The following letter was written by a RARA member and concerned local resident, who kindly agreed that we could share her views with the wider community. We hope this letter inspires you to write to Wycombe District Council before the deadline of 27th November. You can find out more about how to contact the Council by visiting our ‘Rescue Risborough’ page.
Dear Planning Inspector
We object to Wycombe District Council’s Local Plan (WDCLP) for Princes Risborough/Monks Risborough (PR/MR) and surrounding villages for the following reasons:
Overwhelming number of dwellings for such a small market town and surrounding villages
2.500 new homes, 3.200 total with additional developments in Longwick and Kimble plus current developments in progress. PR will become the second largest town after High Wycombe which is an unprecedented 80% expansion in the size of PR and surrounding area. Whereas High Wycombe (HW) will have 12% and Marlow 5% expansion. We support modest growth of 700-1.000 homes. There is also the issue of up to 40% affordable housing against the district target of 25%. This will mean developers will contribute less money for infrastructure so their profit margins are not eroded. PR should be in line with the rest of Wycombe district and have a target of 25% for affordable housing, not 40%.
The settlements WDC propose will be dormitory. There are no employment prospects for this area due to PR/MR and surround being miles away from the M40. The only way to remedy this is to inject millions to build a major artery to accommodate the vast volumes of traffic which will generated and which are currently experienced due to Aylesbury Vale’s massive development programme. The A4010 through MR/PR is the gateway by which Aylesbury Vale and MR/PR residents access HW and the M40 etc..
PR and surround is not an attractive option for businesses and light industry due to poor transport links. They cannot access the M40,M25, Luton etc with ease.
WDC propose small employment growth in PR (paragraph 37 WDC Draft Local Plan) which contradicts WDC statement (end paragraph 42) policy of sustainable balance between the supply of homes and jobs. Therefore small growth of jobs for such a large scale development of dwellings creates a dormitory town resulting in no integration with the original town and no benefits for either community.
Both PR/MR and surrounding areas are prone to flooding. They are situated on top of underground springs, streams and at the base of the Chiltern Hills. Not a year goes by without flooding occurring in Mill Lane MR, parts of Longwick and PR. No amount of balancing ponds will remedy this problem due to excesses of underground water.
Hospitals and other Infrastructure
There is only one A&E department and only one maternity unit for the whole of the Wycombe District and Aylesbury Vale at Stoke Mandeville Hospital (SMH). SMH periodically is on Black Alert. Infrastructure is not just about schools, GPs, sport centres and roads. It is also about hospitals having the capacity to serve the community. SMH and Wycombe General Hospital are woefully below the level to serve the current communities, (safety issues are often flagged up by the NHS Watchdog re: both hospitals).
As stated in the previous paragraph, developers will not contribute the large amounts of money needed for adequate infrastructure for such a large development because of this WDC have agreed to a reduced amount from them to accommodate the 40% affordable housing. WDC is lacking in its duty to current and future residents by doing this.
WDC refusal to listen to and work with Local Residents
Out of a population for PR of 8.000 over 4.000 residents signed a petition against WDC Local Plan due to excessive amount of development proposed but WDC disregarded the petition and did not deem it necessary that you the Planning Inspector should be informed of its existence.
Thank you for taking the time and effort to read this objection.