1:40pm Thursday 4th April 2013
By Pete Grant
SOCIETIES in Beaconsfield are joining forces to call for the new Wilton Park development to provide the maximum possible benefit for the whole community.
The Beaconsfield Society and Beaconsfield Old Town Residents’ Association have set up a public forum for April 19 for discussion of the recent public consultation on the site.
The 102-acre area East of Beaconsfield Old Town is currently home to the Defence School of Languages, which is set to close in the next year.
And with developer Inland homes collecting residents’ thoughts on the various uses for the site last month, the societies have arranged a meeting to assess public feeling over the large-scale project.
Beaconsfield Society Chairman Mike Elliott stressed the importance of striking the right balance with the development so as many residents as possible can reap the benefits.
“This will be the biggest thing to happen to our town in many years,” he said.
“It’s vital that we get together and discuss all the options so we can make it a win-win situation for local people.
“We’re hoping this development can be a huge positive for everyone in the town, and not just those who end up buying the houses there.”
Mr Elliott has identified three main areas of concern which will be among the topics being discussed at the public meeting.
He said traffic changes are a key issue, with the proposed access changes to Pyebush roundabout requiring closer scrutiny, in addition to the possibility of a long-mooted relief road for the town.
With South Bucks District Council’s Core Strategy outlining all recreational spaces on the site must be retained, improved and open to everyone, the society are keen to look at the options for new facilities.
And with the opportunity to create new community spaces for Beaconsfield on the site, people are encouraged to speak up on what they feel the town is currently lacking.
Mr Elliott added: “We appreciate the openness with which Inland Homes conducted their consultation.
“But the meeting is as much about raising what they didn’t ask us as what they did.
“This is a once-in–a-generation chance to improve our town, and we need to make sure we get it right.”
Inland Homes are accepting feedback from their public consultation until April 16, and intend to publish their results before submitting a development brief.
And Mr Elliott hopes the meeting will give residents a head start on the consultation feedback when formulating a response.
Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve will attend, ministerial duties permitting, along with Peter Hardy, Bucks County Council’s cabinet member for transport.
The forum will take place at the Curzon Centre, Maxwell Road, Beaconsfield at 7pm on April 9 and everyone is welcome.
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