Scheme for 95 homes in the countryside near Milton Keynes is thrown out by planners

Council planners have thrown out a developer’s application to build 95 homes in the village of Lavendon, near Olney.

The developer, Cheshire-based Gladman had argued that little harm would be done by the plan and the scale of the housing crisis in the area is such that the new homes would satisfy the need.

The proposed site in Lavendon

The proposed site in Lavendon

But council planners rejected the application on September 4 saying that the site is in open countryside, where such developments are banned by policies. And they also say they have a legally required five-year land supply for housing.

Jane Brushwood, of Lavendon Parish Council, told the borough planners that the village is already growing too fast. Some 50 objections were lodged with the borough council.

“The percentage growth in housing being expected of this village is 39 per cent from just three years ago to where we are today,” she said. “This is entirely unreasonable and unsustainable in a village the size of Lavendon, particularly with the distinct lack of infrastructure in the locale, such as medical cover, schooling and public transport.”

Planning case officer Christopher Walton wrote: “While it is acknowledged that there would be some benefit to the development in regard to the provision of homes and creation of jobs related to the construction of scheme, these benefits fail to outweigh the substantial and unacceptable dis-benefits generated by the scheme in terms of the impact on the local environment and the clear failure to accord with the fundamental principles of the Development Plan.”

He added that the council considers that it has a five-year housing land supply of deliverable housing sites. The application also included proposals for public open space, landscaping, a sustainable drainage system, children’s play area and an access point from Olney Road.

But Gladman had argued in its submission to the council that there are no “technical or environmental impacts resulting from the proposals which suggest that the development would be unacceptable.

“In this case, there are several material considerations which weigh in favour of the proposals and indicate that permission should be granted.”

They added: “As with any greenfield site, the development will introduce changes to the area and some urbanising effects. However, care has been taken to ensure that the perceived impact on Lavendon is minimised and acceptable.”