The leader of Wycombe District Council has called for a ‘sanity check’ to look closer at expanding a village to add new homes.

Cllr Katrina Wood has asked WDC’s Local Plan Task and Finish Group (TFG) to review whether or not the council should carry out detailed research on the possibility of expanding the village of Saunderton.

The TFG, which was formed under the council’s Improvement and Review Commission which scrutinises council decisions and future policy, will now meet with community groups and residents.

Residents will be able to air their views at a public meeting at the Clare Centre on October 7.

Once the group has completed its fact finding, they will make their recommendations to the council’s cabinet, triggering or quashing the feasibility work.

Cllr Wood said: “Because Saunderton is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in Green Belt land we need to think very carefully about what will help and what will harm the village.

“We know that this is a unique situation and that there are obvious local concerns so I welcome the forthcoming work of the Task and Finish Group who, working with local people, will test the case for expansion.”

Planning applications submitted within the village have divided residents, with some agreeing that development is necessary, while others have strongly opposed.

WDC has already approved an application for 42 new homes on the West Yard site.

A planning application submitted by developers St Congar Land for the old Molins site would see the construction of 212 houses on brownfield land.

The TFG would consider exploring the option of making the application part of a larger development, connecting the Molins site to the rest of the village and provide new community facilities.

If the group’s research work goes ahead, it would be used as the basis for an Area Action Plan specifically for Saunderton, setting out how and where development could go and what infrastructure would be needed to support it.

The decision about whether or not to recommend proceeding with the Saunderton feasibility work will be taken by the TFG, chaired by Cllr John Savage, at the end of October.

Their recommendation will then go before cabinet in November.

To book a place at the public meeting on October 7 from 7pm to 9pm, email or phone 01494 421261.