A PROPOSED housing development in the village of Longwick has created fierce opposition over worries it simply could not cope with 175 new homes.
Gladman Developments has applied to Wycombe District Council (WDC) to build 175 dwellings with access via Boxer Road and Barn Road.
Longwick-cum-Ilmer Parish Council held a public meeting last night, which was packed with concerned residents.
Ian Manktelow, the team leader for planning policy at WDC, explained the changes in national planning policy which would affect this application.
The goal posts have been changed, he said, where the balance lies in favour of the developers and there is now a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Authorities now have to try and meet their own assessed level of need for housing within their own areas and as a local authority they have to demonstrate a rolling five year supply to meet this need.
WDC is currently working on a Local Plan for the area to earmark housing and business development up until 2031.
But due to complications, this plan is taking longer than expected, and in the mean time they have to decide on applications like Longwick.
Mr Manktelow also explained how the Localism Act 2011 abolished regional plans.
A lot of the Wycombe District is in green belt and The Chilterns AONB and previously other authorities could take on some of WDC's need, such as Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.
He said: "Now we have to assess our own levels of housing needs. What that is doing is bumping up our housing levels to be current levels."
Between 500 and 700 houses need to be built a year up until 2031.
And he said: "There aren't major planning constraints in Longwick as there are around other towns- there is no green belt or Chilterns AONB."
County councillor Bill Bendyshe-Brown said at the meeting that the growth in the district is happening around Wycombe, Bourne End and Marlow, where businesses are also being created.
He said: "We are going to end up as a commuter belt and in my view that is unacceptable. We should be trying to release green belt and have a green belt review around those sites where the population growth is occurring."
He added: "Eighty per cent of the district is in green belt or AONB and where does it end? Here. What's the easy option? Build here. We should resist and resist it as much as we possibly can."
Other concerns raised by villagers were the area is already at risk of flooding due to the level of surface water and Thames Water has also objected saying it could not cope with the foul drainage.
There were also concerns about access at an already busy junction, parking spaces and whether the doctors surgery and primary school could cope with the influx.
Mr Manktelow said the developer would need to address these issues.
The deadline for comments on the planning application (14/06965/OUT) is Friday. The parish council has been allowed extra days as the formal response will be decided at the next parish council meeting on September 16.