UPDATED: Residents object to celebrity-endorsed housing scheme

Design for the self build scheme on Bourton Road PNL-140729-100412001
Design for the self build scheme on Bourton Road PNL-140729-100412001
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Residents and town councillors are objecting to a planning application for a self build scheme of seven houses.

Half a dozen Buckingham residents attended Buckingham Town Council’s meeting on Monday night to object to plans for the development off Bourton Road.

Green Initiatives is seeking outline planning permission for a group of seven self-build homes on the two-acre site on Bourton Road.

The scheme is supported by TV broadcaster and self build advocate Charlie Luxton, who attended a public exhibition at Buckingham Community Centre last September.

In November, a self build workshop was held in the Old Gaol and Green Initiatives says about 30 people have shown serious interest in self building.

The empty site lies between Buckingham Town Cricket Club and an electricity sub-station. It is bordered on one side by the River Great Ouse and on another by Otters Brook.

If planning permission is granted, the idea is for the individual plot owners to share a professional team and contractor to design and build the homes, which range in size from two-bedroom starter homes to large family houses.

Shared areas, including a wildflower meadow and a community orchard will be managed by the residents collectively.

Green Initiatives consultant Tom Hutchinson said: “We have had a lot of help from Charlie Luxton, who is passionate about making self build a national reality and improving the design quality in new housing.

“The huge benefit of designing a housing scheme on this site is that we have lots of space to create generous garden sizes and retain large open areas.

“A large part of the site will remain open and undeveloped alongside the river, which means we can accommodate the otters and other wildlife, which will enhance the riverside corridor.”

But spokesman for the objectors, Bob Ogle, told town councillors the site is on a flood plain.

Councillors voted to reject the application on the grounds of possible flooding and will attend the planning meeting to speak against it.

There are currently three letters of support for the application no 14/01759/AOP on Aylesbury Vale District Council’s planning portal, but so far no objections.

The closing date for comments is August 8.