Building here would be ‘a disaster for Linslade’

Paul Newman Homes wants to build 50 homes on agricultural land north of Leighton Road (A4146), Soulbury. PHOTO: Google
Paul Newman Homes wants to build 50 homes on agricultural land north of Leighton Road (A4146), Soulbury. PHOTO: Google

A housebuilder who failed in two appeals over the building of hundreds of homes off the edge of Linslade, has made a new bid to develop part of the land.

Paul Newman Homes had its plans to erect 300 homes at Valley Farm rejected by the Planning Inspectorate in January. It was the second time it had appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after a plan to erect 900 homes on the same site was rejected back in 2012.

But campaigners will be dismayed that PNH has submitted a fresh scheme for the West Linslade Urban Extension North site.

The outline application for agricultural land north of Leighton Road (A4146), Soulbury, seeks permission to build 50 homes (50% Open Market, 50% Affordable).

Campaigner Tom Daly, of Linslade, said: “This further application from Paul Newman New Homes is an affront to public justice, but was to be expected from this builder as a last ditch attempt to thwart overwhelming public opinion against any housing on this prominent site, and also to try to do it before the area is re-classified as Green Belt by AVDC, which is in the pipeline.

“The previous applications and appeals to build here have been unanimously rejected and AVDC should throw this one out in similar manner!”

He added: “The joint committees of Beds, Bucks and Herts assessed all land around Leighton-Linslade for development potential some years ago and Western Linslade was found to be unsuitable for further housing because of it’s landscape and unsuitable road network – for example the Soulbury Road from the county boundary into Leighton is now no longer the B4032 but has been a de-classified road (the C256) since the bypass was built i.e. not intended for high traffic volume!

“Building here would be a disaster for Linslade because the precedent set would allow all land between existing housing and the bypass to be built on. All objections to this application should be sent to AVDC planning as soon as possible to let them know how important this matter is for Linslade.”

Paul Newman Homes say the development would be of “high quality” and of “sympathetic design”.

They say: “The proposals are located on approximately 4.38ha of land located to the north of the B4032 Leighton Road and has the potential to create a residential scheme of the highest quality

“Whilst Aylesbury Vale District Council claim to demonstrate a five year housing land supply, development of the application site for housing would make a contribution to maintaining the supply of both market and affordable housing for the District. “The percentage of Affordable Housing provided by this development is dramatically higher than the aspirations of Aylesbury Vale District Councill.

“The scheme is sympathetic to the site’s landform, to its relationship to Linslade New Wood to the north and in maintaining a rural approach to the town from the bypass.

“The application site is considered to be situated in a sustainable location within easy reach of a range of services and facilities.

“Given that the application site is currently redundant agricultural land which does not form part of an agricultural holding, significant effort and thought has been given towards establishing design principles that guide the development in a manner that has resulted in a proposal which retains a significant amount of existing green open space and vegetation.”

In his published decision last January, planning inspector David Cullingford described Valley Farm as “inherently attractive” and “largely undisturbed countryside”, popular as a recreation area with well-used footpaths.

He stated: “The intrusive impact of the appeal scheme on this valued’ landscape would wreak permanent and irreparable damage across these valley slopes. Several of the conclusions reached by the Inspector in recommending the dismissal of the previous scheme in 2012 remain pertinent.”

MP Andrew Selous added at the time: “I am absolutely delighted to learn about the Planning Inspector’s decision to refuse this development and I hope that this time, NO finally does mean NO!”

Campaigners also confirmed their support for designating land at Valley Farm as green belt.

The move, suggested in Aylesbury Vale District Council’s draft Local Plan, led to letters of support from the town council and Mr Selous, who believe the protection would put an end to repeated speculative housing applications for the site.

Find out more about the plans search 17/03956/AOP on the ADVC website planning section.