A NEW motorway junction near Flackwell Heath would turn the east side of High Wycombe into one giant interchange, according to a councillor opposing the plan.

Residents have reacted angrily to the proposal of a M40 Junction 3A near Spring Lane, floated as a possibility under Wycombe District Council’s long-term Local Plan.

Early reports into the scheme show a link road running from the motorway to the A40 near Gomm Road, which campaigners say will tear right through the community in Wycombe Marsh.

Cllr Matt Knight, who recently co-formed the East Wycombe Independents Group, spoke out against the idea at last week’s Full Council meeting.

He said: "It feel as if East Wycombe is on the eve of destruction. If these proposals go ahead it seems as if East Wycombe will become essentially one big motorway interchange, concreted over and devoid of any green space.

"Residents will be blighted by congested roads, constant traffic noise and intolerable levels of pollution.

"It is my view that the upgrading of junction 3 to a full junction would cause less disruption to residents, cost less and bring more benefits than the building of a new junction at 3a."

Cllr Knight is calling for a study into the feasibility of expanding the southbound Junction 3 at Loudwater into a two-way access point to serve the east of Wycombe.

A petition launched by Cllr Trevor Snaith and the Wycombe Liberal Democrats has initially attracted nearly 300 signatures, including residents whose homes on Kingsmead Road are in the path of a new link road.

Responding to Cllr Knight's concerns, deputy Cabinet member for planning Cllr David Johncock insisted the idea was at a very early stage and that nothing has been decided.

And he reassured worried residents that the Site of Special Scientific Interest at Gomm Valley would be unaffected by any development.

He said: "There is a mix of impacts across the town on the road network as a result of the new junction, with increases and decreases in traffic flows in different parts of the town, but overall initial works suggests that the junction could have an overall positive impact.

"It is, however, important to understand that proposals for the new motorway junction are at a very early stage and the Council is working with both the County Council and the Highways Agency on assessing further if and how this proposal could be implemented."

WDC’s Local Plan aims to address the growing need for housing and business premises in the district.

Projects being considered are a new settlement near Princes Risborough and a new business park for Marlow.

A recent consultation included an information leaflet sent to every home in the district and a series of meetings to gather feedback.