting their neighbourhood plan.

Eric Pickles has agreed with a planning inspector that an application for a housing development on the edge of Winslow should be refused.

Gladman Developments went to appeal, after its plan for 100 homes at Shipton was refused by Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC).

The appeal was heard in September last year, but the appeal was ‘recovered’ by the Secretary of State, meaning he would have the final say.

The inspector recommended that the appeal be dismissed, as the irreversible harm to the countryside would outweigh the benefits of the proposed extra housing.

He also recognised the application was in conflict with the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan, as the site lies outsidethe Winslow Settlement Boundary included in the plan.

Now Mr Pickles has agreed the inspector’s recommendation, endorsing the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan and making particular reference to the Settlement Boundary.

Town councillor Llew Monger said: “I am particularly pleased by the strong endorsement of the plan by the Secretary of State and in particular the settlement boundary.

“This is now the fourth time that an application for development between Winslow and Shipton has been rejected by a planning inspector.

“Hopefully would-be developers will finally recognise that Little Horwood Road forms a definitive boundary to the east of Winslow.”

Gladman continues to challenge the lawfulness of the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan and an Appeal Court hearing is likely to take place in the autumn.