Spot the difference: developer submits identical plans for 1,560 homes by Watermead

Proposed development of 1,560 homes by Watermead, Aylesbury
Proposed development of 1,560 homes by Watermead, Aylesbury

Plans to build 1,560 homes next to Watermead - identical to a scheme that has already been rejected - have been submitted to the district council.

Last May councillors rejected Hallam Land’s proposals to build on the edge of Aylesbury for a variety of reasons.

These included that it would not be a ‘sustainable development’ and that a lack of information had been submitted on matters such as traffic, flood risk and the ecological impact of the plan.

The developer has appealed against that decision but, despite being told the appeal will be heard, Hallam has submitted an entirely new application.

The only difference between the two applications is the background information provided by Hallam to support the plan.

It means the developer now has two chances to see its plan approved - by appeal and through Aylesbury Vale District Council.

In a letter to the council, Nick Freer, representing Hallam, said: “While the development proposals themselves are unchanged, the documentation submitted in support of the current application substantially updates that submitted with [the previous] application and in so doing addresses the information deficiencies highlighted in the reasons for refusal.”

Councillors said the application which was rejected last year did not fit with the Vale of Aylesbury Plan, the council’s housing target up to 2031 which is currently being inspected.

However, Hallam Land’s Andy Birch described the Vale plan as being ‘in limbo’.

Mr Birch said: “There’s always a chance that the council might see themselves in a different situation in a few months time.”

If the Vale plan - which sets a target of building 6,000 new homes over the next 17 years, in addition to those already approved - is rejected by the independent inspector, there is a chance a higher housing figure could be allocated to the district by the Government.

Should this happen, applications like that submitted by Hallam would be more likely to be approved.

John Byrne, AVDC’s head of planning, said officers are still working through the details of the new application.

Mr Byrne said: “We have got to look through it and see what’s changed.

“It’s not entirely unknown for developers to appeal one scheme and then come in with another scheme that they think addresses the reasons of refusal or narrows those down.”

The determination deadline for the new application is April 8, although large applications often take longer to be decided on than originally proposed.

You can see the full plans by searching for application 13/03534/AOP on the council’s planning pages.