News for October 2016
Thanks to your support the number of objections to Bloor Homes' plans for the next tranche of housing alongside Furze Lane has reached the magic number of 50. As a result of that we will now have the opportunity to speak to the relevant AVDC committee to try and influence their decision.
The Inspector’s report following the appeal hearing has been sent to the Secretary of State for consideration and we understand that a decision should be issued by 15 January 2017. Given that the Secretary of State has ruled against development in similar circumstances in Great Horwood we are hopeful of getting the news we want to hear.
Tomkins Park and Arboretum
Julian Tomkins will be the guest of honour for the official opening at 11.00 am on Saturday, 19 November and all residents are welcome to attend. The park is already of course open to the public with two entrances - one alongside the cycle path in Greyhound Lane car park and the other on Elmfields Gate.
16/02768/AOP - Outline application for up to 65 dwellings at Buckingham Road Winslow
Crevichon Properties Ltd has applied to build 63 homes in between the new Sir Thomas Freemantle School and what will be Winslow Station. This land is ear-marked in the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan (WNP) for employment use (business, general industrial and storage or distribution) and so the application directly conflicts with Policy 6 of the WNP. Whilst we'd like to think there's no chance of this being approved by AVDC, we can’t be certain.
Objections should be sent by 28 October 2016 please.
Verney Junction Garden Town
Some of you have already heard about a rather surprising, and very vague, proposal to build, in the first instance, 4,500 houses around Verney Junction, extending to a possible 13,000 houses over time. Winslow has about 2,000 homes so even initially it would be more than twice the size of Winslow and possibly ending up 6 times bigger than Winslow - and twice the size of Buckingham! At this stage it just seems as though it's a speculative shot trying to take advantage of the fact that AVDC has not yet identified sufficient land for building the 33,300 additional homes in the district as set out in VALP. We will of course be keeping an eye on how this pans out and are hoping it will get kicked into touch.
Gladman Appeals Yet Again
Despite its 3rd application to build 211 houses at Glebe Farm (GF3) being firmly refused by AVDC, Gladman has lodged yet another Appeal against the decision. Gladman’s latest action is consistent with its previous behaviour. The Secretary of State “recovered” Gladman’s previous Appeal on a very similar application and rejected that Appeal as recently as 20 November 2014. AVDC’s refusal letter for GF3 robustly rejected Gladman’s application on the same landscape grounds as previously, also citing conflict with the “made” Neighbourhood Plan. It seems that Gladman is still intent on wearing down local opposition through “Legalistic” means.
Residents' efforts pay off!
On 22 October 2015 AVDC Planners refused Gladman’s latest proposal under “officers’ delegated powers”. That came as a pleasant surprise, because recent planning decisions by AVDC had gone against communities with “made” Neighbourhood Plans (NPs) in Buckingham, Great Horwood and Haddenham – despite the proposed developments being in direct conflict with the NPs.
The reasons for refusal centred on the strength of “Landscape and Visual Assessment” issues
e.g. loss of agricultural land, intrinsic beauty of the countryside, rural character and appearance of the site, character and setting of the town.
Additionally, Gladman had reduced the “affordable dwellings” percentage from 35% (the minimum requirement in Policy 4 of the WNP) to 30% (the minimum requirement in the saved AVDLP). The Case Officer picked up on that, including it in the reasons for refusal – and, for good measure, added the conflict with the “20% minimum to be controlled by the Winslow Community Land Trust” requirement as an adverse social impact. It is reassuring that the Case Officer has used a number of the key policies in the WNP to support his decision; that shows the power of Neighbourhood Planning and we must be thankful that those who drew up the WNP did such a good job on our behalves.
For those of you who are interested in the detail, a copy of the decision letter may be viewed at
The Case Officer reported that 565 objections had been received and he summarised the main points made – many of which accorded with the reasons for refusal. It seems clear that those views, strongly expressed in large numbers, had a bearing on the decision.
While Glebe Farm may have directly affected only those residents on the SW side of Winslow, it is clear that the efforts of residents from across Winslow - and beyond - have been worth it; acting together we have, yet again, seen off a predatory developer.
Our current battle against Gladman is over – for the time being!
Realistically, we can’t expect Gladman to go away and they are likely to pursue other applications around Winslow.
Should that happen, we are sure we can rely on your help to show them that we will decide where houses should be built in Winslow.
Winslow residents do their bit!
Our call for objections to Gladman's latest onslaught on Winslow has had great support with over 500 registered as at 2/10/15. Thank you all and keep them coming - the more the better. Details on how to object can be found by scrolling down to the previous news item below.
Gladman resurrects planning application for 211 houses at Glebe Farm
1. What’s happened?
Gladman has just submitted its third application for 211 homes at Glebe Farm, off Verney Road. Essentially this application is identical to its previous one. But, owing to a recent ruling in the Planning Courts (Woodcock) which went against the Secretary of State, we believe that AVDC planners will now give much less weight to the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan (WNP) than they did previously. Consequently we need to give greater emphasis to other factors than we did in previous objections. For those interested in the more technical planning details, those are given at the end of this note.
2. Action required now
We need as many residents as possible to send written objections to AVDC planning department.
N.B. Objections made in the past to the earlier application do not count this time round.
It is vital that individually as many residents as possible write in to object. An objection signed by Mum, Dad and 2 children only counts as one objection. Please, in your own words, write to express your objections to this application.
Points you might wish to cover could be: Our Neighbourhood Plan allows for an increase of over 35% in the number of homes, the addition of 211 homes would push the increase to nearly 50% - Loss of countryside -Traffic issues at Vicarage Road/High Street junction, Furze Lane and its junction with the A413 - Harm to the landscape – Impact on Furze Down School - Conflicts with the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan – Site is outside the Winslow Settlement Boundary etc.
For those who wrote in to object to the earlier applications, you could reuse them but remember to change the application reference to 15/02532/AOP.
Also, please encourage your neighbours, family and friends to write in as well.
3. What happens if we don’t get enough objections?
AVDC planners will think Winslow residents don’t mind and may not give enough weight to the WNP.
If Gladman is successful here that will set a precedent; they will rapidly resubmit applications for 100 homes to the east of Little Horwood Road and their long promised application for 1,200 homes north of the town and at least one other developer will follow suit. This will badly affect everyone in Winslow with developments on the northern, western and eastern edges of the town which will more than double the size of Winslow, turning the town we love into a building site over the next 15 to 20 years.
There is a real risk that this application could succeed – so please get writing – now!
4. Planning History
The first Glebe Farm application was refused by AVDC in September 2013 and then went to appeal in the first half of 2014. The Secretary of State ‘recovered’ the appeal, meaning the Inspector compiled his report in the usual way but then passed it to the Secretary of State for his consideration. Although the Inspector recommended approval, the Secretary of State, reasoned on a number of fronts that aspects of the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan justified dismissal of the appeal, stating that he placed very substantial negative weight on the conflict between the proposal and the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan. So permission for housing on this site has already been refused at the highest level!
The second application was withdrawn by Gladman.
5. Change of stance by AVDC Planners
In the appeal relating to the first application, which AVDC had refused, the Secretary of State dismissed the appeal – for a number of reasons, including the fact that it conflicted significantly with the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan.
Owing to a recent judgement in the Planning Courts (Woodcock), AVDC planners have confirmed they will give less weight to the WNP than they did previously. There is a strong, informed consensus that AVDC’s interpretation of this judgement is badly flawed. For this and other applications,it has been confirmed by AVDC Planning that in future we cannot reject housing applications just because there is a conflict with housing supply policies in a recently made neighbourhood plan. So when this new application is considered, reduced planning weight will be given to our Neighbourhood Plan’s Housing Policies.
We believe that no other Local Planning Authority in the country intends to change its stance as a result of Woodcock.
Once again, Gladman is trying to ride roughshod over the wishes of Winslow residents. Despite our Neighbourhood Plan, we must not be complacent and once again have to do all we can to ensure that AVDC is made well aware of the strength of local feeling.
To ensure that every resident of Winslow is aware of this latest threat from Gladman, leaflets setting out the issues will be delivered to every home in Winslow. They will be followed up with a stall at the Winslow Show on Bank Holiday Monday, when residents can talk to Campaign Group members about the issues. 7 further potential development sites have been identified around Winslow; if Gladman succeeds at Glebe Farm, that will open the flood gates, resulting in as many as 3000 houses being built around the town.
The following map shows the extent of the threat that we face ... A full-size version in PDF format can be viewed by clicking here.
HOUSING DEVELOPMENT SITES AROUND WINSLOW PROMOTED FOR NEW LOCAL PLAN
In the preparation process for their next Local Plan for the District, AVDC asked land owners and developers to put forward details of sites they wish to promote for housing development to 2033. These are identified on the large map in red. The sites, all of which lie outside the Winslow Settlement Boundary and are therefore contrary to our Neighbourhood Plan, are –
Glebe Farm, Verney Road.
Promoted by Gladman Developments Ltd for 211 dwellings. A 24 acre site.
Tinkers End Garage, Granborough Road.
Promoted by Mr Tony Lee for 150 dwellings. An 11 acre site.
Land East of Little Horwood Road behind Shipton
Promoted by Gladman Developments for 100 dwellings. A 13 acre site
Land East of Little Horwood Road and north of the cycleway
Promoted by Bell Cornwell LLP for 300 dwellings. A 41 acre site.
Land East of Great Horwood Road
Promoted by Gladman Developments for 1,200 dwellings. The 178 acre site lies partly in Winslow Parish and partly in Great Horwood Parish.
Land West of Furze Lane
Promoted by Nexus Planning Limited for 196 dwellings. A 14 acre site.
The map also shows the following 106 acre site which, although in Addington Parish, goes right to Winslow's border, and would significantly affect Winslow.
Land South of Buckingham Road, north of Bridge Farm
Promoted by Smith Jenkins, representing – Ajwan Properties for 800 dwellings or an ‘Extra-Care’ (sheltered housing) residential village.
The Winslow Neighbourhood Plan details sites for 455 new homes in addition to the 220 on the Verney Road site which is nearing completion. These sites are identified in green on the large map.
The total number of new dwellings being proposed for these 7 sites is 2,957. If only half this number were to be approved for completion in the next 15 or so years, it would not only turn Winslow into a building site during that time but also ruin much of what is so very special about our community and the town.