12:08pm Monday 2nd June 2014
By Rebecca Cain
FRUSTRATED residents quizzed planning officials about a proposed 90 home development in Monks Risborough at a lively public meeting.
Questions were fired at planning representatives at a meeting at Monks Risborough Primary School on Thursday evening about the proposed development at Mill Lane, Monks Risborough.
Molins PLC want to build 90 mixed tenure houses and apartments on the site of the former Molins Sports Ground- which has been empty since the sports and social club at the site was evicted.
About 100 residents attended the evening meeting, which MP and speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, attended.
Mr Bercow said Molins PLC appear to be pushing the process through, regardless of what the community think about the development.
He asked representatives from Wilks Head and Eve chartered surveyors and town planners, who are working for Molins PLC, "If people say to you... thanks but no thanks, will you respect that verdict?"
Planning consultant, Bob Morle, said: "The answer is no. The planning application for this still will be going ahead."
Mr Morle said they are looking at the 5.3 hectares site to be used as a "kind of infill" between the two residential roads already in place.
The site is in the green belt and The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
He said: "It is, however, absolutely on the peripheral of both of these boundaries of these particular designated areas."
He said they are not proposing to change the designation but said that WDC is already consulting on green belt land in the Local Plan.
But district and town councillor, Alan Turner, objected and said they are continually fighting to protect areas of AONB.
Campaigners fought long and hard to buy the sports ground for the community but started to give up hope in 2012 when a bid to buy the land was rejected.
Molins PLC said 40 per cent of the proposed development would be kept for sporting facilities.
But Cllr Turner said: "If you were so concerned about the health and wellbeing of the community then where was it then when the town council offered £1.1 million to buy the site so it could be retained in propriety as a sports facility for the whole community? That would have been caring."
Roger Messenger, a partner at Wilks Head and Eve, said: "At the end of the day, Molins PLC own that piece of land."
When asked about the issue of flooding at the site, Mr Morle said they had a solution.
Mr Morle said: "If we are allowed out solution it will work. If it doesn't you will know where to come."
But Mr Bercow said the community will fight the application, and said judging by the meeting, "The whole thing absolutely stinks to high heaven."
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