This morning I met with David Shadrick and Phil Wagstaff who are residents of Woburn Road and who are concerned about the application to build five homes on the green there.
The green has been used as open amenity space by people from the whole of the southern part of our town for decades and any development there would be quite out of character. The space is used by lots of dog walkers as well as children to play games and even horse riders. Despite all this use, it is a very clean and tidy area (I didn't see any dog mess at all) and is teeming with wildlife including birds and squirrels.
The application would mean five new houses and the loss of a number of good trees and a threat to others including an oak which clearly pre-dates all development in the area. The new houses would also be very close to the noisy A30 and the slip-road out of town and would back on to a high hedge meaning they would have very little light.
One particular concern is that, although only five houses are shown on the current outline application, a developer might seek to alter this to put up to a dozen much smaller units on the site. Whilst there might be off street parking for one car each if just five houses are built, any more would lead inevitably to parking on a narrow road.
So far, David and Phil have collected more than 200 signatures on a petition against the plans and they are also seeking to have the area designated as a village green to try to protect it into the future.