I have today (as have many others) received the latest update from the council regarding their local plan. We have been waiting for some time for this with hope that they would actually listen to the facts and reasons we had given them as to why their proposals were unfeasible, but unfortunately that’s not been the case. (attachment further down).
I’ll start with some good news; the revised plan which will evolve into the new local plan, no longer features the Northern Heights site. Northern Heights is proposed to be withdrawn. There was good news also for Marlow, Hazelmere and a large proportion of the Stokenchurch site as these are all also set to be withdrawn. All of these are greenbelt sites and will therefore remain to be so. Worth noting, some of these were large sites set to accommodate large numbers of houses (I will refer back to this later).
Slate Meadow is still in the proposal as it is a reserve/release site although the direct liaison group for Slate Meadow continue as ever to do great work fighting the proposal and trying to bring down the suggested housing numbers (to note at this stage the council are saying 150 homes)
Hollands Farm is not proposed to be withdrawn and is still very much a part of their new plan. Further to that, it would seem (reading between the lines) that the council may now even propose increasing the number of houses on this site quite substantially. Just to explain this better, above I mentioned how 4 greenbelt proposed sites have now been removed from their plan, in total these sites add up to several hundreds of homes which would have been built on (current) greenbelt land, which no longer will. This would bring the total number of homes on greenbelt land down quite substantially yes? NO, in light of WDC revisions, the number of homes which they now say will be built on greenbelt land has changed from 900 to 1160, regardless of those other sites being removed! Now they do mention at one point how they have found some new greenbelt sites (no suggestion of which, where or how large) but they also suggest in several places that they have revised the number of homes which can potentially be fitted into sites, with the indication that the result in that is numbers increasing.
People of Bourne End and all our neighbouring villages and communities, the threat has just got worse than ever. If you thought this was just quietly going to go away, it hasn’t! The release of their new plan was due in December (hinted at today that it’ll be in the New Year but I believe we still need to aim for December). When the Local Plan comes out and consultation opens, we will not have enough time to panic and try to get our argument together then, we need to get our facts in line now! We need to come together to fight this, we need the support of each and every one of you. What if the new local plan suggests 1000 or more new homes on Hollands Farm, can you imagine the catastrophic knock on effects to the entire area then?
Please spread the word of what is happening here. Please support us. Please donate to help us raise money to pay for the professionals we need to stop this. Click the link below, give what you can. We need the reports done to help show what the potential outcomes to our community (and larger area) would be, before it’s too late and it happens!!!
On the 14th November I am standing at a cabinet meeting at the Council offices to present our objections and case. I have been given the opportunity to do this due to the amazing number of signatures we got when we had our petition going round earlier this year. I will be putting forward the best argument I can but have received today (by separate cover to the above mentioned and attached document) confirmation from the council that they will still be pushing forward with Hollands Farm regardless of the 2404 signatures objecting it. Please, if you signed that petition (or even if you missed it) pledge your support again now with a monetary donation. I can’t promise we will win this as it seems crazy that it’s even proposed, but it is. I can promise though that we are going to fight the very best battle we can and use the finest professionals our fundraised money can afford. Think about how much your life around here means to you and whether you can spare a few extra quid to try and maintain that.
Thank you in advance for all your support
Keep Bourne End Green