Aylesbury planning crisis may hit Winslow
A lack of five year land supply has hit many districts around the country, undermining local planning and leading to many unplanned speculative developments being approved by the planning inspectorate under the presumption in favour of sustainable development. Now it is the turn of Aylesbury Vale to be in the face of a planning storm. After a planning inspector said the number of homes anticipated by the Vale of Aylesbury Plan was too low, and the council had failed in its duty to cooperate, the plan has been withdrawn.
Councillors are suggesting that the number of homes planned will have to rise substantially. An Aylesbury Vale council paper sets out the four year saga. The council will need a revise its plan at a time when it is axing 13 posts from its planning department.
A public inquiry into three housing schemes totalling 3,000 homes at Hampden Fields, Fleet Marston and Weedon Hill on the outskirts of Aylesbury finished in December. These schemes have been strongly opposed, but could now be approved under the presumption in favour of sustainable development, even though they conflict with the draft Vale of Aylesbury Plan.
Eyes will also turn to the small town of Winslow, on East West Rail, between Aylesbury and Buckingham. Aylesbury Vale’s planning committee recently approved 250 homes on land adjacent to Furze Lane, Winslow. The development is in line with the emerging Winslow neighbourhood plan. The same committee threw out a bid by Gladman developments to build 200 houses outside the planned area. Gladman, which wants to double the size of Winslow, has had a number of applications rejected and may now be expected to appeal on the basis of five year land supply and the presumption in favour of sustainable development.
The draft Winslow neighbourhood plan is to be examined on 14 February. This examination is set to become an important test case on whether a neighbourhood plan can proceed in the absence of a up-to-date local plan and a substantial fall in housing land supply as demanded by the National Planning Policy Framework.