Approval for 350 homes on former MoD site in Bucks green belt

Plans for 350 homes on a brownfield site within the green belt have been given the go-ahead by South Bucks District Council after planners noted that updated national policy allows more flexibility for such previously-developed green belt sites.

Wilton Park: former MoD language school to be redeveloped. Image by Phillip Andrew Carl Taylor, geograph.org
Wilton Park: former MoD language school to be redeveloped. Image by Phillip Andrew Carl Taylor, geograph.org

Proposals for the scheme, on a former languages school operated by the Ministry of Defence, were approved last week by the council's planning committee.

The outline Wilton Park scheme, by developer Inland Homes, is located on the edge of Beaconsfield and would provide 40 per cent affordable housing, including a financial contribution for off-site provision.

A report by planning officers said that "given the overall challenges presented with developing this previously developed site and that approximatively 75 per cent of the affordable housing would be provided on site, it is considered reasonable for the remainder of the affordable housing provision to comprise a financial contribution".

The permission requires 46 of the homes to be provided for families in the armed forces, and also includes employment and community uses and open space.

Planners said the development met the requirements of local and national planning policy.

Wilton Park is allocated in the authority’s local plan, which was adopted in 2011, and forms part of a wider site proposed for removal from the green belt in the emerging Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan 2036.

The report said that updated national planing policy "allows for a more flexible approach for proposals on previously developed sites that are providing affordable housing".

It added that, in any case, the proposed number of homes and other uses were broadly in line with the council’s core strategy and a development brief adopted as supplementary planning guidance in 2015.

The planning application, submitted in 2017, will now be referred to housing secretary James Brokenshire for a final decision.


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