‘They’re trying to get it in through the back door’: Developers bypass council and go to Government for decision on 3,000 new homes on edge of Aylesbury

The proposed Hampden Fields site
The proposed Hampden Fields site

The consortium behind plans for 3,000 homes near Aylesbury has sidelined the district council in a bid to get them considered alongside another application.

An application to build between Bedgrove and Weston Turville was being considered by Aylesbury Vale District Council, but the Government is now being asked to make the decision.

The Hampden Fields consortium has submitted an appeal so it can be considered at the same time as plans for 2,750 houses in Fleet Marston. Opponents of the scheme described the move as a part of a ‘cynical game’.

Proposals for Fleet Marston were refused by the council in July, but the decision was appealed and will be considered by a Government planning inspector at an inquiry in April next year.

The Hampden Fields consortium, comprising Aylesbury College, the Fairfield Partnership and Taylor Wimpey, appears concerned that if a decision is taken on the Fleet Marston application before their own, it could affect their hopes of being successful.

The consortium said the decision to appeal for non-determination and bypass the district council had not been taken lightly.

A consortium spokesman said: “It is important that the proposals for Fleet Marston and Hampden Fields are considered together as they are the two current major housing development opportunities for Aylesbury.

“We would normally prefer the decision for Hampden Fields to be taken by the district council but the timescale for the appeal for Fleet Marston has complicated matters.”

The Hampden Fields application was originally submitted in March. In response to issues raised since submission, updated proposals were submitted last month.

Aston Clinton Councillor Phil Yerby criticised the move and said opponents would be presenting evidence to a planning inspector if necessary.

Mr Yerby, a member of the Hampden Fields Action Group, said: “How can developers say consistently over the last few months they’re going to resubmit plans, then resubmit the plans but then after that appeal for non-determination?

“That appears to be a very cynical game and I think it shows that they know that their argument is weak, they know their plan is weak and they know there is a good chance it won’t stand up to scrutiny, so they’re trying to get Hampden Fields in through the back door.”