Appeal hearing concludes over 300 homes on Valley Farm

Valley Farm
Valley Farm

A developer’s appeal to build 300 homes on the edge of Linslade was heard by the Planning Inspectorate last week.

Paul Newman Homes appealed after their bid to build 300 houses on Valley Farm was unanimously rejected by Aylesbury Vale District Council in February.

At the hearing in Aylesbury, lawyers from both sides argued over the impact to the landscape, with a cross examination of AVDC’s landscape officer and a formal visit to the site on Friday.

Leighton-Linslade Cllr Clive Palmer said: “The emphasis throughout has been on landscape and in my personal view, it’s landscape that will determine it.”

These views were echoed by campaigner Tom Daly, who said: “The arguments centred around the need for houses versus the destruction of the countryside.”

Paul Newman Homes notably appealed to the Inspectorate back in 2012 after a failed application to build 900 homes on the site. That appeal was also rejected.

Mr Daly added: “I feel they really lost their case when they admitted that the most prominent parts of the 300 houses would still be as ‘seriously adverse’ regarding visibility and intrusion as parts of the 900 houses were.”

Both Cllr Palmer and Mr Daly spoke against the plans during the four-day hearing, as did Victoria Harvey of South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth, who drew the Inspector’s attention to a wildlife report by the Greensand Trust.

Although adjoining Linslade, the proposed estate would fall within the neighbouring district of Aylebury Vale – to which its residents would pay their council tax.

Mr Daly said Paul Newman Homes were “plaguing Linslade residents” with repeated planning applications for the site. Representatives for Paul Newman Homes were contacted by the LBO but failed to respond.

The decision by the Planning Inspectorate is expected to be published in January.