Frequently Asked Questions

What is being proposed at Wilton Park?

Following public consultation, and in-line with both the Council’s Core Strategy (2011) and approved Development Brief for the site (2015), Inland Homes submitted an outline planning application in September 2017 to deliver the following:

 

  • 304 residential properties (Class C3) (with 46 existing houses retained)
  • Employment and community uses including a new ATC facility, larger replacement children’s nursery and park café (Classes A1, A3, B1, B2, D1 & D2)
  • Formal and informal public open space, including local park and upgraded sports pitches with new changing facilities
  • New access road from A40 Pyebush Roundabout to form southern part of Beaconsfield Relief Road; network of footpaths and cycleways including alterations and improvements to Minerva Way
  • Car parking; on-site access roads

What are the benefits of the plans?

The benefits of the scheme for the local community include:

 

  • A range of new housing types, sizes and tenures, with smaller flats and terraced homes, larger family homes, and apartments suitable for those wishing to downsize. There will be properties for private sale alongside those for affordable rent and for shared ownership.

 

  • A new two-hectare public park, accessible to both existing local residents and the new residents of Wilton Park. The park will have a café and children’s play facilities, and will be linked to the Town via Minerva Way, which is to be upgraded to create a safe, attractive and level route for pedestrians and cyclists between Beaconsfield Old Town and Wilton Park.

 

  • New temporary and permanent sports pitches for Beaconsfield Town Youth Football Club. The proposals for Wilton Park have always included two-hectares of new sports pitches, but Inland Homes have also now agreed to make temporary provision for the youth football teams during the construction phase.

 

Inland Homes will create the temporary pitches at the far eastern end of the site, and the youth football teams will play there until the proposed new permanent pitches, parking and changing rooms are ready for use.

 

Completion of the A355 Relief Road. The Relief Road will help reduce traffic congestion along the existing A355 between Maxwell Road and the London End roundabout, helping to improve local air quality. Inland Homes paid for construction of the new access off the Pyebush Roundabout, and will pay for the technical design and construction of the southern section of the Relief Road (up to Minerva Way)

 

  • Provision of other new community facilities, including a new home for the ATC and ACF and a new modern children’s nursery.

 

  • Substantial financial contributions to improve local community infrastructure. The Wilton Park scheme will contribute well in excess of £3.4m of funding towards expanding and improving local schooling. The size of the financial contribution was determined by a formula applied by the County on all larger residential development schemes. The County Council will determine the most effective means of using the funds received to ensure that the additional pupils generated by development at Wilton Park can be accommodated in local schools.

 

The £150,000 health contribution from the Wilton Park development is the sum of money requested by the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to assist in the delivery of new and improved health facilities in the Beaconsfield area. The money will be used to increase capacity to deal with the health needs of local residents.

 

NHS England has recently approved the outline business case for relocation of Milbarn and the Simpson Centre to a new single purpose built facility.  Further approvals will be needed, but with the support of local District and Town Councillors, it is hoped that the scheme will be delivered over the next couple of years.

 

  • Support for local businesses, with new office space proposed within the Wilton Park development, suitable for small and medium sized local businesses. It is also estimated that the Wilton Park development will result in an additional £2m of retail and leisure spend in the area (helping to support local restaurants, public houses and shops).

Why submit an Outline Application?

The application currently with the Council is an outline planning application, which seeks to establish the broad parameters for redevelopment of the Wilton Park site, within the context of the Council’s Core Strategy (2011) and adopted Development Brief (2015). The outline planning application, if approved, will establish the mix of land uses and broad extent of development on the site, and means of access (off the Pyebush Roundabout).

 

Prior to starting any development on the site, Inland Homes would need to submit to South Bucks District Council Reserved Matters applications for each phase of the development. This will give the Council the opportunity to determine the details of the development, including its scale, layout, appearance, and landscaping.

 

To start building at Wilton Park, Inland Homes therefore need to secure both outline planning permission and at least Reserved Matters approval for Phase 1 of the development.

Is it 304 new homes or 350 new homes?

In accordance with South Bucks District Council’s Development Brief for the site, there will be 350 homes at Wilton Park once it has been re-developed. 304 of these will be newly built units, with the other 46 being retained former Service Family Accommodation units.

 

To be clear, as part of the proposed redevelopment, a further 40 former Service Family Accommodation units are to be demolished to make way for the southern section of the A355 Relief Road and new sports pitches.

How will you help to improve capacity at local schools?

Buckinghamshire County Council is the Education Authority, and they have a standard methodology for calculating the contributions required from developments towards local education provision. In simple terms, the approach estimates the number of new school age children likely to be living on a new development (taking into account the number of new homes, and their size) and then a per child rate is applied, which varies for primary and secondary school aged children.

 

For Wilton Park, the Education Authority has requested a total financial contribution of £3,385,917, which Inland Homes have agreed to pay.

 

Whilst it is for the County Council to determine the most effective means of using the funds received to ensure that the additional pupils generated by development at Wilton Park can be accommodated in local schools, we understand that the current intention is to expand Holtspur Primary School and Beaconsfield Secondary School. The County Council have undertaken feasibility studies at both schools, and have plans ready to progress.

Will the planned development at Wilton Park make it even more difficult to get a doctor’s appointment?

As part of the proposed redevelopment of Wilton Park, Inland Homes have agreed to the local Clinical Commissioning Group’s request for £150,000 to assist in the delivery of health facilities in the area, which will increase capacity to deal with the health needs of local residents.

 

The local Clinical Commissioning Group has been looking at ways to improve health care provision in the Beaconsfield area, and NHS England has recently approved the outline business case for the relocation of Milbarn and the Simpson Centre to a new single, purpose-built facility.  With the support of local District and Town Councillors, the Clinical Commissioning Group hope that a new single, purpose-built facility will be delivered in the next couple of years.

Who is building the A355 Relief Road and how is it being funded?

Inland Homes secured consent for their section of the Relief Road on 31st October 2014, and the County Council’s consent was issued on 31st August 2017.

 

Buckinghamshire County Council is in the process of building the northern section of the A355 Relief Road between the A355 at Maxwell Road, down to Minerva Way. The land to construct this section of the Relief Road was purchased by Buckinghamshire County Council from the Portman Burtley Estate. The construction costs are being covered by funds secured by Buckinghamshire County Council – with some £6m of Local Growth Funding and some £3m of Local Transport Body funding.

 

Buckinghamshire County Council anticipate that the northern section of the Relief Road will be completed in September 2019.

 

Inland Homes are committed to completing the southern section of the A355 Relief Road, between the Pyebush Roundabout and Minerva Way. Inland Homes have already built the first part of the southern section of the Relief Road between the Pyebush Roundabout and the entrance to the Wilton Park site. Inland Homes built this section to avoid construction traffic associated with the future redevelopment of Wilton Park needing to access the site via the London End Roundabout and Minerva Way.

 

As part of the ongoing discussions with the County and District Councils, Inland Homes have recently offered to bring forward completion of the remaining section of the Relief Road, so that it is delivered alongside the first phase of new housing development at Wilton Park.

 

The design and construction costs associated with delivery of the southern section of the Relief Road will be met by Inland Homes.

When will Inland Homes build the remaining southern section of the A355 Relief Road?

The revised outline planning application material (submitted in January 2019) proposed to deliver the remaining section of the southern part of the Relief Road by the end of Phase 2 development at Wilton Park (i.e. by completion of the 156th new dwelling). Most recently, Inland Homes have very offered to the District and County Councils to bring forward the completion of the southern section of the Relief Road to Phase 1 of development at Wilton Park.

 

This will mean that the full Relief Road is delivered earlier, alongside completion of the first 99 new homes at Wilton Park.  South Bucks District Council and Buckinghamshire County Council are currently considering the offer.

 

The precise delivery timescale for the remaining southern section of Relief Road (and therefore the timescale for opening of the full Relief Road) is related to the time it will take to secure outline planning permission and Phase 1 reserved matters approval from South Bucks District Council.

Can Inland Homes not simply build the Relief Road now?

No. Before Inland Homes can demolish the existing buildings currently located on the route of the southern section of the Relief Road – the existing ATC/ ACF building and 40 former Service Family Accommodation units – a replacement ATC/ ACF facility needs to be built and planning permission secured for redevelopment of the wider Wilton Park site.

 

The latter is necessary as the financing for the site is tied to the value of the Service Family Accommodation, and refinancing will only be possible once full planning permission has been secured and the development is capable of being delivered. In practical terms this means that outline planning permission will need to have been granted and reserved matters approved for Phase 1 of the development, before delivery of the remaining southern section of the Relief Road can commence.

Is there a ‘missing link’ in the Relief Road?

In 2017 Inland Homes did not design and apply for planning permission for a very short section of road – around 10 metres – where the planned Relief Road crosses over Minerva Way. This was because at that time Buckinghamshire County Council had not designed their northern section of the Relief Road let alone secured planning permission for it, and some flexibility was needed to ensure the two sections of road could be effectively connected.

 

Inland Homes have prepared a draft proposal for the design of the ‘missing link’, and are waiting for Buckinghamshire County Council to confirm that the proposal is acceptable in principle.   Once this confirmation has been received, Inland Homes will prepare and submit to South Bucks District Council a planning application for this section of the Relief Road.

What about plans for signalising the London End roundabout?

It is clear that some people have misunderstood the proposals for the London End roundabout. Inland Homes are no longer proposing that this roundabout is signalised.

 

To recap, at the time of preparing the outline planning application in 2017, it was unclear when the County Council would progress the northern section of the Relief Road. No funding had been secured by the County and there was no planning permission in place.

 

As a consequence of this uncertainty, the highways strategy presented by Inland Homes to Buckinghamshire County Council as part of the original Wilton Park outline planning application did not rely on completion of the Relief Road, but instead proposed improvements to the London End roundabout – which included signalisation of this junction.

 

The world has of course moved on since the outline planning application was prepared and submitted back in 2017, with the County Council having secured planning permission and funding for the northern section of the Relief Road, and with construction of this stretch of road now underway. The highways strategy promoted by Inland Homes to support delivery of development at Wilton Park is therefore now for the A355 Relief Road to be completed (as part of the first phase of development at Wilton Park), without signalisation of the London End roundabout.

What about a pedestrian crossing at the London End roundabout?

Separate to the previous plans to signalise the roundabout, there are ongoing discussions with the County Council about the form of pedestrian and cyclist crossing from the end of Minerva Way and across the existing A355 towards the Old Town. Inland Homes are waiting for the County Council to confirm what type of pedestrian and cyclist crossing they would like to see installed.

What level of affordable housing is being proposed at Wilton Park?

Inland Homes submitted a revised Financial Viability Assessment in January 2019, which used many of the inputs proposed by Officers at the District Council. The results of this exercise showed that was a £9.1m scheme surplus, available to deliver affordable housing at Wilton Park.

 

Inland Homes have proposed that this surplus is used to deliver 79 affordable homes at Wilton Park – with 12 at affordable rents and 67 available for shared ownership. These are two tenure types recognised both locally and nationally as affordable housing.

 

Inland Homes are seeking to engage with the District Council over the final mix of affordable housing to be provided at Wilton Park. There may be scope to deliver a higher proportion of larger affordable units for example, but as these are more expensive to provide, this would probably mean fewer affordable units could be delivered overall (within the identified scheme surplus).

 

A one-bedroom shared ownership property at Wilton Park will be available to households with a combined income of just over £42,000. This is in-line with the average household income in South Bucks District.

Are these affordable homes genuinely affordable for local people?

Beaconsfield is an expensive area when it comes to housing, and popular property website Zoopla shows that the average price of a home is over £1.1m.

 

If Inland’s affordable housing plans are approved as part of the wider planning application:

 

  • A one bedroom shared ownership apartment would be available to households with a combined income of £42,376.
  • A two-bedroom shared ownership property would be available to those households with an income of £54,515.
  • A three-bedroom shared ownership property would be available to those households with an income of £67,466.

Will there be preferential treatment for local people?

Inland Homes would like to work with South Bucks District Council on a mechanism that gives local residents priority in accessing these affordable homes.

Why do we even need new homes?

It is undeniable that the UK is in the midst of a housing crisis. It is not a case of people wanting new homes, but needing a secure roof over their heads. This can only be tackled by delivering a range of new homes of different types, sizes and tenures.  Inland’s proposals look to address this agenda, with smaller flats and terraced homes, larger family homes, and apartments suitable for those wishing to downsize. There will be properties for private sale, shared ownership properties and properties available for rent.

 

Wilton Park is able to make a significant contribution to the District’s housing needs, in an area where major development opportunities are limited by the extent of the Metropolitan Green Belt – which covers some 87% of the District.

What’s the boost to Beaconsfield’s economy?

The new residents of Wilton Park will bring a welcome economic boost of approximately £2m per annum to local shops and businesses.

 

The development itself will create and support 96 new full-time office, retail and leisure jobs, and during the construction phase, more than 230 temporary construction jobs will also be created.

 

South Bucks District Council also stands to receive £1.3m of New Homes Bonus, alongside additional Council tax receipts and business rates from businesses using the new office space proposed at Wilton Park.

If I want to read more about the details your Wilton Park plans, where should I look?

We recognise that the Council’s planning portal can be confusing, with large number of documents to sift through. In January 2019, Inland Homes submitted a number of revised and additional documents (and related plans) to South Bucks District Council. These make some changes to the scheme, and provide further supporting justification.

 

In summary, the main new documents submitted include:

 

  • An updated Planning Statement, which outlines the changes made to the scheme and summarises the scheme benefits (Section 7 of the Planning Statement); responds to the original comments received on the outline planning application back in late 2017 (see summary Table 3 in the Planning Statement); and provides commentary on the new National Planning Policy Framework (Section 4 of the Planning Statement).

 

  • A new Affordable Housing Statement and at Appendix 1, a revised Financial Viability Assessment. The Financial Viability Assessment uses a number of inputs proposed by the District Council, and concludes that there is a £9.1m surplus available to spend on affordable housing delivery. Inland Homes have proposed to use this surplus to deliver 79 new affordable homes at Wilton Park – 67 for shared ownership and 12 at affordable rents.

 

  • Updated Application Plans, with the main change being that the development area at the far eastern end of the scheme has been ‘pulled-in’ to address concerns raised in relation to the impact of proposed development on Wheatsheaf Farm (heritage asset) and the openness of the Green Belt (see Illustrative Masterplan – 5599/02A). The Plans also now show temporary football pitch provision for Beaconsfield Youth Football Club during the construction phase. The Design Code, Design and Access Statement and Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment have been updated to address consequential changes.

 

  • An Appropriate Assessment, which concludes that no adverse effects on the integrity of the Burnham Beeches Special Area of Conservation will occur as a result of the proposed development at Wilton Park, either alone or in-combination with other plans and projects.

 

  • Additional technical work, statements and plans in support of the originally submitted Transport Assessment.

Are Wilton Park and ‘East of Beaconsfield’ the same?

No, Wilton Park and the District Council’s emerging Joint Local Plan proposals for land ‘East of Beaconsfield’ are very different.

 

Wilton Park is recognised by the Council as an Opportunity Site and a Major Developed Site in the Green Belt and this is reflected in the significant number of existing buildings on the site, including the tower block. In accordance with both national and local planning policy, Wilton Park can be redeveloped – and contribute towards local housing needs now – without the need for any changes to the Green Belt boundary.

 

In contrast, much of the rest of the land included within the Council’s emerging Joint Local Plan proposals for ‘East of Beaconsfield’ is greenfield, Green Belt land.  This land can only be developed if it is removed from the Green Belt via the Joint Local Plan process.

 

In short, they are not the same, and you could support new homes at Wilton Park whilst at the same time raising concerns about the ‘East of Beaconsfield’ proposals as they are wholly separate in planning terms.

Contact us

If you have any other queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Michael Stanworth at Lexington Communications by calling 020 7025 2300 or 07974 300 509, or email michael.stanworth@lexcomm.co.uk.