Over 20 homes could be built on old Bourne End to High Wycombe railway line

Railway line next to Cores End Road in 1935

Railway line next to Cores End Road in 1935

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

CONCERNED residents have reacted angrily to plans which could see 22 homes built on the former railway line linking Bourne End to High Wycombe.

The proposal which was sent to Wycombe District Council for consideration last month would see the railway developed and a new pedestrian and cycle path built.

However, plans for the land near Cores End Road, and north of Mount Pleasant Cottages and Trees Road, has caused anger amongst villagers.

Commenting on the application, Marilyn Gooch from Cores End Road, said: “This application is the thin end of the wedge for the people of Bourne End to lose a valuable area of wild vegetation.

“The prospect of 22 houses being crammed into this space is ludicrous and will completely change the character of this part of Cores End Road.

“The idea that we should welcome a mixed use cycle/footpath to connect Bourne End to Wooburn Green is laughable.

“People walk and cycle between the two now using the existing paths shown on the application photographs. There is no need to "upgrade" the land by destroying habitats.”

Mrs Gooch added: “This natural barrier between Cores End Road and the neighbouring housing is too precious to be lost.

“I consider this to be an overdevelopment which smacks of desperation to make money at all costs.”

In the initial plans sent to WDC, the developer said the proposal aims to build 22 two to three bedroom dwellings and create a footpath and cycleway between Cores End Road and Wooburn Green.

The new footpath and cycle network would aim to link to other open spaces and as part of a proposed strategic network.

Supporting documents which were submitted alongside the application included an ecology report and a wildlife checklist.

Despite the proposed developer highlighting the benefits, many residents still feel the development would not be right for the area.

Janice Randall from Trees Road said: “I cannot believe you are even considering this application to destroy a woodland area that has been designated a nature trail as it houses a large variety of wildlife, some of which are protected.”

She added: “I fully understand that new houses are needed but why not follow others example and convert some of the empty commercial units in the area.

“I would ask you to seriously consider the mayhem this development will cause.” Paul Plummer from Cores End Road said “It would be a shame for such an area to be totally destroyed in this way as it will lead to more houses being built further along the old railway track and ruining the wildlife for future generations.”

To view plans, please visit: www.publicaccess.wycombe.gov.uk

Comments (24)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:37am Wed 27 Aug 14

tonyfewell says...

We should continue to fight for a light railway link to HW to relieve London Road congestion.
We should continue to fight for a light railway link to HW to relieve London Road congestion. tonyfewell
  • Score: 27

9:59am Wed 27 Aug 14

BucksComment says...

This is cynical planning at its best (or worst). The farmer who owns the land behind the railway (up to Flackwell) is the applicant and obviously sees this as the first step to building up those fields. How he thinks he can use a public footpath as access for a ribbon development is beyond me.

Look out for the next, reduced, application 'having taken local considerations into account'.

Back door into Slate Meadow.....
This is cynical planning at its best (or worst). The farmer who owns the land behind the railway (up to Flackwell) is the applicant and obviously sees this as the first step to building up those fields. How he thinks he can use a public footpath as access for a ribbon development is beyond me. Look out for the next, reduced, application 'having taken local considerations into account'. Back door into Slate Meadow..... BucksComment
  • Score: 18

10:09am Wed 27 Aug 14

MunsterX says...

tonyfewell wrote:
We should continue to fight for a light railway link to HW to relieve London Road congestion.
I was once with you on the idea of the light railway, but there is simply not the demand to justify such expenditure. On the other hand, a cycle route over the old line is valid.
[quote][p][bold]tonyfewell[/bold] wrote: We should continue to fight for a light railway link to HW to relieve London Road congestion.[/p][/quote]I was once with you on the idea of the light railway, but there is simply not the demand to justify such expenditure. On the other hand, a cycle route over the old line is valid. MunsterX
  • Score: -6

10:25am Wed 27 Aug 14

BucksComment says...

There is already a cycle route - my kids use it to go from B-End to Wooburn safely. The application mentions a Sustrans route but what they are actually building is the access road for the houses.

It is also stated that part of the plan involves land owned by WDC so this is a blatent attempt to steal our public land.
There is already a cycle route - my kids use it to go from B-End to Wooburn safely. The application mentions a Sustrans route but what they are actually building is the access road for the houses. It is also stated that part of the plan involves land owned by WDC so this is a blatent attempt to steal our public land. BucksComment
  • Score: 13

10:31am Wed 27 Aug 14

MunsterX says...

BucksComment wrote:
This is cynical planning at its best (or worst). The farmer who owns the land behind the railway (up to Flackwell) is the applicant and obviously sees this as the first step to building up those fields. How he thinks he can use a public footpath as access for a ribbon development is beyond me.

Look out for the next, reduced, application 'having taken local considerations into account'.

Back door into Slate Meadow.....
BucksComment, it is now open season on public footpaths.

Go have a look at the development behind Hughenden Road: the public footpath between Coates Lane to Hughenden Avenue has mysteriously disappeared. Obviously there will be alternatives when the development is complete, but the alternative will not enjoyed the same protected status

The same happened at the development on the sewage works behind London Road, there are now a number of gravel tracks for pedestrian and cycle use, without the protected status of the original public footpath.

The gravel tracks are a much better user experience than the public footpaths, which were overgrown and at times impassable; now let them be legally protected.
[quote][p][bold]BucksComment[/bold] wrote: This is cynical planning at its best (or worst). The farmer who owns the land behind the railway (up to Flackwell) is the applicant and obviously sees this as the first step to building up those fields. How he thinks he can use a public footpath as access for a ribbon development is beyond me. Look out for the next, reduced, application 'having taken local considerations into account'. Back door into Slate Meadow.....[/p][/quote]BucksComment, it is now open season on public footpaths. Go have a look at the development behind Hughenden Road: the public footpath between Coates Lane to Hughenden Avenue has mysteriously disappeared. Obviously there will be alternatives when the development is complete, but the alternative will not enjoyed the same protected status The same happened at the development on the sewage works behind London Road, there are now a number of gravel tracks for pedestrian and cycle use, without the protected status of the original public footpath. The gravel tracks are a much better user experience than the public footpaths, which were overgrown and at times impassable; now let them be legally protected. MunsterX
  • Score: 9

3:57pm Wed 27 Aug 14

JOHNHEALY says...

Even though I am a railway writer and supporter, there is no economic or other justification for the reinstatement of the railway line so let the land go for housing and a cycle track is what I say.
Even though I am a railway writer and supporter, there is no economic or other justification for the reinstatement of the railway line so let the land go for housing and a cycle track is what I say. JOHNHEALY
  • Score: -6

4:49pm Wed 27 Aug 14

BucksComment says...

John - it is already a community facility and cycle track; as well as being a natural habitat for wildlife. No one is ever going to build a rail track but neither should they be allowed to tarmac over our footpaths and woods.
John - it is already a community facility and cycle track; as well as being a natural habitat for wildlife. No one is ever going to build a rail track but neither should they be allowed to tarmac over our footpaths and woods. BucksComment
  • Score: 5

11:23pm Wed 27 Aug 14

valleyviewboy says...

Come on railway! I don't think it would ever happen as a stand-alone project, that is to say, just to link Bourne and Wycombe. Instead I do think it could still form part of a useful west London bypass network, going hand in hand with other railway improvements that are being discussed, such as connecting the Windsor stations and improving links to Heathrow. Speculation and dreaming yes, but one day perhaps.
Come on railway! I don't think it would ever happen as a stand-alone project, that is to say, just to link Bourne and Wycombe. Instead I do think it could still form part of a useful west London bypass network, going hand in hand with other railway improvements that are being discussed, such as connecting the Windsor stations and improving links to Heathrow. Speculation and dreaming yes, but one day perhaps. valleyviewboy
  • Score: 1

6:44am Thu 28 Aug 14

MunsterX says...

Buckscomment, I believe our definitions of cycle track differ.

You mention the existing track from BE to WG used by your children, in my opinion that is narrow, unmaintained and overgrown and can only be used by a couple of cyclists at a time.

My version of the track is widened, resurfaced, extended to HW and maintained to allow serious volumes of cycles to and fro between HW and BE.

One version is an ordeal and possibly fun for the kids once in a while, the other is a realistic alternative method of commute.
Buckscomment, I believe our definitions of cycle track differ. You mention the existing track from BE to WG used by your children, in my opinion that is narrow, unmaintained and overgrown and can only be used by a couple of cyclists at a time. My version of the track is widened, resurfaced, extended to HW and maintained to allow serious volumes of cycles to and fro between HW and BE. One version is an ordeal and possibly fun for the kids once in a while, the other is a realistic alternative method of commute. MunsterX
  • Score: -6

7:16am Thu 28 Aug 14

MunsterX says...

It is time to confess.
During a rush hour, London Road bears many more cars than pedestrians, such that the speed of the journey affords the driver an unusual opportunity to analyse the pedestrian.
The gait, demeanour, clothing and much more about the pedestrian is studied; the inevitable accolade of second rate citizen, unable to afford a motor vehicle, is hurriedly awarded as the lights turn green and the driver is on is way. As family men, we are proud that our wives and daughters go about their business cocooned in comfort, and are not pedestrians subject to the vile suggestions of a white van man.
There are villages in the UK, and substantial towns elsewhere, where life is gentle and the engine rarely used, where issues of status and pride do not preoccupy the mind of the charming and successful resident.
We are on a downward spiral in HW, bold action is needed.
It is time to confess. During a rush hour, London Road bears many more cars than pedestrians, such that the speed of the journey affords the driver an unusual opportunity to analyse the pedestrian. The gait, demeanour, clothing and much more about the pedestrian is studied; the inevitable accolade of second rate citizen, unable to afford a motor vehicle, is hurriedly awarded as the lights turn green and the driver is on is way. As family men, we are proud that our wives and daughters go about their business cocooned in comfort, and are not pedestrians subject to the vile suggestions of a white van man. There are villages in the UK, and substantial towns elsewhere, where life is gentle and the engine rarely used, where issues of status and pride do not preoccupy the mind of the charming and successful resident. We are on a downward spiral in HW, bold action is needed. MunsterX
  • Score: 0

9:49am Thu 28 Aug 14

BucksComment says...

Ok Munster, lets upgrade the path, although I quite like the over grown bits. It would be a good use of funds from our council. Probably cheaper than the new car park at Wooburn Common.

However, don't be fooled that the 'cycle path' mentioned in the application is actually that. It is the access road to the houses, none of which have enough parking so it will inevitably be full of parked cars and hence will not be a 'cycle path'
Ok Munster, lets upgrade the path, although I quite like the over grown bits. It would be a good use of funds from our council. Probably cheaper than the new car park at Wooburn Common. However, don't be fooled that the 'cycle path' mentioned in the application is actually that. It is the access road to the houses, none of which have enough parking so it will inevitably be full of parked cars and hence will not be a 'cycle path' BucksComment
  • Score: 0

11:40am Thu 28 Aug 14

MunsterX says...

BucksComment wrote:
Ok Munster, lets upgrade the path, although I quite like the over grown bits. It would be a good use of funds from our council. Probably cheaper than the new car park at Wooburn Common.

However, don't be fooled that the 'cycle path' mentioned in the application is actually that. It is the access road to the houses, none of which have enough parking so it will inevitably be full of parked cars and hence will not be a 'cycle path'
Hi BucksComment

I can agree with you about the quality of housing, the sites I discussed in earlier comments are the same: housing density too high and each dwelling too small. However, that is an issue for the new tenants and home-owners, not us.

WDC are building cycle routes sympathetically into new developments using subtle techniques. For example, the newly built Chequers Avenue behind London Road is bollarded at its midpoint to deter use by non-residents, and there are numerous gravel tracks for bike use. Parking is a perennial issue on Chequers Avenue, but it is a pleasure to cycle straight down the middle of the road, as there just is no through traffic.

I distrust WDC on the issue of Slate Meadow, which must be left alone; but the guys in planning are doing a great job on these ribbon developments, parallel to the main routes.

We may end up with a wonderful cycle route into HW, funded by housebuilders who provide housing that someone wants (not necessarily you and I), and Slate Meadow untouched.
[quote][p][bold]BucksComment[/bold] wrote: Ok Munster, lets upgrade the path, although I quite like the over grown bits. It would be a good use of funds from our council. Probably cheaper than the new car park at Wooburn Common. However, don't be fooled that the 'cycle path' mentioned in the application is actually that. It is the access road to the houses, none of which have enough parking so it will inevitably be full of parked cars and hence will not be a 'cycle path'[/p][/quote]Hi BucksComment I can agree with you about the quality of housing, the sites I discussed in earlier comments are the same: housing density too high and each dwelling too small. However, that is an issue for the new tenants and home-owners, not us. WDC are building cycle routes sympathetically into new developments using subtle techniques. For example, the newly built Chequers Avenue behind London Road is bollarded at its midpoint to deter use by non-residents, and there are numerous gravel tracks for bike use. Parking is a perennial issue on Chequers Avenue, but it is a pleasure to cycle straight down the middle of the road, as there just is no through traffic. I distrust WDC on the issue of Slate Meadow, which must be left alone; but the guys in planning are doing a great job on these ribbon developments, parallel to the main routes. We may end up with a wonderful cycle route into HW, funded by housebuilders who provide housing that someone wants (not necessarily you and I), and Slate Meadow untouched. MunsterX
  • Score: -7

11:44am Thu 28 Aug 14

BucksComment says...

Or a back door into Slate Meadow......
Or a back door into Slate Meadow...... BucksComment
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Thu 28 Aug 14

faircuppa says...

It would be sensible to preserve the railway line and use it for cycle way in the meantime.
It would be sensible to preserve the railway line and use it for cycle way in the meantime. faircuppa
  • Score: 1

3:05pm Thu 28 Aug 14

JOHNHEALY says...

For the five people who gave me a minus score, railways such as the nearby Chiltern Line have only enjoyed success and a resurgeance in popularity as a result of sound business plans. If there was such for the old High Wycombe to Bourne End railway and the figures added up, then I for one would be all in favour of a line between these places once again. The fact is that the proposal is uneconomic from start to finish so twenty odd houses is the best option.
For the five people who gave me a minus score, railways such as the nearby Chiltern Line have only enjoyed success and a resurgeance in popularity as a result of sound business plans. If there was such for the old High Wycombe to Bourne End railway and the figures added up, then I for one would be all in favour of a line between these places once again. The fact is that the proposal is uneconomic from start to finish so twenty odd houses is the best option. JOHNHEALY
  • Score: -9

10:12pm Thu 28 Aug 14

JOHNHEALY says...

I see the same five people have given me minus points once again for my second comment. Of course let us not forget that is was Wycombe District Council that deprived us of the railway back in 1970 when they refused to give British Railway the £60000 subsidy being asked for to keep the line open. I sincerely with there was a justification for a railway rather than houses but this realy is the best option for the piece of land concerned.
I see the same five people have given me minus points once again for my second comment. Of course let us not forget that is was Wycombe District Council that deprived us of the railway back in 1970 when they refused to give British Railway the £60000 subsidy being asked for to keep the line open. I sincerely with there was a justification for a railway rather than houses but this realy is the best option for the piece of land concerned. JOHNHEALY
  • Score: -1

10:47pm Thu 28 Aug 14

MunsterX says...

John, I wouldn't worry about the minus scores, what really matters is how much Newsquest pay for your posts. They have got me on £800 per month, not bad for six hours work. What are you on?
John, I wouldn't worry about the minus scores, what really matters is how much Newsquest pay for your posts. They have got me on £800 per month, not bad for six hours work. What are you on? MunsterX
  • Score: 2

11:03am Fri 29 Aug 14

chillout112 says...

This application seems a bit barmy, I mean trying to cram this many houses on to a small, long bit of land seems quite impractical.
However as the planning process goes as it is this will probably be turned down by the committee there is the risk that the application will be approved through appeal. Or the application will be resubmitted 'with changes according to residents concerns'. We shall see.

In regards to the railway line, unfortunately I don't think it will ever return but the trackbed should be retained as a cycle/footpath/right of way. There are some things we should preserve.
This application seems a bit barmy, I mean trying to cram this many houses on to a small, long bit of land seems quite impractical. However as the planning process goes as it is this will probably be turned down by the committee there is the risk that the application will be approved through appeal. Or the application will be resubmitted 'with changes according to residents concerns'. We shall see. In regards to the railway line, unfortunately I don't think it will ever return but the trackbed should be retained as a cycle/footpath/right of way. There are some things we should preserve. chillout112
  • Score: 2

3:15pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Routemaster40 says...

As Wycombe District Council only became operational from 1 April 1974 when Local Government was reorganised, how could they have refused to give British Railways a £60,000 subsidy in 1970 as John Healy alleges?
As Wycombe District Council only became operational from 1 April 1974 when Local Government was reorganised, how could they have refused to give British Railways a £60,000 subsidy in 1970 as John Healy alleges? Routemaster40
  • Score: 1

3:29pm Fri 29 Aug 14

JOHNHEALY says...

Routemaster40 wrote:
As Wycombe District Council only became operational from 1 April 1974 when Local Government was reorganised, how could they have refused to give British Railways a £60,000 subsidy in 1970 as John Healy alleges?
As I am scared of being run over by the No 40 Routemaster he he, I will confess to the fact that I should have said Wycombe Council but the rest of what I have said is wholly true. The railway line in my opinion was rightly sacrificed but the burning question we should all ask ourselves is was it sacrificed in 1970 with future developments along its course in mind?
[quote][p][bold]Routemaster40[/bold] wrote: As Wycombe District Council only became operational from 1 April 1974 when Local Government was reorganised, how could they have refused to give British Railways a £60,000 subsidy in 1970 as John Healy alleges?[/p][/quote]As I am scared of being run over by the No 40 Routemaster he he, I will confess to the fact that I should have said Wycombe Council but the rest of what I have said is wholly true. The railway line in my opinion was rightly sacrificed but the burning question we should all ask ourselves is was it sacrificed in 1970 with future developments along its course in mind? JOHNHEALY
  • Score: 2

10:53pm Fri 29 Aug 14

faircuppa says...

We should defer to the Wycombe Society on this. They are, without doubt, the most effective opposition group to Wycombe District Council!
We should defer to the Wycombe Society on this. They are, without doubt, the most effective opposition group to Wycombe District Council! faircuppa
  • Score: 2

3:46pm Sat 30 Aug 14

Matt Ingie says...

Such a shame. All of these old railway lines should have been protected for 30 years after the Beeching Axe in case travel or economic times changed in the future - which they have. We need it now - but I fear it's not viable for obvious reasons. But it's all a bit late for that.

I take the family down to the train tracks on late summer evenings as there are glow-worms down the old track. I've also nearly ran over a deer on my bike

We need more houses in Bourne End yes - but not here! I hope the technical grounds can be found to keep the track - we and our fellow mammals (and insects!) need it. Yes - NEED it. It's a community necessity for biodiversity and green transport.

!
Such a shame. All of these old railway lines should have been protected for 30 years after the Beeching Axe in case travel or economic times changed in the future - which they have. We need it now - but I fear it's not viable for obvious reasons. But it's all a bit late for that. I take the family down to the train tracks on late summer evenings as there are glow-worms down the old track. I've also nearly ran over a deer on my bike We need more houses in Bourne End yes - but not here! I hope the technical grounds can be found to keep the track - we and our fellow mammals (and insects!) need it. Yes - NEED it. It's a community necessity for biodiversity and green transport. ! Matt Ingie
  • Score: 5

3:59pm Sun 31 Aug 14

Routemaster40 says...

John Healy needs to get his facts straight. There is not nor was "Wycombe Council". In 1970 High Wycombe Borough Council area stretched to just before the old Loudwater School and thereafter to Bourne End the area was administered by Wycombe Rural District Council. Which Authority are you referring to which refused to allocate a £60k subsidy which was a lot of money then for a railway line which by then operated an irregular service. I disagree with him and
believe it was a mistake for this line (and others) to have been sacrificed as now it could be offering a quick link to Crossrail, Heathrow and the Thames Valley and a link through from Milton Keynes and Aylesbury as well to these areas. It was a short sighted decision to close this line which could have encouraged modal shift from the car to rail.
John Healy needs to get his facts straight. There is not nor was "Wycombe Council". In 1970 High Wycombe Borough Council area stretched to just before the old Loudwater School and thereafter to Bourne End the area was administered by Wycombe Rural District Council. Which Authority are you referring to which refused to allocate a £60k subsidy which was a lot of money then for a railway line which by then operated an irregular service. I disagree with him and believe it was a mistake for this line (and others) to have been sacrificed as now it could be offering a quick link to Crossrail, Heathrow and the Thames Valley and a link through from Milton Keynes and Aylesbury as well to these areas. It was a short sighted decision to close this line which could have encouraged modal shift from the car to rail. Routemaster40
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Mon 1 Sep 14

JOHNHEALY says...

Routemaster40 wrote:
John Healy needs to get his facts straight. There is not nor was "Wycombe Council". In 1970 High Wycombe Borough Council area stretched to just before the old Loudwater School and thereafter to Bourne End the area was administered by Wycombe Rural District Council. Which Authority are you referring to which refused to allocate a £60k subsidy which was a lot of money then for a railway line which by then operated an irregular service. I disagree with him and
believe it was a mistake for this line (and others) to have been sacrificed as now it could be offering a quick link to Crossrail, Heathrow and the Thames Valley and a link through from Milton Keynes and Aylesbury as well to these areas. It was a short sighted decision to close this line which could have encouraged modal shift from the car to rail.
Ok Routemaster I made a mistake when I said Wycombe District Council in my original post but the reason I said Wycombe Council was because I was not sure which authority Borough or Rural District was responsible for the refusal to provide the £60000 subsidy to keep the line open. As I said before there is absolutely no economic justification for reopening the High Wycombe to Bourne End Railway as a stand alone project or as part of a bigger scheme.
[quote][p][bold]Routemaster40[/bold] wrote: John Healy needs to get his facts straight. There is not nor was "Wycombe Council". In 1970 High Wycombe Borough Council area stretched to just before the old Loudwater School and thereafter to Bourne End the area was administered by Wycombe Rural District Council. Which Authority are you referring to which refused to allocate a £60k subsidy which was a lot of money then for a railway line which by then operated an irregular service. I disagree with him and believe it was a mistake for this line (and others) to have been sacrificed as now it could be offering a quick link to Crossrail, Heathrow and the Thames Valley and a link through from Milton Keynes and Aylesbury as well to these areas. It was a short sighted decision to close this line which could have encouraged modal shift from the car to rail.[/p][/quote]Ok Routemaster I made a mistake when I said Wycombe District Council in my original post but the reason I said Wycombe Council was because I was not sure which authority Borough or Rural District was responsible for the refusal to provide the £60000 subsidy to keep the line open. As I said before there is absolutely no economic justification for reopening the High Wycombe to Bourne End Railway as a stand alone project or as part of a bigger scheme. JOHNHEALY
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree