A PETITION against plans to develop on an area of greenery between Bourne End and Wooburn Green has been set up by residents.
Slate Meadow was recently earmarked for development on the Wycombe District Council’s Local Plan.
Tom Dredge, who lives next to Slate Meadow, set-up the petition two weeks ago, and hopes they are successful in removing this area from the council’s plan.
He said: “I think there are a number of issues with the proposal of 175 new homes on Slate Meadow. Not least the removal of a floodplain.”
He added: “We have been spared somewhat from the recent flooding and I believe this is in no small part because of the natural protection Slate Meadow provides and the wonderful habitat it provides for wildlife.
“In addition, the added impact on the roads – two people were knocked down on Cores End road in 2013 – and St Paul’s School are of particular worry.”
In the local plan Wycombe District Council said good quality landscape design can be developed and maintained alongside 175 homes.
However, there appears to be growing concern amongst residents that this site is not suitable with over two hundred people signing the petition and around 80 people supporting the group on Facebook.
Mr Dredge said: “The WDC Local Plan came through my letter box around the same time that our local community were experiencing the effect of the weather and flooding.
“I already knew that planning had been rejected previously, partly on the grounds of it being a floodplain so I felt I had to do something.
He added: “Other local residents were also looking into a campaign, so we all started working together.”
Mr Dredge has been joined in his efforts by numerous local residents who have helped by raising awareness, handing out fliers and by researching the history of the meadow.
Nicola Nicholson, who has helped with the campaign, said: “Development plans have been turned down in the past and I believe the reasons why they were knocked back then are still valid now.”
Cllr Neil Marshall, WDC Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability, said: “We fully appreciate and understand the strength of local people’s views towards development on Slate Meadow.
"We understand that this proposal will not be popular and we are talking with local people right across the district as part of our Local Plan consultation conversations.
“We know from what is happening in other parts of the country that if we don't have a robust local plan in place, we risk developers picking sites where they want to build instead of our choosing the right places for development in the District.
An exhibition meeting for the Local Plan is to be held at Bourne End Library in Wakeman Road on Monday, March 10 from 9.30am-5.30pm, whilst there will a workshop on the same day from 7-9pm. The workshop is already oversubscribed and will therefore be an additional meeting at the same venue on March 24.
For more information on the petition please visit the Save Slate Meadow petition on: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions We would also like to your views on Slate Meadow. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org