‘New homes wont be blighted by HS2’ claim

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PLANS to build more than 2,700 homes close to the proposed HS2 line have been branded ‘ridiculous’ ahead of a crucial decision date.

Next week, politicians are expected to rule on a controversial bid to build a new estate in Fleet Marston.

Critics have warned that the new homes would suffer from blight before they are even built.

But in a letter to Aylesbury Vale District Council, a property expert has ruled that building properties just over 150m from the line would ‘absolutely not’ affect home sales.

And developers says HS2 would ‘in no way’ hamper plans for a high quality development.

A report circulated to members of the council’s strategic development control committee – which will rule on the bid – has recommended the plans are turned down.

This week James Mosse, from action group Save The Vale – which was set up to oppose the Fleet Marston plans – said: “It’s outrageous that the council and the developers have come to some kind of agreement that they’ll leave HS2 out because it’s not firmly committed.

“In the real world, the Government and HS2 Ltd are paying out compensation for people whose properties are less affected than people in this development would be.

“These properties will suffer from various forms of blight before they’ve even begun it.”

But a letter to AVDC from property expert Savills has rubbished claims HS2 will make new homes in Fleet Marston unsellable.

The memo, from director Matthew Jones, states: “You have asked Savills for our opinion on whether we feel that a proposed residential development, with a minimum distance to a railway line of circa 150m, would preclude a developer and/or house purchaser from developing the site or buying a house. The simple answer to this is absolutely not.”

Waddesdon Village Primary School has objected to the bid, claiming the new estate would increase the strain on already oversubscribed schools around the site.

A planning report has recommended that the plans are turned down.

It says the applicants have not provided enough information on how the estate will impact on traffic.

And it adds that the bid would be an ‘unacceptably intrusive development’ into the open countryside.

The report also states that there have been no assurances that infrastructure, such as a secondary school and health facilities, will be provided if the bid is accepted.

But the report says the impact of HS2 would be minimal and acceptable, although politicians will be able to take it into account.

It states: “The possible impacts from noise and vibration were considered based on the design and operation of the implemented HS1 line.

“The technical note identifies that no development is affected on the Fleet Marston site and that any impacts would be minimal and acceptable. There is no current ‘protected’ line that would be prejudiced . Neither are there sufficient details on HS2 that would enable it to be credibly demonstrated that the railway would result in an unacceptable impact on the Fleet Marston development.