Special report on the proposed Gomm Valley housing development
THE beleaguered developers who want to build around 1,000 homes in the Gomm Valley between Hammersley Lane and Cock Lane received further setbacks this week when the highways authority refused to endorse the scheme and a senior councillor came out as an objector for the first time.
When the public consultation on the revised outline planning application closed on Monday over 200 individuals had objected in addition to residents groups and conservation organisations. The number of objections is virtually double that when the first outline planning application was put forward in February last year.
Buckinghamshire’s highway authority said that despite “continuous discussion (with the developers) for several months” the authority has not been supplied with the traffic modelling figures it requires to assess the impact on local junctions and roads. Consequently it is not prepared to back the scheme at this stage.
And Tylers Green councillor David Shakespeare is angry – as are many objectors – that plans that originally considered around 450 homes have now morphed into one that proposes 1,000.
“Having spent over a year attending the meetings of the Gomm Valley Liaison Committee…and finally reaching agreement on the planning brief for the valley…which would accommodate 450 to 500 houses, it comes as a considerable shock to find out that all of that time was wasted when an application comes in for 1,000 houses,” said Cllr Shakespeare, a former chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council, who lives in Hammersley Lane.
He added: “In normal times the morning rush hour queue backs up Hammersley Lane by 400 or 500 yards due to the insufficient green light time to enable traffic to turn into the A40 London Road.
“If part of this already insufficient time was to be diverted to traffic from the new development, the queues in Hammersley Lane would increase to around half a mile in the morning rush hour and traffic coming down Cock Lane would be tempted to use the new development as a cut through to get to the M40 more quickly.”