February 21, 2014

I will fight developers looking to make a quick buck

British pastime or not, it’s undeniable that lamentations about the weather have been justified of late.

With the record rainfall and no sign of it stopping any time soon, many people’s lives have been made a complete misery by the flooding and the risk to homes in the Risboroughs and Haddenham continues to be high.

Furthermore, a number of roads have been closed as a result of the heavy rain, making travelling difficult or impossible for some.

I am receiving regular updates from the district and county councils as well as the emergency services.

Naturally, I will continue to monitor the situation and I urge anybody affected by the weather to get in touch with my office.

Outside the immediate hazard of the flooding, another threat to the area has emerged in the form of the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to reject the Vale of Aylesbury Plan, which would have set out a plan for housing and economic growth for the future.

With no Plan in place and the council having to head back to the drawing board, the threat of speculative developments being proposed is a real concern.

I appreciate that very few local residents welcome large-scale new housing schemes in their area, but the benefit of having a Plan is that at least any such developments would fit into a larger scheme that was drawn up with the best interests of the area at heart. Its absence means a lack of protection for the Buckingham constituency and the Vale of Aylesbury.

I have met with officers and councillors from Aylesbury Vale District Council as well as my Parliamentary colleague, David Lidington MP, and I will assist in any way I can to ensure that a successful replacement Plan is drawn up as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, we should continue to send the message out that any developer thinking that they can make a quick buck by plonking an inappropriate development down in our area will be given cause to think twice, both by local residents and myself.

It has not, I confess, been a great start to 2014 for the constituency, but we can only – as a community – keep fighting.

This article was first published in The Bucks Herald.