A petition to stop up to 900 new homes being built on Green Belt land in Chesham was handed in to council officials yesterday (Tuesday).

Campaigners gained 1,764 signatures for their protest, which centres around fears that the “disproportionate” number of homes will place a “greater strain” on infrastructure and facilities such as schools, GP surgeries, drains, sewers and water treatment.

Almost 60 hectares could be removed from land near Brushwood Junior School, which residents fear will cause “significant damage” to the town and harm the area's appearance appearance.

The radical proposals could also see the potential expansion of the school, the development of a local centre and possibly accommodation for travellers and gypsies on the land, which sees Chesham to the south, Nashleigh Hill to the west, Lycrome Road to the north and Lye Green Road to the east.

Chiltern and South Bucks District councils, who are preparing a joint Local Plan for the two districts, invited people’s views through a consultation, and stressed nothing was “set in stone”.

Phillip Plato, who delivered the petition at a full Chiltern District Council meeting last night on behalf of the Brown Not Green campaign group, said he was hoping the council would remove the Green Belt site from the Local Plan.

He said: “There is an awful lot of concern from residents about it and its effects on the town. It would have a huge economic effect on the town and it would become the town to avoid.

“We are not opposed to new homes being built. We know there is a housing shortage but it is too much for Chesham to take on.

“We want the council to drop the Green Belt proposal as there are other brownfield sites that can be built on.”

A Chiltern District Council spokesman said: “We can confirm the petition was received at the full Council meeting on Tuesday, January 10, and, in accordance with our procedures, we will be responding to the petitioner within 10 working days.”