UPDATED: Plans for massive development near Watermead and Bierton refused

Campaigners protesting outside AVDC offices
Campaigners protesting outside AVDC offices

Developers are considering an appeal after plans to build more than 1,500 homes between Watermead and Bierton were unanimously refused by Aylesbury Vale District Council for the second time.

Campaigners fear developers Hallam Land will appeal again and the council’s case will be weakened by its lack of a strategic housing plan for the Vale.

A spokesman from Hallam Land said: “We need time to digest the reasons and we will take a view (of whether to appeal) in the next few weeks.”

Protests by residents were held outside The Gateway offices on Wednesday afternoon before the strategic development control committee was addressed by angry parish councillors from Watermead, Bierton and Weedon.

Campaigners claimed that the 300-acre development, which includes a school, park and shopping centre and was first turned down last May, will have a negative effect on traffic, flooding and ecology.

A Bierton resident, from the 30-strong campaigning group who met the unanimous decision with applause, said: “Leave us with what remains of ancient village identity.”

Lib Dem councillor Steven Lambert, who was among those to praise the extensive report by planning officers against the proposals, said details of employment provision from the developers were insufficient.

Speaking after the meeting, Watermead Action Group member Barry Beal said: “It would have a horrendous impact if this went ahead. The developers have been playing games and it has been costing them money.

“They have abused the process from day one by not giving the required time for appeal.

“But we’re all very pleased with the result as people have to take time off work!”

During the meeting it was thought that the developers had not shown up but the Hallam Land spokesman revealed a representative was in fact present but chose not to speak.