Aylesbury Vale Area

Object

VALP Main Modifications

Representation ID: 2912

Received: 07/12/2019

Respondent: Mr David Locke

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? Not specified

Representation Summary:

The housing numbers for several of the proposed developments have been changed.
This indicates that the housing numbers cannot possibly have been objectively assessed against infrastructure and development requirements. I cannot see any updated transport assessments.
The developments concerned are:
D-AGT2 from "around 1,550" to "at least 1,590".
D-AGT2 depends on HS2 going ahead (para 4.44 and other mentions as well). A large portion of AVDC's proposed road system is totally dependent on HS2.
HS2 is currently under review. It may be cancelled. The
Oakervee report has not been published and no decision has been taken on HS2 yet. (officer summary)

Full text:

Dear Sirs

Comment on the VALP main Modifications

Having read through the main modifications to the VALP, there are several areas which I think really do not make any sense:

Oxford - Cambridge Expressway

This is a huge government-funded infrastructure project, which we are told will be the catalyst for development of housing between the two cities.
Surely there must be a duty on local authorities to factor such projects into their local plans?
However, the modifications to the VALP have deleted reference to the Expressway from its Spatial Vision (para 2.4d) and from the list of major infrastructure projects requiring co-operation (para 3.39).
The Plan says only that the Expressway may possibly be considered at some point in the future.
The plan no longer declares its support for the Expressway project (modified Policy T3 at paragraph
7.21).
How can this possibly be a sensible attitude to take? A great deal of taxpayers' money will be spent on this project, yet AVDC is turning away from the opportunities that it brings for properly planned development. This demonstrates a complete lack of joined-up strategic thinking.
The modified Plan can't be justified as the most appropriate strategy when you compare it to reasonable alternatives - which must include a consideration of the Expressway.

Housing numbers

In the modified plan, the housing numbers for several of the proposed developments have been changed. This indicates that the housing numbers cannot possibly have been objectively assessed against infrastructure and development requirements. I cannot see any updated transport assessments that I would have thought must required if the housing numbers have increased.
The developments concerned are:
 D-AGT1 (Aylesbury Garden Town site 1, south of Stoke Mandeville) has been modified to raise housing from "around 1,000" to "at least" 1,000.
 D-AGT2 (south west of Stoke Mandeville) from "around 1,550" to "at least 1,590".
 D-AGT3 (includes Woodlands) from "around 1,660" to "at least 1,757"
 D-AGT4 (includes Hampden Fields) from "around 3111" to "at least 3358"
 D-HAL003 (includes RAF Halton site) from "around 1,000" to "at least 1,000"

HS2

Area D-AGT2 depends on HS2 going ahead (para 4.44 and other mentions as well). A large portion of AVDC's proposed road system is totally dependent on HS2.
HS2 is currently under review. It may be cancelled. Where would that leave AVDC's plans? The Oakervee report has not been published and no decision has been taken on HS2 yet.
It cannot be possible to approve the Plan unless and until there is a decision on HS2.

Conclusion

The whole thing just looks as though it has been cobbled together by amateurs in an attempt to get round the Inspector's very valid concerns. It ignores the existence of one major infrastructure project and relies on the delivery of a second one that may yet be cancelled. It's a very poor piece of work. Aylesbury deserves better than this.

Yours faithfully,