09:09AM, Tuesday 13 June 2017
Penny Drayton is one of the founders of the Keep Bourne End Green campaign.
A war chest of £50,000 has been built up by campaigners fighting plans for hundreds of homes to be built in Wooburn and Bourne End.
Since being formed about a year ago, members of the Keep Bourne End Green (KBEG) group have collected the cash to fund their efforts against the Wycombe District Local Plan.
The scheme, which has not yet been approved, has set a target of building up to 750 houses in the two villages, of which as many as 500 could be at the Hollands Farm site, between Bourne End and Hedsor.
And more than 150 could be constructed at Slate Meadow, off Stratford Drive, which has been designated a reserve site for potential future development since 1989, despite long-running campaigns to protect it from development.
Penny Drayton, one of the group's founders, said: "Having raised the money, we've been able to pay for professionals in all fields who are writing reports and proving why this is not a viable plan.
"It's not something that can be done round here and on the greenbelt question, it's something we believe shouldn't be downgraded."
Fundraising efforts for KBEG, which was originally called Don't Destroy Bourne End, included a bucket collection at polling stations in Wooburn and Bourne End on Thursday, the day of the general election.
A team of about 20 activists worked from 7am until 10pm to cover the four sites in the villages.
And their efforts were rewarded with more than £4,500 collected.
"What we wanted to do was be there, out of the way of the election, but in the area where we knew people would be passing by," said Mrs Drayton.
"There's a lot of people who don't follow us online, but still want to know what's going on and it was an opportunity to meet them.
"And it was well received by everyone too - everyone is concerned about it and there's great community spirit."
The election day collection was followed up on Saturday with a fundraising garden party.
About 100 people were at the event at the riverside home of one of the campaign's backers, in Cock Marsh.
Supporters were able to enjoy a barbecue, beers and games at the family-friendly event, which also added more than £2,000 to KBEG's funds.
Visit www.keepbourneendgreen.org to find out more.
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