Save Saunderton AONB & Molins Action Group fight on as the battle continues in 2017
We support our local community in its desire to ensure the most appropriate development at the former and now derelict Molins site, located on Haw Lane, Saunderton.
During 2015, Molins Action Group fought alongside the local community and in liaison with national and locally based groups (for example, National Trust, Chiltern Society, Council of Protection of Rural England and the Chilterns Conservation Board) to persuade Wycombe District Council of the folly of the Area Action Plan to build up to 1000 new houses to create Greater Saunderton. This would have used Molins brownfield land as well as several greenfield farmland sites around the Saunderton area opposite the railway station. In our opinion, this would have been a local disaster, and totally against the wishes of the overwhelming number of local residents. Severe impacts on local traffic and a lack of appropriate local amenities combined with the visually destructive nature of the high density housing plans would have been a source of constant regret. We are delighted to report that Wycombe District Council chose to abandon the Area Action Plan for the this widescale development in November 2015. This was as a direct result of the local community’s strength of feeling and willingness to participate in the democratic process.
Your support is still needed now and throughout 2017
This leaves the original planning application from St Congar Land (dated January 2015) to build 212 houses on the Molins site. This was neither approved nor rejected within the timeframe agreed by WDC and the applicant after being extended several times. St Congar Land chose to lodge an Appeal with the Planning Inspectorate. This was formally set up in late October 2015, and the process continued in September 2016 with a public hearing. This WDC webpage lists all documents relevant to the original application as well as new third party comments received by the Planning Inspectorate under the Appeal process. St Congar Land amended its proposal in the course of the Appeal process, reducing slightly the number of houses and changing the layout of the site.
On 14 October 2016, the Secretary of State called in the Molins Appeal process. The Inspector has been asked to prepare a report for the Secretary of State by 6th April 2017, and the Secretary of State is expected to deliver his recommendation some time after this. As at 13 June 2017, this is still awaited and the timing is now "to be advised".
Molins Action Group, through our activities, intends to keep the community up-to-date with this process, and to call upon relevant local and national authorities to make a strong case to the Planning Inspectorate for the appropriate development of the Molins site in this beautiful Chilterns valley in the heart of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We have been working alongside the Neighbourhood Plan being prepared on behalf of the Bledlow-cum-Saunderton Parish Council to ensure development in this immediate area is proposed according to the wishes of the local community.
This website looks at these issues in greater detail. The news pages will give you a summary of the latest situation.
If you go to the How To Object page, we provide further details on what you can do during the process.
Molins Action Group - concerned local residents Action Group