'Focal' community space in Bourne End under threat from Hollands Farm plans

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

Buckinghamshire councillors have raised concerns about the possibility of a community space being destroyed to make way for the Hollands Farm 400-home development.

The controversial scheme would see a primary school, a games area and parkland built alongside the homes, as well as changes to road junctions, new footpaths and changes to public transport routes.

Having gone though the planning documents ‘with a fine-tooth comb’, independent councillors for the IMPACT Alliance party have raised fears that the Peace Garden at Penny’s Corner could end up being demolished to make way for works.

Transport and site plans show that developers Catesby Estates is looking to install a full roundabout in place of the painted mini roundabout at the junction where The Parade meets Cores End Road.

This includes the Peace Garden at Penny’s Corner – a small patch of community space featuring a clock, flowers and benches, along with a plaque displaying a ‘poem for peace.’

Having looked over the development plans, councillors noticed there was an overlap of the roundabout works on Penny’s Corner.

Cllr Penny Drayton (Impact, The Wooburns, Bourne End & Hedsor) said the worry is that the planning application – which is not yet complete – is already hundreds of pages long, so it is easy to miss such details.

“We could get into a situation where it’s accepted and before we know it, we have lost the peace garden,” she said.

“There’s no acknowledgement (in the planning documents) that that could happen.”

Transport documents and site plans seen by the Advertiser do not explicitly mention Penny’s Corner.

“Penny’s Corner is not an enormous area but it’s very much a focal point in Bourne End,” said Cllr Drayton. “The peace gardens have become part of the community.

“It’s somewhere for people to sit and reflect – you see people there every day. If it was lost, it would be a terrible thing for residents and the community.”

A spokeswoman for Catesby Estates said that its transport assessment ‘identified that improvements may be required at Penny Corner’.

“Catesby Estates are in active dialogue with Buckinghamshire council and the highways officers, and this dialogue will continue during the determination process,” she said.

“The highway officers will assess any highways mitigation works and those works will be tested rigorously during this process.”

The consultation period has been extended to July 6.

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