01:25PM, Tuesday 12 July 2016
Anger at plans to build hundreds of homes in Wooburn and Bourne End has been vented at a public meeting organised by campaigners.
At least 200 people were at the event yesterday (Monday) at the Bourne End Community Centre, in Wakeman Road, organised by the Don’t Destroy Bourne End (DDBE) group.
What started as a Facebook page set up to protest proposals put forward in the latest draft of the Wycombe District Local Plan has now gained more than 1,000 supporters since it was started at the end of June.
In its current form, the scheme 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, in a move which has generated particular frustration, 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.
Speaking at the meeting, Penny Drayton, of Hawks Hill, one of the founders of DDBE, said one of the first priorities was to recruit volunteers, particularly people with relevant experience, to create a steering group for the campaign, as well as other liaison groups.
She said: “There’s two main groups we’re trying to form. The first is a liaison group, the purpose of which is to bring together the local community to form an active team or a series of smaller teams focusing on the different aspects of responding to this.
“We need to be bigger and fight this as a community.”
One of the main points raised against the plans was the impact on the greenbelt, both from an environmental perspective and also in terms of the role of the greenbelt as a buffer zone between Wooburn and Bourne End.
However, concerns were also raised about whether health, transport and education services would be able to cope with the extra people.
In the foreword to the draft plan, Wycombe District Council (WDC) claims it needs to build about 15,000 homes by 2033, of which it hopes the proposals set out in the document will be able to provide two thirds, with the rest provided by Aylesbury Vale District.
It hopes to be able to site half of these on brownfield sites.
Visit www.ddbe.online to find out more about the campaign.
Visit www.wycombe.gov.uk/newlocalplan to view the latest plan.
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