M40 junction would "destroy" 30-year-old family home and business in Flackwell Heath

Cobbles farm members concerned about proposed plans

Cobbles farm members concerned about proposed plans

First published in News
Last updated
Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A NEW M40 junction in Flackwell Heath would “destroy” a family home and business of over 30 years, it is feared.

Cobbles Farm and Equestrian Centre has been hidden away along Spring Lane, in Flackwell Heath, for over three decades, but if a new M40 junction is built on the road they will lose it forever, they have said.

The Curtis family acquired over 36 acres of land in 1982 and built their business and home from scratch.

They currently have 39 horses on the land and over 300 people who use the facilities.

Only when a consultation period discussing the Wycombe District Councils (WDC) plans was extended did they hear of it, and they have serious concerns that they are too late to stop it from happening.

The family have already received a boost with almost 500 people signing the Save Cobbles Farm petition after just a week.

Pat Curtis, 67, said: “It will all be stemming from the motorway bridge and although it doesn’t take away our land, having a motorway slip road would just destroy us.

“We consider that we have a little bit of heaven here and we are so lucky. We have got everything we need around us and during the day we can hear a pin drop, how lucky are we?”

The family say their Equestrian business would be forced to shut even though plans would not encroach on their land.

Mrs Curtis said: “You could be outside teaching a child to do this that and the other, but no animal responds well to noise.

“Imagine if lorries were running down the road constantly, the sheer volume of traffic there, it just wouldn’t be a safe environment for children in a riding school, we would have to go.

“It is quiet, it is peaceful. The road is used in the morning for school runs they use it up and down but any of these proposed plans will have such an impact that we couldn’t possibly... we couldn’t run our riding school and we would lose it all.

“We would have to close. We were mortified when we found out about it, I mean sleepless nights is not the word.”

It has been proposed as part of the WDCs Local Plan that a new M40 junction could be built in Flackwell Heath, believed to be along Spring Lane, which can be accessed from Kingsmead Road in Loudwater and Heath End road, Flackwell Heath.

In a letter to the Curtis family, WDC Planning Policy Officer Rosie Brake, said all plans are only under consultation and the council want to hear the views of people who could be affected.

She said: “We are at an early stage of the plan preparation and we are sharing our current work so that people have a chance to comment on and shape the options. There is a lot more detailed work to be done on the motorway junction with the County Council and Highways Agency.”

As well as the e-petition Curtis family members, including daughter and yard manager, Liz Saunders, have set-up a written petition which has received over 200 signatures.

Pat Curtis added: “Our response will be on their (WDC) doorstep Tuesday morning, what do I want? I want it all to be ripped up and put in the bin.”

The consultation on the WDC Local Plan was originally planned to end on April 4 but has now been extended until Monday, April 21.

Comments can be submitted at: www.wycombe.gov.uk/newlocalplan To view the Save Cobbles Farm e-petition please visit: www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk

Comments (13)

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1:22am Mon 21 Apr 14

Mr Totterdge Hill says...

I see this as something that should have been done when they first built the motorway and will aid the east of High Wycombe. That's where many new houses have already been built and where they continue to make plans for more.
I see this as something that should have been done when they first built the motorway and will aid the east of High Wycombe. That's where many new houses have already been built and where they continue to make plans for more. Mr Totterdge Hill
  • Score: -10

9:58am Mon 21 Apr 14

HW1 says...

Another wonderful piece of Bucks Free Press reporting and I quote:-

'It has been proposed as part of the WDCs Local Plan that a new M40 could be built in Flackwell Heath, believed to be along Spring Lane, which can be accessed from Kingsmead Road in Loudwater and Heath End road, Flackwell Heath'.

Spring Lane is not that long to be a motorway!!
Another wonderful piece of Bucks Free Press reporting and I quote:- 'It has been proposed as part of the WDCs Local Plan that a new M40 could be built in Flackwell Heath, believed to be along Spring Lane, which can be accessed from Kingsmead Road in Loudwater and Heath End road, Flackwell Heath'. Spring Lane is not that long to be a motorway!! HW1
  • Score: 1

11:12am Mon 21 Apr 14

Monty Cristo says...

Mr Totterdge Hill wrote:
I see this as something that should have been done when they first built the motorway and will aid the east of High Wycombe. That's where many new houses have already been built and where they continue to make plans for more.
Presumably there were god reasons why they didn't do it then. I would guess that the vast majority of east end traffic is wanting to go towards London, rather than away from it. I'm not convinced it is needed - that might change if some proper evidence is put forward rather than vague justification. Proper evidence is certainly needed before that sort of money is spent - at a time when the Council can't or won't even maintain the roads we already have properly......
[quote][p][bold]Mr Totterdge Hill[/bold] wrote: I see this as something that should have been done when they first built the motorway and will aid the east of High Wycombe. That's where many new houses have already been built and where they continue to make plans for more.[/p][/quote]Presumably there were god reasons why they didn't do it then. I would guess that the vast majority of east end traffic is wanting to go towards London, rather than away from it. I'm not convinced it is needed - that might change if some proper evidence is put forward rather than vague justification. Proper evidence is certainly needed before that sort of money is spent - at a time when the Council can't or won't even maintain the roads we already have properly...... Monty Cristo
  • Score: 14

11:32am Mon 21 Apr 14

Monty Cristo says...

Oh, and would you also like a south-bound exit there too? Presumably if a northbound junction is warranted a southbound one is too. (Neither are in my view, since Beaconsfield junction is so close).
Oh, and would you also like a south-bound exit there too? Presumably if a northbound junction is warranted a southbound one is too. (Neither are in my view, since Beaconsfield junction is so close). Monty Cristo
  • Score: 18

12:05pm Mon 21 Apr 14

HerculePoirot says...

"The landscape designations and areas of interest including the Chilterns AONB, Wycombe Abbey Park and Garden, TPOs and ancient woodlands".

"The M40 motorway aligns east to west, towards the south of the study area. Just north of the M40, the land slopes fairly steeply down Spring Lane / Abbey Barn Lane". Fairly steeply!!

"The Scheme falls within the Chilterns National Character Area which is
characterised by waterways, hills, agricultural lands and woodlands".

"There are areas of deciduous woodland Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority habitat within the study area. These areas of woodland extend between Spring Lane and Abbey Barn Lane just south of Kingsmead Road and westwards from Abbey Barn Lane. These also include areas of ancient woodland such as Deangarden Wood and Barrowcroft Wood either side of Abbey Barn Lane."

"The southern section of the study area comprises agricultural land (also designated as Green Belt) between Spring Lane and Abbey Barn Lane".

Yes - let's build a motorway junction and houses on top of that lot...
"The landscape designations and areas of interest including the Chilterns AONB, Wycombe Abbey Park and Garden, TPOs and ancient woodlands". "The M40 motorway aligns east to west, towards the south of the study area. Just north of the M40, the land slopes fairly steeply down Spring Lane / Abbey Barn Lane". Fairly steeply!! "The Scheme falls within the Chilterns National Character Area which is characterised by waterways, hills, agricultural lands and woodlands". "There are areas of deciduous woodland Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority habitat within the study area. These areas of woodland extend between Spring Lane and Abbey Barn Lane just south of Kingsmead Road and westwards from Abbey Barn Lane. These also include areas of ancient woodland such as Deangarden Wood and Barrowcroft Wood either side of Abbey Barn Lane." "The southern section of the study area comprises agricultural land (also designated as Green Belt) between Spring Lane and Abbey Barn Lane". Yes - let's build a motorway junction and houses on top of that lot... HerculePoirot
  • Score: 17

1:20pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Mr Totterdge Hill says...

Monty Cristo wrote:
Oh, and would you also like a south-bound exit there too? Presumably if a northbound junction is warranted a southbound one is too. (Neither are in my view, since Beaconsfield junction is so close).
Yes... both directions.
The emergency services were against the lack of these when they weren't built at the time of construction... done to save costs.
This would ease traffic at both beaconsfield and handycross as more housing is being developed towards the east side of High Wycombe.
[quote][p][bold]Monty Cristo[/bold] wrote: Oh, and would you also like a south-bound exit there too? Presumably if a northbound junction is warranted a southbound one is too. (Neither are in my view, since Beaconsfield junction is so close).[/p][/quote]Yes... both directions. The emergency services were against the lack of these when they weren't built at the time of construction... done to save costs. This would ease traffic at both beaconsfield and handycross as more housing is being developed towards the east side of High Wycombe. Mr Totterdge Hill
  • Score: -15

4:54pm Mon 21 Apr 14

HerculePoirot says...

Junction "3a" was never even considered when the M40 was built because it is a daft place to put a junction - drive down Spring Lane and you'll find out why. You're referring to Junction 3, where there is room for a normal exit/entry to the motorway and at least some of the ground there is vaguely flat. It is also already built up.
Junction "3a" was never even considered when the M40 was built because it is a daft place to put a junction - drive down Spring Lane and you'll find out why. You're referring to Junction 3, where there is room for a normal exit/entry to the motorway and at least some of the ground there is vaguely flat. It is also already built up. HerculePoirot
  • Score: 16

9:23pm Mon 21 Apr 14

allrightnow2 says...

I didn't know that people there were struggling without a junction. It is quite close to both Beaconsfield and Handy Cross. I say when they can maintain the roads we already have then they can look at spending that sort of money on something new. More importantly I would say that there is needed a junction on the A404 that goes straight in/out of Marlow business park - the traffic there is far worse than at handy cross or Beaconsfield. Makes me think something else is behind this as they definitely haven't prioritised need.
I didn't know that people there were struggling without a junction. It is quite close to both Beaconsfield and Handy Cross. I say when they can maintain the roads we already have then they can look at spending that sort of money on something new. More importantly I would say that there is needed a junction on the A404 that goes straight in/out of Marlow business park - the traffic there is far worse than at handy cross or Beaconsfield. Makes me think something else is behind this as they definitely haven't prioritised need. allrightnow2
  • Score: 12

12:54am Tue 22 Apr 14

Mr Totterdge Hill says...

HerculePoirot wrote:
Junction "3a" was never even considered when the M40 was built because it is a daft place to put a junction - drive down Spring Lane and you'll find out why. You're referring to Junction 3, where there is room for a normal exit/entry to the motorway and at least some of the ground there is vaguely flat. It is also already built up.
Yes... Junction 3 not 3a... The old sidings etc were perfect to place on & on slips in both directions at the time, however some short sighted twerp didn't see the need at the time. It may be possible to destroy the businesses and homes since built in that area but it's probably not the most cost effective means to an end now?
Now that so many houses have already been built and that more are already in the pipeline to the East of Wycombe, 3a is a poor but much needed substitute as anyone that uses the London Road in the peak times will know.
[quote][p][bold]HerculePoirot[/bold] wrote: Junction "3a" was never even considered when the M40 was built because it is a daft place to put a junction - drive down Spring Lane and you'll find out why. You're referring to Junction 3, where there is room for a normal exit/entry to the motorway and at least some of the ground there is vaguely flat. It is also already built up.[/p][/quote]Yes... Junction 3 not 3a... The old sidings etc were perfect to place on & on slips in both directions at the time, however some short sighted twerp didn't see the need at the time. It may be possible to destroy the businesses and homes since built in that area but it's probably not the most cost effective means to an end now? Now that so many houses have already been built and that more are already in the pipeline to the East of Wycombe, 3a is a poor but much needed substitute as anyone that uses the London Road in the peak times will know. Mr Totterdge Hill
  • Score: -8

12:58am Tue 22 Apr 14

Mr Totterdge Hill says...

allrightnow2 wrote:
I didn't know that people there were struggling without a junction. It is quite close to both Beaconsfield and Handy Cross. I say when they can maintain the roads we already have then they can look at spending that sort of money on something new. More importantly I would say that there is needed a junction on the A404 that goes straight in/out of Marlow business park - the traffic there is far worse than at handy cross or Beaconsfield. Makes me think something else is behind this as they definitely haven't prioritised need.
London Road peak times... Beaconsfield old town... peak times, Junction 2 & 4 at peak times...
I rest my case
[quote][p][bold]allrightnow2[/bold] wrote: I didn't know that people there were struggling without a junction. It is quite close to both Beaconsfield and Handy Cross. I say when they can maintain the roads we already have then they can look at spending that sort of money on something new. More importantly I would say that there is needed a junction on the A404 that goes straight in/out of Marlow business park - the traffic there is far worse than at handy cross or Beaconsfield. Makes me think something else is behind this as they definitely haven't prioritised need.[/p][/quote]London Road peak times... Beaconsfield old town... peak times, Junction 2 & 4 at peak times... I rest my case Mr Totterdge Hill
  • Score: -9

9:08am Tue 22 Apr 14

HerculePoirot says...

And a one way motorway junction "3a" is going to solve those problems?

Is there any noticeable difference in the congestion during the morning and evening rush hours?
And a one way motorway junction "3a" is going to solve those problems? Is there any noticeable difference in the congestion during the morning and evening rush hours? HerculePoirot
  • Score: 10

12:09pm Tue 22 Apr 14

bilsbok says...

My daughter has been riding at Cobbles for years and we help out with the horses and ponies stabled at the yard. It is a fantastic part of the local community and would be a huge loss (not to mention the loss of homes for 40 horses). Moreover, the wider principle is over-development of this still green and rural part of our area - a vital barrier between High Wycombe and Flackwell Heath.

This proposed development goes against SO MUCH of the councils own policies and beliefs when it comes to preserving land in this designation 'DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS THAT WOULD HAVE AN ADVERSE IMPACT UPON THEIR RECOGNISED CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED'

The on-line petition now has 700 signatures - so I hope the council think again.
My daughter has been riding at Cobbles for years and we help out with the horses and ponies stabled at the yard. It is a fantastic part of the local community and would be a huge loss (not to mention the loss of homes for 40 horses). Moreover, the wider principle is over-development of this still green and rural part of our area - a vital barrier between High Wycombe and Flackwell Heath. This proposed development goes against SO MUCH of the councils own policies and beliefs when it comes to preserving land in this designation 'DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS THAT WOULD HAVE AN ADVERSE IMPACT UPON THEIR RECOGNISED CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED' The on-line petition now has 700 signatures - so I hope the council think again. bilsbok
  • Score: 11

10:42am Wed 23 Apr 14

Hedgehunter says...

Mr Totterdge Hill wrote:
allrightnow2 wrote:
I didn't know that people there were struggling without a junction. It is quite close to both Beaconsfield and Handy Cross. I say when they can maintain the roads we already have then they can look at spending that sort of money on something new. More importantly I would say that there is needed a junction on the A404 that goes straight in/out of Marlow business park - the traffic there is far worse than at handy cross or Beaconsfield. Makes me think something else is behind this as they definitely haven't prioritised need.
London Road peak times... Beaconsfield old town... peak times, Junction 2 & 4 at peak times...
I rest my case
As someone who lives near J6 and works near J3, I commute on the M40 and make two visits to J2 each day to turn around. Since J2 was redeveloped with wider lanes and traffic lights it is a pleasure to use even at peak times. (Who remembers the mile long queues to leave the motorway during morning rush hour?) It might put a few more miles and minutes on my commute each day but it's certainly no hardship!

Beaconsfield old town traffic will be unaffected by the proposed J3a and traffic on the London Road through Wycombe will still exist regardless of whether cars join from Spring Lane or Loudwater/Handy Cross.

I cannot believe that those that live/commute near the proposed 3a site are crying out for its development. As for emergency services, it might shave a few minutes off their travel times but at what cost? Like HS2, the money involved in this project could be spent elsewhere for a far greater benefit.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Totterdge Hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]allrightnow2[/bold] wrote: I didn't know that people there were struggling without a junction. It is quite close to both Beaconsfield and Handy Cross. I say when they can maintain the roads we already have then they can look at spending that sort of money on something new. More importantly I would say that there is needed a junction on the A404 that goes straight in/out of Marlow business park - the traffic there is far worse than at handy cross or Beaconsfield. Makes me think something else is behind this as they definitely haven't prioritised need.[/p][/quote]London Road peak times... Beaconsfield old town... peak times, Junction 2 & 4 at peak times... I rest my case[/p][/quote]As someone who lives near J6 and works near J3, I commute on the M40 and make two visits to J2 each day to turn around. Since J2 was redeveloped with wider lanes and traffic lights it is a pleasure to use even at peak times. (Who remembers the mile long queues to leave the motorway during morning rush hour?) It might put a few more miles and minutes on my commute each day but it's certainly no hardship! Beaconsfield old town traffic will be unaffected by the proposed J3a and traffic on the London Road through Wycombe will still exist regardless of whether cars join from Spring Lane or Loudwater/Handy Cross. I cannot believe that those that live/commute near the proposed 3a site are crying out for its development. As for emergency services, it might shave a few minutes off their travel times but at what cost? Like HS2, the money involved in this project could be spent elsewhere for a far greater benefit. Hedgehunter
  • Score: 9

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