More than 500 objections have been raised against a major new housing development in Beaconsfield.

Bucks Council will debate this week an outline planning application submitted by The Portman Estate for the Beeches Park development.

It relates to a 24-hectare parcel of agricultural land next to the Amersham Road (A355) and Minerva Way.

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Plans outline 450 residential properties, including 40 per cent affordable housing, with four new access points off the Amersham Road and the Eastern Relief Road (ERR). The Wilton Park site is to the southeast.

A local centre including a community building (1,050 sqm), retail (1,000 sqm), a new (two-form entry) primary and pre-school, playing pitches, and a public open space are also proposed.

Bucks Free Press:

The housing and planning scheme by colour 

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But the scheme would constitute “inappropriate development”, the council argues, as well as “substantial spatial and visual harm”, in the Green Belt.

It adds: “The layout of the development represents poor design quality. The housing number exceeds the site’s capacity and the extent of building above two storeys is considered excessive for this location.”

A transport assessment is branded “inadequate”, creating ‘adverse affects’ on the existing road network.

An ecology assessment is “deficient”, the council argues, and impact mitigation on the Burnham Beeches Special Area of Conservation (SAC) “has not been secured”.

Harm to heritage assets, air quality, and flooding are also concerns of the council.

The Portman Estate however, argues ‘very special circumstances’ favouring the scheme, including affordable housing, self-builds, social benefits, and education.

More than 500 letters of objection and one letter of support have been submitted.

“I wish to object to this outline planning application,” wrote Cllr Paul Mason. “The applicant is seeking to ‘justify’ its application based on ‘very special circumstances’ and uses a range of arguments to suggest that this site could deliver more houses, affordable houses, self-build properties, a community hub space, a junior school and, perversely, a green space within what is already Green Belt land.”

He adds: “The applicant relies heavily on out-of-date data provided within the Local Plan, Core Strategy, and the failed Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan to support its arguments.”

The recommendation is refusal.

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