In-depth: Major housing rethink begins – have your say

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AYLESBURY Vale needs between 4,500 and 13,500 new homes, according to planners – who have been looking at how best to create jobs in the district between now and 2031.

Officials estimate that somewhere between the two ‘magic’ numbers will allow companies a big enough workforce to recruit from and avoid creating dormitory towns where residents are forced to commute out of the Vale to find work.

From Thursday residents are being formally asked how many homes between those numbers they would like, and also where the homes should go.

Aylesbury Vale District Council can now decide how many homes should be built after the coalition scrapped the South East plan which said that the district needed 1,060 new homes a year.

Andy Barton, head of planning policy at AVDC, said: “We think we need 4,500 new homes just to stay still, which over 20 years is not a lot, this includes things like population growth and people living longer.

“Then what we have done is split housing numbers into four ranges, so that you have a number of jobs to the number of homes.

“One of the factors that drives jobs is the availability of workers, but if you don’t provide enough jobs, it doesn’t stop business, but you have a lot more people commuting for work.”

“The first half is about how big the cake is, the next part is how you cut the cake.”

For example residents can chose between building no more homes in Aylesbury, and thousands in the north of the Vale.

Mr Barton admits it is possible that residents may chose to only build in villages, which are struggling because families can not afford to move into them, to stop them becoming deserted.

The consultation will not stop the council from approving existing or future planning applications, Mr Barton describes it as ‘almost two different worlds’, saying: “If an application comes in we have to have it dealt with, on its merits, in the usual time.”

In recent years Tony Strevens led the fight against plans for 10,000 homes to the east of Aylesbury and is now the leader of the Bierton with Broughton community plan steering group, which has already asked residents how many homes they would like.

He said: “Three quarters of our residents responded and 93 per cent of them wanted 100 new homes or less in the parish over the next 20 years – and they want to see them spread out around the village over time.

“I encourage everyone to take part in the consultation, especially bearing in mind the number of developers who are looking to build around Aylesbury.”

PER CENT OF HOMES TO JOBS:

l 4,500-6,750 new homes will create 0-3,000 new jobs.

l 6,750-9,000 new homes will create 3,000-6,100 new jobs.

l 9,000 to 11,250 new homes will create 6,100-9,100 new jobs.

l 11,250-13,500 new homes will create 9,100 to 12,000 new jobs.

SITES FOR HOMES:

l ECONOMIC: Build in the places where jobs will be created.

l NEW SETTLEMENT: Only build one or two new housing estates.

l AFFORDABLE: Build only where housing need is greatest.

l POPULATION: Build in places like villages to ensure they stay viable.

CURRENT PROPOSALS:

l Plans for 3,000 homes in Fleet Marston have been submitted.

l Plans for 2,500 new homes at Aylesbury East (submitted).

l Plans for 1,380 and wind turbine at Quarrendon Fields (submitted).

l Proposals for 3,200 at Hampden Fields (not yet been submitted).

HAVE YOUR SAY:

l The consultation runs December 1-January 26, with details at www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk

l A drop-in session is being held at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on January 10, 3pm-8pm.

l The Winslow Centre will hold a drop-in on January 18, 3pm-8pm.