THE demolition of a group of buildings on a ‘mixed use agricultural site’ in favour of two new homes has been permitted – despite claims it will ‘harm the surrounding area’. 

Mr and Mrs Norris and St John Homes (Thames Valley) Ltd won full planning permission to bulldoze and remove the existing buildings and hardstanding on a plot of land near Chalkshire Road, in Butler’s Cross.

Bucks Free Press:

PICTURED: The Chalkshire Road plot

In their place they will erect two detached homes with access and parking. Another application suggesting a pair of semi-detached properties was refused.

READ MORE: 'He should know better': Councillor gets permission for conservatory he already started building

One property will have three bedrooms, the other two. Each will have two dormers in the front and a single-storey flat roof section to the rear.

However, council officers said the build “represents inappropriate development as a whole”, adding it “will harm the scenic beauty” of the surrounding area.

The site is a mix of pre-developed and agriculture land. Its uses include “light industrial”, “storage and distribution” and agriculture.

There is also a bungalow on site.

READ MORE: 'Terrible mess in every lay-by' on road prompts call to tackle 'fly-tip hotspot'

Bucks Free Press:

PICTURED: A Google Maps image of the Butler's Cross site 

Evidence was also provided that “part of the site had also been used by a local builder to store some materials”. Consequently, the build will result “in the loss of a scattered business site”.

Despite being recommended for refusal, planning committee members voted it through.

“We are here as a committee with a duty of care to uphold our local and national planning policies,” argued Cllr Paul Turner.

“If we don’t like the policies, we change the policies – we don’t do it by stealth with every application that comes in that doesn’t fit.

“I would just implore my fellow committee members to bear that in mind.”

Cllr Tony Lee urged committee members to permit the development and was seconded by Cllr Gary Hall.

Among their reasons, councillors said ‘the existing site has a detrimental impact on the AONB and street scene; the buildings on site are of poor design; removal and replacement with a high-quality residential development’ permit the very special circumstances.

“At the moment we’re looking at something which is an eyesore,” said Cllr Lee. “If we can improve it and supply a couple of houses for local people to live in and encourage them to stay in the village that’s a good enough reason.”

By close of business members voted in their majority to permit the application.

We’ve launched a new Facebook group for local news junkies, politics fans and everyone who wants to keep up to date with the latest issues affecting Butler’s Cross. Please join the conversation over at Buckinghamshire Politics