U-turn over new housing block

How the original plans for Jansel Square looked
How the original plans for Jansel Square looked

Plans for a new housing and retail block at an Aylesbury shopping centre are to be changed after objections were raised.

Developers originally wanted to build a four-storey block with shops and six flats in Jansel Square.

But protesters said it was too big and raised concerns over parking. Now, developers say they will redesign the scheme.

Work on another four-storey retail and apartment block next to the Bedgrove site is due to begin in the new year. The area between the Total petrol station and Jansel Square has laid empty for years but will now be used for social housing and retail units.

The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust is working in partnership with the landowner to develop the site and it will manage 20 flats there once work is complete.

The trust, which has only one other affordable property in Bedgrove, said in a statement: “Despite being in a central location in a high demand area, the site has been derelict for a number of years.

“As a result of this partnership, the trust will be able to provide much-needed affordable housing that would not otherwise have become available, as the developer was under no planning obligation to provide all the flats for affordable housing.”

Bedgrove Councillor Mark Winn welcomed the planned amendments to the smaller proposals and the start of work by the petrol station, but said other improvements are needed in the area. Mr Winn, Conservative, said he hopes the development will release money for improvements to the square, such as pavements and general upkeep.

It is not known exactly what changes will be made to the smaller site, situated between Martin’s newsagents and the Bedgrove Surgery, but the number of flats will be reduced. These are expected to be privately let, rather than social housing.

It is hoped the new housing and retail units will boost the square’s economy, although new car parking charges at the site have sparked anger and threats to boycott the area.

Shoppers will have to pay £1 per hour to park there. However, the first two hours will be free.