Campaigners living in Holtspur fear developers see their area as a “goldmine”, replacing family homes with “massive multistorey London-style” houses – at the expense of residents and wildlife.

The Keep Holtspur Green campaign group says that while neighbouring Beaconsfield has attracted huge amounts of development, with huge mansions popping up all over town, Holtspur has been “largely left untouched” – until now.

They fear that developers are trying to “squeeze in as much brick as the council will allow” by turning regular family homes into huge semi-detached houses.

Holtspur Top Lane is one particular road that has seen a string of planning applications submitted for building overhauls.

Most recently, plans to demolish the existing house and garage at 121 Holtspur Top Lane and replace it with two semi-detached homes, and plans to do the exact same at 123 Holtspur Top Lane were put forward.

But campaigners will be breathing a sigh of relief as both of these proposals were turned down by Buckinghamshire Council planning officers at the end of April, claiming they would be “visually intrusive and dominant” on the street scene.

They worry that there will only be more applications submitted in the area, creating added congestion, an increase in noise and air pollution, damage to the roads and destruction to green spaces, of which Holtspur has many – including a nature reserve.  

They said: “It is simply unacceptable to choose a plot in this location with the intention of stripping it of its resources.

“If all of Holtspur’s detached dwellings within our green suburban roads were allowed to be replaced with semi-detached properties by single-minded developers, it would completely change the fabric of our town, transforming the spacious green landscapes we all enjoy to an overcrowded, overdeveloped urban road.

“Who will pay to fix the road surfaces damaged by the construction vehicles?

“These construction sites will reduce our air quality and increase our noise pollution for the duration of the construction, and we suspect once the flood gates are open, these constructions could spread over the next 10 years.

“These additional dwellings will also increase the number of residents and vehicles in residence, and also increase our general level of noise and air pollution.”

They also cited Gregories Road in Beaconsfield as one of the worst roads in Beaconsfield for constant building works, but said that road is wide and the plots of land are much larger, whereas Holtspur’s roads are much smaller, meaning construction vehicles end up blocking the roads and cause traffic delays.

Keep Holtspur Green cited issues with congestion caused by large vehicles during construction of two semi-detached homes at 131 Holtspur Top Lane, which was given permission to go ahead in February 2020.

They wrote: “Holtspur roads and plots are much smaller, meaning even the construction vehicles parking immediately outside the construction site at 131 Holtspur Top Lane had a huge impact on the traffic and caused a significant amount of disruption for local residents.”

Beaconsfield MP Joy Morrissey has lent her support to the campaign group, meeting them to discuss the issues in mid-April.

A spokesman for the MP said: “There is a particular problem with small houses and bungalows being replaced with extremely large houses, with some plots doubled up to take multiple semidetached homes.

“This over development causes a number of problems in the area, from the appearance of the neighbourhood, to traffic safety, and impact on the nearby nature reserve and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“Homes on the periphery of such sites often have a significant impact on the areas biodiversity, as their gardens support plants and animals on the borders.

“Preserving and protecting the small green spaces represented by the gardens and street scene of these properties has a disproportionate impact on the long-term health of the local ecosystem, not least because of the dangerous precedent initial overdevelopment can set.

“Mrs Morrissey will be working to support the fantastic work of the Keep Holtspur Green campaign and render any assistance she can provide, including raising the profile of the organisation and taking up the argument on national housing targets in Parliament.”