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Housing development "danger" claim
1:00pm Tuesday 24th April 2007 in News
PLANS to build over a secret garden in Wycombe town centre have worried conservationists, who say it could put kids in danger when they are walking to school and cause too much traffic.
Developers want to put up 13 homes on the 0.48 hectare site off Priory Avenue and want to build a new entrance road at the lower end of Hamilton Primary School's playground.
This has been put forward as an area for parents to drop the pupils off at the school but the High Wycombe Society doesn't think this will work.
Tony Fooks, vice chairman and planning group leader for the society, said: "We see that if the plan is permitted they will go up into the residential area, turn round, come back down and drop the kids off.
"There will be congestion in that road and children walking in and out and around. We consider it to be highly dangerous.
"There's already been accidents with children in that area and we don't see this as an improvement at all." He and residents, including Lorna Cassidy from Hampden Road, want the land to be left as a green space and sanctuary for wildlife. Tony said: "It's an absolute gem for wildlife activity."
Lorna, 72, added: "The garden is so magnificent now."
But Sue Woolgar, headteacher at Hamilton, thought the development would benefit the school. It has agreed to a land swap with Henry Homes and by giving away part of its playground it will get more land and a lump sum of cash for new facilities.
She said: "The proposal for the exchange of a small part of the lower playground at the Priory Road site for a larger area of green land adjacent to that playground is a wonderful opportunity for the school.
"There is no doubt of the benefit to Hamilton Primary School children and it is the responsibility of the planning authorities to assess the benefits to the wider community."
The school did not want to comment about the traffic issue.
Stephen Britnell, managing director at Henry Homes, said: "In respect of ecological matters relating to the site, an independent and specialist consultant has been appointed and Henry Homes recognises the need to manage such issues appropriately and with due care and consideration."
Henry Homes also did not want to comment about traffic.