On 23rd and 24th December 2020, at the end of a difficult year for many, the River Great Ouse burst its banks amid extremely heavy rainfall, and serious flooding hit Buckingham.
Many local residents immediately jumped to the aid of their neighbours. From turning up with buckets or supplying water pumps to help clear water to opening their homes to those in need, many people did what they could to help. Buckingham Free Meals, led by 14-year-old Sulayman, coordinated free hot food and drinks and ongoing food parcels. The Bard of Buckingham, Dean Jones, launched a fundraiser to support those flooded with rebuilding their lives. The more than £17,000 raised will be held and distributed by the Town Council based on decisions made by an independent panel.
Staff from Buckingham Town Council joined those from Buckinghamshire Council and Transport for Buckinghamshire to help close roads, deliver sandbags and clear up the mess. It took over a week to sanitise and reopen play areas and the public toilets, as well as clearing large amounts of debris from across the parks. The Council’s Shopmobility unit was flooded, and some equipment damaged.
The Council passed on a flood alert from the Environment Agency in the morning of 22nd December. Unfortunately, the EA’s flood gauge does not appear to have been working correctly, and no Flood Warning was issued.
The Town Council are reviewing the Community Flood Action Plan. Any suggestions for changes would be gratefully received. The Council are also looking to sign up Flood Volunteers to help with future floods and other emergencies. Residents from homes NOT at risk of flooding are ideal for this role, as those directly affected are less able to immediately help others. If you are interested in volunteering please email email@example.com
The Town Council now has a direct arrangement with the Bucks and Oxon Response Group (BORG) who will again be prepared to use their 4×4 vehicles to help with any future events.
Buckingham Town Council submitted the following response to Aylesbury Vale’s District Council’s consultation on the proposed main modifications to the proposed Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan.
The key points made by the Council are:
- Removal of BUC051 – which is reserve site M in BNDP – the new modelling of traffic congestion is highly selective and does not consider whether similar unacceptable congestion would be created by other allocated sites that remain. This does not justify the removal of this site alone from VALP;
- Western Relief Road which is part of the Buckingham Transport Strategy [BTS] has not been included in VALP, despite BTS remaining part of the evidence base for VALP.
- Affordable Homes percentage may be retained in existing BNDP but not any future NDPs, even if there was sufficient evidence to support. Suggestion that future NDPs be included in this policy with the proviso that such a figure would need to be supported with robust evidence.
- Request that additional evidence on (3), which was not heard at Public Hearings in July 2018, now be included in support.
The audio version of the summer 2019 Buckingham Town Matters newsletter is now online. If you would like any more information about anything you have heard or read about in the newsletter, please get in touch with the Town Council Office.
To find a PDF version of this newsletter, and previous editions of the Buckingham Town Matters newsletters since 2010, visit our publications page.
At an Extraordinary Meeting of Buckingham Town Council on Monday 4th February, called because of time restraints on the responses, Councillors considered two proposals for new developments in the town: an outline plan for 420 houses on land south of Osier Way behind Gawcott Fields, and amended plans for the Tingewick Triangle land at the junction of Tingewick Road and the bypass. The difference between the approaches of the two developers gave a clear example of the best way to develop new housing plans for the town.
The development at Osier Way was opposed by Councillors; the site was not marked for housing in the Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan and fell outside the settlement boundary, separated from the town by the industrial areas and the bypass, and had no community facilities beyond open space and play areas. Councillors are concerned that this proposal would result in a dormitory estate which would be isolated from town life. In addition, the proposal assumed that residents would work locally and walk or cycle to work or school. However in reality there is little likelihood of taking small children to school in any other way than by car, making the parent-car problems at the primary schools even worse than they are now. Shopping trips to Tesco, Lidl and the town centre would also add to the traffic in and out of the site via Osier Way and the bypass.
Councillors criticised the assumption that 25% Affordable Housing was acceptable, when the currently valid Plan – Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan – requires 35% (a difference of over 40 houses). It was felt that the figure in force when the plans were submitted should be used, not the proposed figure in the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan which has not yet been accepted by the Examining Officer.
Plan of houses in the Tingewick triangle area of Buckingham. Large green area is site of St Rumbolds Well and Roman archaeological finds.
In a huge contrast, Councillors welcomed the recent changes made to the detailed plans for Tingewick site in consultation with Design South East; this was a site designated for housing in the Neighbourhood Plan, and the developers had met and consulted with the Town Council at all stages, gradually refining the outline plan to suit Buckingham styles and other consultees’ requirements. Councillors therefore agreed no objections to the revisions, noting that not all consultees had responded yet. They also stipulated that all houses had to have telecoms connections before occupation.
Buckingham Town Council does not make final decisions on planning applications; this is the responsibility of Aylesbury Vale District Council. However the Town Council are a statutory consultee on all planning applications, and make representations to AVDC where the Town Council opposes an application.
Osier Way – application 19/00148/AOP
Tingewick Triangle – 17/04668/ADP