Green belt idea for Valley Farm gains backing


Leighton Buzzard councillors and the town’s MP have confirmed their support for designating land at Valley Farm, Linslade as green belt.

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

Paul Newman Homes’ appeal to controversially build 300 properties on land at Valley Farm by Linslade has been slated for this winter.

The developer announced in April that it was intending to appeal AVDC’s rejection of its scheme to the dismay of campaigners fighting to save the countryside.

The plan is drastically downscaled from a previous rejected application for 900 homes - which Paul Newman lost on appeal. The latest appeal will be heard by a Government inspector from November 29 to December 1 at The Gateway, Aylesbury.

The town council’s planning and transport committee has now agreed to write to AVDC to back the extension of the green belt to include Valley Farm, which, although just to the west of Linslade, falls into AVDC’s remit.

It says it strongly supports the idea as it would provide a logical extension and continuation of existing areas of green belt, with a robust boundary; provide better protection for a valued open and unspoilt rural landscape; prevent outward urban sprawl; and compensate for the loss of Green Belt land elsewhere around Leighton-Linslade.

Councillor Clive Palmer, committee chairman, confirmed: “We have supported the Local Plan suggestion that the land should be designated as Green Belt for the benefit of residents.”

Andrew Selous, MP for South West Beds, added: “I am very strongly supportive of the move to designate this land as green belt and have already written to Aylesbury Vale District Council to tell them this. It would be excellent if green belt status could finally put an end to these unwanted speculative applications on this site.”

The draft local plan will be submitted to full council at the end of the year and then they will start a consultation with the public in early 2017 before it is passed to the Government for approval.

Dr Palmer is encouraging residents opposed to housing on Valley Farm to write to AVDC supporting the view that the land should be designated green belt.

See by September 5.