Residents fight back as town plan is threatened

The Yes4Winslow group in High Street
The Yes4Winslow group in High Street

Townspeople are fighting back, after developers launched a threat to their neighbourhood plan.

The Winslow Neighbourhood Plan is due to go to community referendum on July 24, after being approved by an independent examiner at a public examination hearing.

The plan provides a blueprint for the development of Winslow over the next 15 or more years. If a majority of people who vote in the referendum say ‘yes’, it will become part of the development plan for Aylesbury Vale.

But last Thursday it was announced that Gladman Developments has threatened a legal challenge.

In a ‘pre-action protocol letter’, Gladman said AVDC’s decision to hold the referendum was ‘unlawful’.

Gladman, which has an outstanding appeal for a development off Verney Road and has had other applications for homes in Winslow rejected, claims the examiner ignored written submissions and limited oral submissions during the plan’s hearing and the hearing was not long enough.

Now the newly formed YES4Winslow group is fighting back with a campaign to encourage residents to vote ‘yes’ in the referendum.

Treasurer Vic Otter said: “I believe Gladman will have scored a spectacular own goal with trying to stop the democratic process.

“They’ve threatened AVDC with an injunction and a judicial review if the referendum goes ahead and I think this will severely anger the residents.

“The developers are seeking to stop residents using their democratic right so please go out and vote and show them it won’t work.”

YES4Winslow, which already has more than 50 volunteers on board, will be leafleting about 2,000 homes this weekend.

Campaigners will also be manning a stall next to the Market Square on Wednesday, July 2, and on the corner of High Street and Elmfields Gate on Saturday, July 5.

Mr Otter added: “The other thing we’re keen to do is encourage all those who won’t be in Winslow on referendum day to apply for a postal vote.”

See or call electoral services on 01296 585858.

Winslow district councillor Sue Renshell said: “AVDC is backing the neighbourhood plan. It’s what the people want and we must fight opportunistic developers.”

An AVDC spokesman said, once the referendum process has been started, it can only be stopped if a High Court injunction is sought.

Nobody from Gladman was available to comment.

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