Dear Sir, Chiltern District has recently issued a core strategy document that sets out its proposals for development in the District.
These include proposals to build a substantial number of extra houses in Chesham despite concerns about the effect on the town. This document is now open for consultation and comments or objections must be received by 23 April 2010. Full document can be
accessed at www.chiltern.gov.uk/ corestrategy/consultation
Consultation packs have been widely distributed and it is important that we all make our views known or the proposals will be accepted as they stand through default, or even worse, changed to the benefit of other, more vociferous settlement and to the even greater detriment of Chesham. Comments can be submitted in a number of ways.
By post to Planning Policy
Team, FREEPOST SCE 64, Chiltern District Council, King George V Road, Amersham HP6 5BR. e-mail:
The following paragraphs outline some of the arguments that have been made to Chiltern in objection to the proposals but they are merely one person’s opinions, given as examples of possible arguments but in no way definitive. We need a flood of comments from as many people as possible to demonstrate that we are very involved in the future of our town.
The proposal to build 650 dwellings in Chesham between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2028 can be criticised on a number of bases.
Chiltern core strategy – is it good for Chesham?
One of the established housing needs in Chiltern and one that has been emphasised in the recent consultations on Local Area Forums, is for more affordable housing in the villages. This need has been emphasised in at least two recent reports that go so far as to suggest that the villages will cease to exist in a meaningful form, unless the provision is increased.
Depletion of the springs feeding the river can hardly be regarded preservation or enhancement. Flooding in the town centre during periods of heavy rain will be exacerbated by the reduction in the absorbent capacity of the surrounding area when soil is replaced with brick, tile and hard paving. Here again policy CS3 calls for “Reduced risk of flooding...” Anecdotally, the
Amersham and Wycombe College site on
Lycrome Road identified as one of the key sites to accommodate 650 new homes.
existing sewage system has problems in coping at certain times. More housing can only make this worse. Perhaps generally, one of the problems is the lack of easily available data on what the existing infra- structure can support; we seem to have plenty of opinion but little documented fact. This is certainly not
true for what is probably
However, the proposals outlined in paragraph 7.13 show no increased housing at all, beyond that already agreed, in what it coyly calls the other villages.
The proposal represents a serious over-development of Chesham that is likely to outstrip the ability of the infra-structure to cope with it. For example: Increased extraction of water from the underlying aquifers is likely to damage the rare environment of the chalk stream, the Chess, whereas the Vision for the AONB on page 20 includes “Healthy chalk rivers and streams” while policy CS3 on page 31 aims for “ “Preservation and
enhancement of…rivers, streams…”
the most important and most immediate infra-structure problem - the problem of air pollution in parts of Chesham. Broad Street already has levels of air pollution that are, at least, unacceptable and perhaps even illegal.
The Environmental Audit Committee of Parliament has recently asserted that air pollution causes up to 50,000 premature deaths each year; it is also a fact that the health statistics for Chesham are worse than for the rest of Chiltern.
The topography of Chesham also
makes it virtually certain that an increase in housing will lead to an increase in the traffic along Broad
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