Healthcare and other issues: an update

Phil Yerby spoke up at the Vale Plan hearing on 13 April. Since then, he and the rest of the HFAG Committee have continued their work on several important topics on behalf of the community.

We are monitoring the progress — or lack of it — regarding the Woodlands development, still subject to a flooding objection by the Environment Agency.  The latest, lengthy draft ’Section 106’ agreement for Hampden Fields has raised some serious questions: we are pursuing them. We have also made two Freedom of Information Act requests about the transport plans affecting the whole of this area.  

But our sharpest concerns are about healthcare. The NHS told the Council what facilities would be needed to serve the huge patient increase from all the proposed developments in Weston Turville, Aston Clinton, Stoke Mandeville and Bierton. But the current offer in the Hampden Fields agreement falls far short of that. That is worrying and needs attention, not least by our elected representatives.   

HFAG argues our case at Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan public hearing

On 13 April, Phil Yerby of HFAG together with our Transport Consultant appeared before the government inspector examining the VALP. The session was to examine Bucks Council’s policy and plans for transport, which have been heavily contested by HFAG ever since the draft Plan emerged in 2017.

The hearing lasted more than three hours.  If you watched the webcast, you would have seen a strong team put forward a strong case and often challenge the Council on what we regard as their weak evidence base.

The Inspector will now consider his assessment in the forthcoming weeks and draft a final report to the Council regarding whether the Plan can be found to be ‘sound’.

We have made a good case but everything is now over to him.

The Campaign Continues

Ahead of the 13 April public hearing on the transport policy of the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan, we are continuing to work hard on our case to put before the Inspector. As usual, we are getting invaluable help from the independent transport consultancy who was engaged throughout this and our other cases.

This has been made easier by the generous donations made by supporters, so thank you. 

If you wish to support our ongoing work, our JustGiving page is still open.  Please go to this page.  

We appreciate your help.

One meeting leads to three, plus a bonus

After the Strategic Sites Committee met to — wrongly in our view — give a following wind to Hampden Fields, it was our turn.

Step 1 was for the HFAG Committee to meet to review the SSC discussion and agree our next steps. Done.

Two more meetings have been arranged to review the decision. As before, our professional advisers will play an important part.

And, since we really like meetings, HFAG is also registered to speak at the Inspector’s public hearing on Transport in the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan on April 13th. The independent transport consultant who did such a fine job last time (in 2018!) will be assisting us again.

Surprise? Not really.

The Bucks Council Strategic Sites Committee today voted unanimously to approve the Hampden Fields application. This, despite Councillors expressing concerns over no money allocated to hospital healthcare, volumes of construction traffic at the same time that HS2 HGVs may be using the A413, coalescence, lack of any marketing strategy with regards to who will be purchasing the houses, 5000 objections, a lack of effective dialogue with the WT Parish Council, the forecast volume of traffic on the road (~ 45,000 per day) through the new development…

As this was one of the possible outcomes, we will now action our next steps. 

Stay in touch with the news on this site.

The campaign continues!

Strategic Sites Committee hears Hampden Fields (again) on 24 February

Even more than three years after the committee agreed to defer and delegate this application, they are still only being recommended to do the same tomorrow. It is highly unlikely that they will grant planning permission at their meeting, given that serious flaws still exist in the plans and the proposed ‘Section 106’ agreement.

Which is what HFAG representative Phil Yerby will be saying to the committee members tomorrow. Given only 2 minutes to speak, Phil is honing his points to maximum sharpness!

But HFAG is not alone. In addition to 5,467 individual objections levelled against this proposal, other bodies objecting include Weston Turville Parish Council, Aylesbury Town Council, Aston Clinton Parish Council, Wendover Parish Council, The Chilterns Conservation Board, The Wendover Society, Bierton with Broughton Parish Council and the Richmond Road Petition Group.

Plus the NHS Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust, who have raised serious concerns about the provision of healthcare facilities.

The meeting is available to view online from 10.00 Wednesday 24 February. Go to the Bucks Council website here.

12 congested junctions to go halfway round the town? Some ‘ring road’ !

An independent transport consultancy recently examined Aylesbury’s transport plans in great depth. Amongst the many flaws and weaknesses they found, this one stood out for us:
“A driver approaching Aylesbury on the A418 near Bierton will have to navigate about 12 junctions to traverse the town on the ‘ring road’ and reach the A418 to the south west. Bucks Council’s own traffic modelling shows that the driver would encounter congestion at many of the junctions …”

So, in practice, many drivers might choose to stay on the existing roads through the centre of town…

Which means that the ££££m to build the ‘ring road’ will have had little or no benefit…

Which is what HFAG are telling the Inspector currently examining the Vale Local Plan VALP.

Points to raise about Hampden Fields

Your comments need to reach Bucks Council by Friday 8th! The reference to search for at their planning application webpage is 16/00424/AOP.

Here are some topics for you to consider when writing in. As ever, please make your own choices and use your own words if you can.

Coalescence: Our MP Rob Butler has rightly criticised the risk to settlements such as Weston Turville, Stoke Mandeville, Aston Clinton and Aylesbury Bedgrove from urban sprawl. The Hampden Fields estate would fill the space between all four.

Transport: many serious objections have been raised against the traffic plans, which still won’t solve traffic congestion in the town centre. It is planned to get worse. Remember that Hampden Fields proposes an extra 3,000 houses! The Council’s own figures reveal that a very high % of trips are made to or from the town centre, so the wished-for ‘ring road’ will not actually make much difference.

Air quality: Linked to transport, of course. People are right to be concerned about the health risks from traffic congestion, especially from HGVs. Electric lorries are a fair way away yet, unfortunately.

Prematurity: the planning committee shouldn’t approve this substantial development while the wider Vale of Aylesbury Plan is still undergoing examination by the Inspector. (See also ‘Democracy’ below)

Biodiversity: for a Garden Town area, it’s disappointing that the planned biodiversity gain (13.8%) falls short of the Council’s ‘aspiration’ figure of 20%, even if it is above the 10% minimum.

Flood risk: to be fair, the plans say there’s not much risk of flooding. But given recent flood issues locally and further afield, you may want to press the Council to get the developer to guarantee this.

Democracy: Hampden Fields was turned down in 2015 by an independent Inspector and the Secretary of State. That campaign had cost local people time, effort and £’000s. Yet just one year later, the same proposal came back again, as if the Sec of State decision could simply be ignored. 5,000 letters of objection and many more £’000s have since been contributed by the local community, and Weston Turville and Wendover Parish Councils both object, representing 10,000 people. All this can’t be ignored, can it?

More questions? If you want to know more, please contact any of the HFAG Committee via or on Facebook Everything Weston Turville

Respond to the council: by Friday 8th January, at their webpage The planning application number is 16/00424/AOP.


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