Holy Cross housing plans put forward again

Bucks Free Press: The Holy Cross Convent in Chalfont St Peter The Holy Cross Convent in Chalfont St Peter

CONTROVERSIAL plans to redevelop the centre of Chalfont St Peter have resurfaced after new proposals were put forward.

Plans for nearly 200 new homes and a 65-bed care home to replace the former Holy Cross Convent School were emphatically turned down by Chiltern District Council in June after scores of complaints from residents and a campaign group.

But the scheme is now back on the table after a fresh planning application was submitted to the council.

This time the plans are for 187 dwellings, of which 35 per cent would be affordable housing - although the care home has also been proposed again.

The new scheme has been made by Persimmon Homes, which made the initial application, and will include the retention of several of the disused convent school buildings.

Redevelopment of the Holy Cross Convent, which ceased to be a school in 2006, has proved a thorny subject in Chalfont St Peter ever since it was earmarked for possible housing in 2009.

The scheme was given outline permission during a stormy planning meeting in 2010 but Chiltern District Council has as yet not approved any proposals giving finer details of the proposals.

At one point a High Court judge had to intervene, ruling the council did correctly follow its procedures while considering the plans - which received a total of 181 objections from residents.

Alternative plans for fewer houses and a supermarket have been mooted by villagers but so far no formal planning application has been made, while proposals to re-open the site as a school - which were welcomed by the village's MP, Cheryl Gillan - have also been put forward.

The latest set of proposals are likely to go before the council's planning committee in March.

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