A settlement for Winslow that could make the town double the size of Buckingham is not the right option, according to the area’s councillor.
Llew Monger says that the new settlement, which under Aylesbury Vale District Council’s draft local plan could be built in either Winslow or Haddenham, would mean that there was no distinction between Winslow and the Horwoods.
Addressing planning officers at a meeting of the plan’s scrutiny committee meeting, following its announcement last week, he said: “Developing a new settlement at Winslow could lead to a conurbation with a population of 25,000, that’s twice the size of Buckingham.
“A new settlement in the proposed location would lead to the total coalescence of Winslow and the Horwoods, creating a conurbation of 10,000 houses and a population of up to 25,000.
“There simply isn’t the transport infrastructure to support such a development. The north/south connections via the A413 are very poor and East West Rail, while welcome, is still some way off.
“Even when the train service is delivered it will offer nothing like the connectivity that the alternative site at Haddenham offers.
“East West Rail will eventually offer one train per hour from Winslow to Oxford and an hourly 74-minute journey to London, whereas Haddenham already offers up to four trains per hour between London and Birmingham including a 40-minute service to Marylebone and a 20-minute service to Oxford.”
The councillor said that Winslow Town Council has agreed to meet Great Horwood and Little Horwood parish councils to discuss the news.
And he also expressed concern that ‘unmet housing need’ from other areas including Milton Keynes and South Bucks is included in the Vale Plan.
He said: “While I recognise that there is a duty to co-operate with neighbouring local authorities in delivering housing, I do not believe that the residents of Aylesbury Vale will take kindly to building 50 per cent more houses than we need just to satisfy demand from areas such as High Wycombe and South Bucks, which are not prepared to build on so-called Green Belt land.”
To find out more about the draft Vale Plan go to www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/localplan.