RESIDENTS are preparing for battle as anger grows over new plans for a £12million M40 motorway junction in Flackwell Heath.
The proposed development, a part of Wycombe District Council’s Local Plan which hopes to ‘meet future needs of businesses in the town and relieve congestion’, shows a proposed new route could run through Spring Lane, near Heath End Road, Flackwell Heath.
The new junction 3a would enable motorists to access the northbound M40 from Wycombe, without having to drive to the already congested Handy Cross – although the council says this particular plan is just one of several options being considered.
Resident Chris Remsbury, who lives on Heath End Road, almost opposite Spring Lane, said: “A new motorway junction would knock thousands of pounds off the values of all these properties. Have you got a for sale sign in your car? I would put that up straight away.”
Mr Remsbury who built eight of the houses along Heath End Road and has lived there for 45 years fears this would ruin the area for good.
He said: “We sometimes hear the traffic from the road, but at the moment it doesn’t bother us too much. I don’t think we could live with that though.”
“Where would all that traffic go? It isn’t just the additional traffic, its danger and also noise. This area has been spoilt already but I think this would make it a lot worse.
“What we know to be beautiful as it is today, could all be ruined tomorrow.”
The council says a junction would markedly alter the pattern of traffic volume and growth within High Wycombe.
The WDC local plan says: “A new junction – 3a – could help meet the future needs of business in the town/ district and relieve congestion in the area by attracting inward investment.
“Without a new junction, businesses would be highly unlikely to locate here on a significant scale.
“This would create a highly accessible location triggering a significant change in the market’s perception of High Wycombe and deliver improved connections to new and existing employment areas on and close to the London Road.”
An angry reaction to the proposal has also been met by the Flackwell Heath group ‘Residents Against Inappropriate Development’, which campaigns to protect green belt land in the area.
A member of RAID, who did not want to be named, said: “It is obvious that it is likely to be at Spring Lane, currently a narrow, steep, winding road. It is an abomination. It’s not just close to us, it is actually in the village.”
“Traffic through the village is already a problem and this will make it intolerable with traffic noise massively increased. Roads around the village are already in a poor state and are unable to support the volume of traffic.”
“We do not need another motorway junction so close between 3 and 4 compounding problems at this accident blackspot – there are already a number of accidents in between these junctions and this would prove to be another hazard.
“Residents have fought a development here in the past and it was rejected then, it should not even be considered now.”
Cllr Neil Marshall, WDC Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability, said: “The local plan explores various options for long term planning right up to 2031.
“It looks at all sorts of ways we can help the district grow in terms of ensuring there are enough homes for local people to live and finding new employment sites in the district to attract new jobs into the area.
“Junction 3a is one of many options under consideration. It would be a long term, high cost project which would need more detailed feasibility work and the approval of the Highways Authority, if we were to progress the idea."
To have your say on the WDCs Local Plan, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Wycombe District Council, Queen Victoria Road, High Wycombe, Bucks HP11 1BB.