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