Controversial development on former reserve site hailed 'the greenest and most elegant'
The development company headed by former Greenpeace directors Jonathan Smales and Michael Manolson submitted an outline planning application to Wycombe District Council this week for up to 1,000 homes in the Gomm Valley.
The environmentalists claim the proposals drawn up for the site have the potential to deliver “the greenest and most elegant new place in England”.
Mr Smales told the Bucks Free Press on Wednesday the development is likely to cost around £300 million if it is built as set out in the submission.
Last year he estimated the scheme would take between eight and ten years to complete. He said: “This is no ordinary development project.”
Geographically the valley stretches from the Peregrine Business Park at the top of Gomm Road off the A40 London Road to the fields and paddocks at Ashwells on the northernmost tip.
The Gomm Valley is the last undeveloped chalk valley in Wycombe. It includes areas of Special Scientific Interest.
Until 2014 it was classed in planning terms as a reserved greenfield site, only to be drawn on when all other options had been exhausted.
That came about when five sites on the council’s reserved list had to be released to enable the district to build sufficient homes to match the government’s ever mounting target to address the housing need in the UK.
Smales and Monolson’s company called Human + Nature have named the proposed development Little Haldens, an ancient term for “secluded valley.”
The outline application follows a lengthy consultation process.
It culminated in an exhibition at Tylers Green Middle School last November when the public were invited to meet the multi-disciplinary professional team involved in the project and comment on the plans drawn up following a 12 month design exercise based on the local development brief for the site.
The submission accompanying the outline application states: “We were urged to create a place that is sufficiently bespoke and distinctive, elegant and accessible, adaptable and resilient to be cherished and stand the test of time.
“It should deliver net environmental gain; and it should enable the growth of a community that is committed to supporting all its members in living well and sustainably, integrating with neighbouring communities the better to take advantage of and complement the many excellent community groups and initiatives already in place.
“This plan provides for up to 1,000 new and high-quality dwellings in the Gomm Valley on a relatively modest building footprint, with 20 hectares of newly regenerated, species-rich chalk grassland, more than 4,000 new trees and about 1 kilometre of additional hedgerows.
“In many ways the work in the Gomm Valley is of national significance.”
Elaborating on the company’s commitment to build a development that will change lifestyles in a way that will benefit the environment as well as those who live there, the directors said: “A wide range and choice in housing is proposed: a place to start out in life and a place to stay.
“Every effort has been made to design for a strong identity across the plan to establish a distinctive but refined sense of place, with buildings set into the landscape - contemporary yet respectful of the best of the local vernacular designs and materials - and enveloped by an abundant and productive greenery of trees, green roofs and corridors, gardens and community allotments.
“The streets have been designed for gentle and safe yet efficient movement and to not jar with the sensitivity of the overall plan in its valley setting.
“The principal connection – Ashwells Lane – curves sinuously along the slopes of the western side of the valley. This Lane is designed at a 1:20 gradient which, despite the very hilly situation, offers the option of walking and cycling.
“The provision of local cafes, shops, a school and nursery, and community services and facilities in Little Haldens will give new residents and those from homes in adjacent communities a way of meeting everyday needs in a beautiful and neighbourly public square without having to travel long distances or jump in the car.
“Little Haldens looks to the future as a low carbon community with efficient and adaptable homes, clean energy supply, e-bikes and an e-car club, facilities for local composting and energy generation from green waste, a local food programme and community governance that helps bake in the shift towards an active community where people live well but with a low environmental impact.”
Bucks Free Press
Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times
Bucks Free Press
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 13:53:19 +0000
Car ends up underneath another in M40 slip road pile-up
A car ended up underneath another in a pile-up on the M40 slip road at Beaconsfield.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 18:26:25 +0000
Rape charity forced to call police after receiving torrent of abuse from Tommy Robinson supporters
Supporters of far-right activist Tommy Robinson have attacked a Bucks rape support charity after a Facebook page appearing to belong to him posted one of their leaflets on social media.
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 15:00:00 +0000
Star of Father Ted and Death in Paradise to take centre stage at Wycombe Swan
Admitting that he was happily sliding into middle-age, fairly sure he knew all that he needed to know about the world, Ardal O’Hanlon has been jolted out of that complacency by recent world events.
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000
TV personality Dame Esther Rantzen meets retirees
Marlow retirees had the chance to meet TV personality Dame Esther Rantzen when she attended an open day at a retirement living development this month.
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 12:00:00 +0000
Olympian Adrian Moorhouse opens school's long-awaited swimming pool
Olympic gold medallist Adrian Moorhouse officially opened a long-awaited swimming pool at a Gerrards Cross boys’ school.
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 11:00:00 +0000
Popular couple celebrate birthdays surrounded by loved ones
A popular Flackwell Heath couple celebrated their birthdays together surrounded by loved ones.
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 10:00:00 +0000
Former bank headquarters on green belt land to be turned into flats
The former headquarters of the Nationwide Building Society in 17 acres of green belt on the edge of High Wycombe is finally being converted into apartments and townhouses after several previous plans for alternative schemes hit the dust.
Sat, 16 Feb 2019 09:00:00 +0000
Robberies and violent crime up by 22% ‘due to World Cup’
Robberies and violent crime in Marlow and the surrounding areas are up 22 per cent from the previous year.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 12:30:00 +0000
Man with schizophrenia died day after complaining about dizziness
A man with schizophrenia died the day after complaining about feeling dizzy and sick, an inquest into his death heard this week.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 16:30:00 +0000
‘It’s an amazing feeling to fly solo’: Young air cadet takes to the skies in World Record bid
A Marlow air cadet who became the UK’s youngest solo glider pilot in 2017 took to the skies again in a bid to become Britain’s youngest solo pilot.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 15:55:19 +0000
JAILED: Man behind bars for sexually abusing a child
A man has been jailed for nine years for sexual offences against a child in Buckinghamshire in the 1970s.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:50:00 +0000
WATCH: Girls' school pupils join thousands across the UK to take a stand against climate change
Schoolchildren are taking a stand against climate change, with thousands of pupils across the country walking out of class to demand immediate action.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 13:00:00 +0000
REVEALED: Taxpayers fork out £1.1m for major footbridge repairs
Taxpayers forked out more than £1.1 million to repair a major footbridge into Marlow.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 12:08:48 +0000
District councils urged to 'grow up and work together' as unitary battle rages on
District councils around south Bucks have been urged to “grow up” by a county councillor after they said they would take legal action against the government over the creation of a unitary authority in Bucks.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:55:11 +0000
Man denies carrying out sex attacks on women in three counties
A 53-year-old man has denied carrying out sex attacks against five women in Bucks, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire between 2009 and 2014.original article
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:52:45 +0000
Change in assisted dying law ruled out after Bucks man, 80, ended life at Dignitas
The government has ruled out a change in the law on assisted dying after a high-profile case involving an 80-year-old Bucks man with motor neurone disease.original article
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:31:10 +0000
IN THE DOCK: Weekly round-up of court hearings at High Wycombe Magistrates' Court
Weekly round-up of cases at Wycombe Magistrates’ Court:
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:00:00 +0000
Hundreds of trees planted in bid to cut noise from M40
Hundreds of trees have been planted alongside the M40 in Lane End in a bid to cut noise from the busy motorway.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:00:09 +0000
WEATHER FORECAST: Yellow warning for fog issued
A yellow warning for fog has been issued for south east England.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 09:16:04 +0000
Nuisance area of town could improve with a council, former mayor says
A “nuisance” area of High Wycombe could look like the Market Square in Henley with baskets of flowers and “continental-style” restaurants if the town had its own council, a former mayor has claimed.
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:48:43 +0000
BREAKING: Latest news, traffic and weather updates near you
Check out the latest travel news in and around Wycombe by clicking here. original article
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 16:51:30 +0000
Initial plans to build up to 550 homes on reserve site given green light
Preliminary plans to build hundreds of homes in High Wycombe have been given the green light – despite concerns over increased traffic and a lack of retirement housing on site.
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:35:24 +0000
Images of replica clothing worn by Libby Squire released by Police
Images of replica clothing worn by missing student Libby Squire, who is from High Wycombe, when she was last seen have been released by Humberside Police as the investigation into her disappearance continues. original article
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 15:08:14 +0000
Longstanding plans to build hundreds of homes face another setback
Long-standing plans to build hundreds of homes in Princes Risborough faced another setback this week after councillors agreed they wereoriginal article
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 11:30:00 +0000
'Inadequate' mental health hospital to shut down amid string of safety failures - including 'assault' on patient by a staff member
A mental health hospital for young people with learning difficulties is set to be shut down amid reports a staff member assaulted a patient and another teenager managed to swallow screws and part of a radiator grill.
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 11:07:53 +0000
Patients who visit A&E after self-harming 'not getting appropriate support', investigation finds
Vulnerable patients who visit A&E in Bucks are not receiving appropriate emotional support, an investigation has found.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:03:15 +0000
BREAKING: Latest news, traffic and weather near you
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 16:14:10 +0000
Family of man whose heart stopped beating for 8 minutes praise air ambulance for saving his life
The family of a man whose heart stopped beating for eight minutes after he collapsed at a spinning class have praised the doctor, nurse and air ambulance team who saved his life.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:30:00 +0000
JAILED: 'Disabled' man who demanded £250k compensation because he could not work is caught secretly doing shifts at chip shop
A "liar" who demanded £250,000 compensation - claiming he was so disabled he could not work - has been jailed for 16 months after he was caught secretly doing shifts at a High Wycombe chip shop.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:20:44 +0000
Mystery surrounds the death of man found 'severely decomposed' in his flat
Mystery surrounds the death of a man whose was found “severely decomposed” in his flat last year.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:54:11 +0000
Golf club reveals plans to create reservoir on site - despite previously saying it had 'no plans' to do so
A Wycombe golf club wants to create a reservoir on its site – after reportedly telling a member of the public it had “no plans” to do so previously.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 13:31:47 +0000
New photos of 'much-loved' Libby Squire released by devastated parents
New photos of missing student Libby Squire have been released by her devastated parents as the search for their "much-loved" daughters continues.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 07:00:00 +0000
Fears work has 'ground to halt' on new container hub for artists quashed by council
Fears that work on a controversial shipping container hub for artists in High Wycombe have “ground to a halt” have been quashed by the council – who have blamed bad weather for a lack of progress on the project.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000
New Thames Valley Police chief constable ‘honoured’ to take on top role
A new chief constable has been appointed for Thames Valley Police after leading the force for nine years.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:29:18 +0000
Residents set to pay extra £37 in council tax as next budget approved
Buckinghamshire residents look set to pay an additional £37 in council tax next year, after council chiefs approved the original article
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 12:30:00 +0000
Call for budding politicians to stand as independent candidates in unitary elections
A county councillor is calling for budding politicians to come forward and stand as an independent candidate in next year’s unitary council elections.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 12:12:38 +0000
Residents urged to take part in survey to help shape future of town centre
have been urged to take part in a survey which campaigners hope will shape the future of the town.
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 09:39:07 +0000
Weekly planning applications - see what is being built near you
Wycombe District Council:original article
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 17:46:58 +0000
Abandoned van left to rot in car park for months finally set to be removed
An abandoned van that was dumped in a retail park car park months ago could finally be removed this week.
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 18:22:16 +0000
'Everyone is hoping for the best': Neighbours of missing student Libby Squire's family speak out
Neighbours of the heartbroken family of missing student Libby Squire are reeling in shock following news of her disappearance.
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 07:00:00 +0000
MOD site developer overhauls 350-home plan amid relief-road stand-off with council
Plans for 350 homes on a former Ministry of Defence site in Beaconsfield have been overhauled after the developer became locked in a planning battle.
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 07:00:00 +0000
Man with hernia 'the size of tennis ball' told there is no money to treat him
A MAN with a hernia the size of a golf ball has described his shock after a call from his doctor's surgery telling him there was no NHS money available to treat him.
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 14:23:03 +0000
Decision on major leisure centre plans to be made this week
Plans to build a new leisure centre in will be presented to the council’s planning committee this week.
Last updated by System Admin on 27th August, 2018