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Dispute continues over major redevelopment plans in Beaconsfield
A DISPUTE between two rival developers intensified this week as it emerged an integral road plan for a major redevelopment in Beaconsfield, has already been ‘rejected’ by the highways authority.
Jansons Property was successful in appealing for a judicial review to examine the process of how Wilton Park, the former Ministry of Defence School of Languages, was sold to rival-developers Inland Homes.
They claimed two weeks ago that their alternative access route into the site offered “a far better solution, both on a technical basis and offers a pecuniary advantage for the taxpayer and the Government.”
But Inland have hit backs saying this is “wholly misleading”.
A letter sent from Stephen Walford, the Senior Manager for planning, advisory and compliance, in August 2013 appears to ratify Bucks County Council do not believe Jansons route in its current guise, is a sustainable option.
In the letter to Jansons he says: “Following joint consideration with the District Council, the County Council considers the most appropriate highway access arrangements for the Wilton Park site to be via an additional northern arm off the Pyebush roundabout.”
He added: “The alternative access you have suggested was considered early in the South Bucks Core Strategy preparation process.
“However, a left-in, left-out junction and a roundabout were both rejected by the County Council as potential options based on safety concerns and the likelihood of traffic stacking back into the development site due to the flow of traffic along the A40.”
He said the circumstances and the Council’s views have not changed in the intervening period and they still don’t find an access south of Wilton Park on the A40 (east of Pyebush) to be acceptable.
Inland Homes Land Director, Paul Brett, said: “It is wholly misleading to state publicly that the alternative access proposals are a far better solution technically when they have already been rejected by the independent authorities whose job it is to manage the local road network.
“Furthermore, there are fundamental constraints to the Jansons access route as it runs directly through land designated as Ancient Woodland covered by a group tree preservation order.”
However, the highways consultant for Jansons, Patrick Gurner, said: “"Jansons received this letter from the authorities following a brochure we released outlining our access route and development opportunities for the site.
"Their response outlines concerns they have but it is based on information from 2009 which was not supported by any technical evidence.
"Since the letter was received, I have been working on preparing and submitting the technical evidence needed to address each of their concerns.
"I have made four or five technical submissions in the last few months which will hopefully get us closer to having our plans approved in principle in highways terms."
He added: "The district council's draft SPD for Wilton Park identifies a small strip of woodland on the route of Jansons access which has provisionally been designated as ancient woodland by Natural England.
"However, no site specific studies have been carried out and it may turn out not to be 'ancient woodland'.
"This is something that would not be so much of an issue in highways terms but would need to be addressed as part of the planning process."
Mr Brett added: “Jansons access proposals have been categorically rejected by the highways authority Bucks County Council and South Bucks District Council as recently as August last year.
“We expect that to remain the case, even in light of their as yet unknown, unseen, and likely unworkable further proposals.”
Bucks County Council were unable to comment because of the ensuing legal proceedings.