The loss of wildlife could cause the community to become “fragmented” if reserve sites are developed on, according to residents at a workshop on Saturday.

Greenfield sites, Abbey Barn South, Abbey Barn North, Terriers Farm, Slate Meadow and Gomm Valley and Ashwells, were released for development in October, despite considerable opposition from residents across Wycombe district.

Following the release of the sites, five workshops were set up to discuss the future of the areas of land.

Saturday’s public meeting was the last in the series of workshops, four of which focused on the sites, with Abbey Barn South and Abbey Barn North combined in one session, and another meeting considered the impact on infrastructure.

Nearly 100 residents and councillors packed into Bourne End Community Centre to discuss the release of Slate Meadow.

Bucks Free Press: Slate Meadow captured by Nathan Stone

Slate Meadow by Nathan Stone Photography

Attendees were split into groups for brainstorming sessions.

The main areas of concern, which have been touched on before, include the impact on the flood plain, congestion, loss of the green space and recreational facilities and the lack of capacity at local primary schools.

However, Caroline Kay, from Wycombe Wildlife Group, said she was encouraged to see that an issue that has played on her mind was being discussed and recognised by so many others in the room.

Addressing the workshop, she said: “I must say I was so disappointed because everything I read was all so people orientated – until today.

“Every single group has said how important to you the conservation of wildlife and the protection of endangered species is.”

While the aim of the meeting was to discuss the future use of the land, there were still many present who felt Slate Meadow should be put back into the green belt.

One resident said taking wildlife into account will help with community cohesion.

Bucks Free Press:

Brainstorming session during the workshop

He said: “Everybody believes that it should go back into the green belt. The issue of wildlife all comes together as part of holistic wellbeing in the community.

“It needs to be taken into account. There is a considerable amount of research now which shows just how important it is in maintaining the wellbeing of communities to break up and become fragmented.”

The session was led by Amanda Reynolds, from AR Urbanism, acting as consultants to Wycombe District Council.

Now the final workshop has been completed, a report will be compiled detailing the findings of the meetings. Ms Reynolds said this report will be published by the end of this month.