Planning authority response to public questions over Maids Moreton development deemed insufficient

Aylesbury Vale District Council
Aylesbury Vale District Council

The controversy over a new 170 home development in Maids Moreton has rumbled on after a series of public questions to the planning authority failed to make clear the grounds for approval.

The approval of this application got off to a bad start when planning committee Chairman Brian Foster was caught on camera making an unguarded comment which led some to believe the application was pre-determined.

Councillor Peter Strachan

Councillor Peter Strachan

Mr Foster said at the end of the meeting where the housing development was signed off:

“I thought we were in danger of having that one unceremoniously thrown out.”

Pat Hardcastle of Maids Moreton parish council said:

“It is very disappointing. It suggests the whole thing was pre-determined.”

File image

File image

Planning authority responses to public questions over Maids Moreton housing development approval deemed insufficient.

The controversy over a new 170 home development in Maids Moreton has rumbled on after a series of public questions to the planning authority failed to make clear the grounds for approval.

One of the key aspects in driving the approval of this land north-east of the village for development, was a change to the The Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) between May 2016 and January 2017.

The former had judged the area 'unsuitable' for development. Eight months later this had been changed to 'suitable'.

In response to this, Councillor Robin Stuchbury, submitted written questions to Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) planning committee asking why the site was re-designated and why there was no public consultation.

In response, Peter Strachan, AVDC cabinet member for planning and enforcement denied that nothing about the site had changed, stating:

“Further information had been submitted in support of the planning application and this informed the HELAA.”

It is this paper's understanding that follow up questions as to the nature of this “further information” are to be submitted with the advice of Caroline Cummins from the Buckingham Society.

The 170 extra homes in Maids Moreton will increase the population of the parish by 50% and add an estimated 300 extra cars.

Indeed traffic has been another contentious area of this application. An external traffic survey of the village found there were 46% less cars coming through the village than a survey carried out by the Parish Council.

In response, Buckinghamshire County Council Highways wrote:

“The junctions within the village have been tested with the higher flows recorded by the Parish Council and have been shown to work. The development traffic impact on these junctions is shown to be minimal. It is important to note that the development flows travelling through the village along the full length of Main Street will be minimal.”