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Cllr: 'Proposed housing growth in Risborough will put town under pressure'
A TOWN councillor said a proposal to build more houses in Princes Risborough, possibly on a major scale, would change Risborough forever.
Wycombe District Council is going to consult the public on a new local plan for the district. They need to build 500 to 700 homes a year until 2031.
The current level of building for the last decade has been an average of 400 to 450 homes a year.
Suggestions for Risborough give three options- 400, 1,000 or 2,500 houses. Princes Risborough town councillors discussed the impending consultation at Tuesday night's council meeting.
Cllr Alan Turner said: "Unless anything has changed dramatically... for Princes Risborough the choice is 400, 1,000 or 2,500 houses.
"The problem is that everyone would immediately go for 400 houses, looking at 1,000 more residents, looking at impossible pressures on the current infrastructure- not just the road network, but the schools and doctors surgeries.
"The amount of development contribution for 400 houses is certainly not going to cover the cost of improving infrastructure."
He said he worries it would set a precedent for more houses to come to the town, as if planning permission was given for 400 houses, other developers could then apply to build 400 houses in the future.
Councillors agreed that the town council should hold its own public meeting for residents, as well as the WDC planned one.
Cllr Gary Hall said in the late 80s when a developer wanted to build a couple of thousand homes to the north east of Risborough towards Longwick more than 500 people attended public meeting.
He said: "Make no mistake this is all coming from Central Government and it is being pushed down. "We have all seen the news story- the population has swelled by millions over the last few years.
"They have done predictions. They know we are going to need houses."
He added: "Something on this scale will change Risborough forever. There is no doubt about it."
All councillors voted in favour of holding a public meeting, for residents only, at the end of February, with the date to be confirmed.
WDC is holding a staffed exhibition on March 17 from 9.30am to 4.30pm at the information centre and an evening meeting on march 17 from 7 to 9pm at The princes Centre in Clifford Road.
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