Protect Buckden's Future is a group of Buckden residents that has been set up to oppose the proposed development of 180 houses off Luck's Lane. Read their comprehensive reasons for opposing this development and see what you can do to help:
PROTECT BUCKDEN’S FUTURE
BUCKDEN AND ALL HUNTS VILLAGERS - BEWARE
Gladman Developments have applied (Hunts. Ref. 16/0576/OUT) to build 180 houses off Lucks Lane, Buckden, between Buckden and Stirtloe. The ‘Protect Buckden’s Future’ group was formed from over 150 Buckden residents who met in early April to oppose this development. We have written to the Hunts District Council asking them to refuse this application as it is unsustainable for Buckden’s future, and we urge other concerned Buckden and Huntingdonshire residents to also write individual letters or emails to the HDC before 20th June 2016.
Not only Buckden residents but also those who live in Huntingdonshire villages or who use the Buckden A1 roundabout should be aware of the following reasons why this proposed development should be rejected:
- It represents a 14% increase in Buckden housing and a 20% increase in population and vehicles. This is an extraordinary increase for a village to cope with, especially in green fields off a narrow lane, adjacent to its natural boundary.
- No village in Huntingdonshire would survive intact in twenty years if this proposed development is approved, setting a precedent for irresponsible construction adjacent to other villages. Once one development expanding your village is approved, there can be no grounds for refusing further development.
- This Buckden development, coupled with increased A1 traffic from the Brampton and Alconbury developments and the re-routing of the A14 and A428, will cause extreme congestion at the hazardous A1 roundabout. This is an ongoing highway safety issue. According to the Highways Agency & Cambridgeshire County Council Traffic Team, the developer’s traffic flows and forecasts are outdated and inaccurate.
- An increase of 20% in traffic within the village, especially at the roundabout, the Mayfield /High Street junction and the Offord rail and river crossing, will cause drivers to experience even more serious delays than at present. Parking near the village centre, school and shops will become a thing of the past, owing to congestion.
- Situated between Buckden and Stirtloe, much of the site’s traffic will likely choose to avoid the long queues at the roundabout and exit via the Stirtloe Lane/A1 junction, a narrow lane entering a busy fast dual carriageway and an accident black spot in the making.
- Similarly, the extra 20% traffic using the Offord rail/river crossing will result in even more significant delays at the Station Lane/Offord High Street junction; and motorists’ routine non-observance of the priority traffic signs at the bridge, causing extra traffic to queue back onto the level crossing itself does not bear thinking about.
- Buckden CofE Primary Academy is almost full. The proposed two or three classroom extra intake may be accommodated by Portacabins in the playground. Alternatively, the school may remain at its current size and its catchment area be reduced, sending some children to other villages or towns. Gladman state that they may contribute some funds to resolve the capacity issue, however any payment would be to local and county councils and allocated as they see fit. Funds may not be ring-fenced for spending in Buckden and, if provided at all, would likely be many years after the development is completed.
- Buckden Doctors’ Surgery is close to capacity, being able to accommodate a maximum of 175 extra patients. The NHS calculate that this development will generate a further 432 patients. It is not clear where they or current residents will need to travel to get their health care should this development go ahead.
- Affordable housing isn’t anymore. The developers offer to construct up to 40% affordable housing. We welcome truly affordable housing in Buckden. Unfortunately, under new government legislation, developers no longer need to provide social and private rentals and shared ownership homes, but only starter homes to be sold to first-time buyers at 80% of local market value. In Buckden, that means a minimum of about £250,000.
- The plan will build on and remove the natural countryside buffer zone between the unique and historic village of Buckden and the ancient hamlet of Stirtloe, causing them to be joined to the detriment of both, contrary to the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework.
- This planning application will be decided mainly on planning policy and regulations alongside the public’s concerns over schools, the surgery, traffic congestion and safety, flooding and subsidence on and near the waterlogged site, parking throughout the village, construction noise and air pollution for six years, children’s safety on the busy streets etc.
- Accordingly, we support Buckden Parish Council’s well researched and detailed opposition to this application, especially as the proposal contravenes Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan, its Five-year Housing Plan, the Buckden Village Plan and is unsustainable under the National Planning Policy Framework.
We also ask that you contact your local District and County Councillor and ask them their opinion on building on countryside immediately next to your village.
We thank you for your time.
The Steering Committee, Protect Buckden’s Future.