Residents of Stoke Mandeville will be given the opportunity to have their say on the future of a former community landmark. Buckinghamshire County Council and Stoke Mandeville Parish Council want to hear what local people think about proposals for a new development project on Lower Road. The site is that of the former Buckinghamshire County Council Sports and Social Club, and the plans include the construction of about 100 new homes, as well as new green spaces, roads, parking and a sports facility to serve the local community.
About the site
The decision to close the Buckinghamshire County Council Sports and Social Club was taken at the end of 2017. Despite some criticism, the council explained their decision, saying that they had to close the facility because none of the bids to take over the site were financially viable. Many local residents, including top local Aylesbury estate agent Michael Anthony, have fond memories of visiting the football pitches, tennis courts and cricket grounds at the Sports and Social Club. Since its closure, the site has not been in use, and the council is aiming to take advantage of the empty space with this development project.
The development plans
John Chilver, the Council cabinet member for finance, resources and property, has highlighted the ‘shortage of affordable homes in Buckinghamshire’ as a reason for proposing the new development. Chilver says, “Using a site we own, our ambition is to bring forward a higher proportion than required by statute of the homes we provide as affordable homes’. The hope is that the new homes will allow local people to get on the property ladder, and find good quality accommodation for themselves and their families.
The plans will also involve the creation of new open green space which will be available for use by the community. There will also be a new link road between the site at Lower Road and the Booker Park School which will benefit new and existing residents.
The consultation process
The consultation began on 4th April and will continue until the 9th May. The council has created a number of different ways for residents to express their opinions, concerns and ideas. You can take an online survey and leave comments for the council to see, and there will also be two in-person consultation sessions at the Eskdale Road Community Centre. These will give locals the opportunity to drop-in and have a discussion with representatives from both Buckinghamshire County Council and Stoke Mandeville Parish Council, and from planning consultants Savills. At these events, you can take a detailed look at the plans, complete a feedback form, and speak face-to-face to those involved in the development.