Plans for new homes on a Bourne End field that campaigners have been fighting against for years could be submitted within months, a councillor has warned.

A planning application for houses on Slate Meadow could be submitted to Wycombe District Council (WDC) “within a matter of months”, planning chief Cllr David Johncock told a meeting of the cabinet on Monday.

Slate Meadow was one of five reserve sites along with Abbey Barn South, Abbey Barn North, Terriers Farm and Gomm Valley and Ashwells to be released for development in a controversial move by WDC in October 2014.

On Monday evening, councillors approved a development brief for Slate Meadow, which sets out how any future housing developments on the site should look.

Cllr Johncock said having a development brief in place for the meadow was essential before any plans are submitted.

He said: “The whole idea is to have these briefs in place before the developer puts in a planning application and that is where we are - particularly with Slate Meadow, we know that one will be forthcoming within a matter of months probably. We need to have it in place now.”

Both Wooburn and Bourne End councillors Julia Adey and Julia Langley raised concerns over infrastructure, flooding and traffic.

Cllr Langley said: “I did not support the release of Slate Meadow and this was not a case of nimbyism, it was me as a councillor representing the view of residents, and there were certainly very many of them.  

“I'm in no way dismissing the value of this report and the hard work and time that has gone into producing it, however the major areas of concern are beyond this brief having any influence over and these are highways, flooding and infrastructure and schools and doctors surgeries.

“And there is no definite figure as to the number of dwellings there will be and that worries me slightly because anyone can put in a planning application and so the 150 that was mentioned could change, and that is a major concern for residents in the area.”

Cllr Tony Lee, who has been on the Slate Meadow liaison committee since 2015, said members of the group are largely happy with the development brief.

He said: “There are a number of very confrontational characters on the committee and have needed a great deal of control, sometimes getting verbally abusive to officers.

“I have spoken to the two most vociferous ones and they are delighted with what is going on – 85 per cent of what they wanted, they got, and they are more than happy with that.”