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Council urged to protect the Gomm Valley by residents
4:40pm Thursday 27th March 2014 in News
RESIDENTS have told a council they should protect the Gomm Valley instead of potentially building up to 400 homes on the picturesque site.
About 200 people attended a Question Time-esque meeting organised by the Pimms Action Group at Cock Lane last week, as residents got the chance to quiz Wycombe District Council bosses about the options in its Local Plan.
Graham Andrews told the Free Press residents are “unhappy” the council has revisited the idea of developing the attractive landscape and has called for the town’s infrastructure to be improved before any additional housing is built.
He said: “Everyone is unhappy this has arisen again. Anyone who has ever walked through the valley will know it is a gorgeous area and represents a lazy way to answer an unnecessary problem.
“I don’t believe we need the housing, it has been arrived at by using a mathematical equation without any factual basis and there was not one voice at the meeting in favour of it.
“Couple [additional housing] with a shortage of schools, doctor surgeries, the hospital issues, the state of the town centre and the congested roads before even one more house is built – the town seems to be dying on its feet.”
Mr Andrews added councillors and WDC’s planning bosses appeared to take on board the comments made by residents at last week’s meeting.
Another meeting on the Gomm Valley proposals will be held by the Penn and Tylers Green Residents Society at St Margaret’s Parish Hall at 7.30pm tonight.
Gill Markham said: "I think what's going on at the moment is residents are now realising the implications of what these proposals might mean.
"They have started thinking about how the number of houses will have an impact on the roads.
"It is congested enough now, let alone when we have houses at the bottom of Hammersley Lane."
WDC says it needs to build between 500 and 700 new homes every year until 2031, as well as find new employment sites, to keep up with growth.
It used census data and population trends from the last decade and applied that formula to work out the housing need for the next 17 years.
All local authorities have been told by the government to work out how many homes and jobs are required and plan to meet that need.
Council chiefs have said planning decisions will be taken out of their hands and the power will rest with developers if a Local Plan is not approved.
WDC’s two month Local Plan public consultation – which outlines the various options and proposals - ends on April 4.
To take part or to find out more information visit www.wycombe.gov.uk/newlocalplan
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