HITCHAM & TAPLOW
NEWS LETTER NO. 3
The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Astor
Mr. Victor Williams, J.P., C.C.
Mr. E. F. J. Perkins
Mr. J. Martineau
Mr. A. J. Page,
M.P. Lt. Col. B. Morton, O.B.E., J.P.
Chairman: Dr. M. A. T. Rogers, Ph.D.
Hon. Secretary: Mr. J. M. Taylor
Hon. Treasurer: Mr. R. C. F. Beach
Mr. J. Morrison
Mr. W. J. Garrard
Mr. A. Wallis
Mrs. L. Miall
Miss E. V. Matthews
Dr. H. Jaques
Mr. A. J. C. Paines
All communications should be addressed to –
The Hon. Secretary:
Mr. J. M. Taylor, Mullion Cottage, Hitcham Road, Burnham, Bucks.
Tithe Barn, Hitcham
We are happy to be able to report that the preservation order has been confirmed. We believe that our efforts have contributed to this most satisfactory outcome of the Enquiry. There is still the problem of finding a use for this noble building and we shall be discussing the matter further, both with Colonel Hanbury (the owner), and with the Local Authorities.
The Poplar Farm working continues to be a nuisance and an eyesore. The planning permission expires on November 15th, but the work cannot possibly be finished before the end of the year, and a reasonable estimate is a further six months of levelling and respreading of top soil. Even as recently as mid—July the contractors were saying confidently that they would be finished well before November. Certainly the weather has delayed them, but had they worked to the plan most of the earth moving now going on would not have been necessary.
Out of 13 Conditions relating to the planning permission, all but 5 — and these quite minor ones – have been broken. The County Council continue to appear to condone the contractors’ contempt for the Conditions, and we are, of course, powerless to force it to take action.
We are not quite so powerless however in the matter of the new threats. Planning application has now been made for three sites to the north of Taplow, comprising some 70 acres. These are –
l. The “Horse Show field”, Berry Hill, Hill Farm Road.
2. The area around Hill Farm and Hitcham Lane (south of the lane).
3. Downlands — the Hunts Wood field (Taplow Common Road) .
Your Society is very actively preparing its case against these applications. You will realise that it would be unwise for us to disclose all our arguments at this stage. But you may be interested to know that the applicants have failed to conform to the proper procedure laid down in the Planning Acts and at the proper time we shall reveal this neglect. We propose to press our case on grounds of amenity, that alternative planned sources are available, that the transport of this huge amount of material (three to four times the Poplar Farm haul) is going to hamper traffic very seriously and be a great physical danger, and that the material is not required anyway because there are feasible, indeed preferable, alternatives.
We believe that there is a reasonable prospect of a public Enquiry (which you will remember was denied us in the Poplar Farm case) for two reasons: the Eton R.D.C. is likely to reject these new applications just as it rejected the Poplar Farm application, and changes in the delegation of power since 1959 no longer permit the County Council Planning Committee to reverse the decision quite regardless of the opinion of the Eton R.D.C.; and, secondly, (and perhaps less reliance can be placed on this argument) we have the assurance of Mr. J. T. Ireland, Chairman of the County Council Planning Committee, that any further demands for gravel would go to Enquiry. He gave us as his reason the trouble which Taplow had caused him over the Poplar Farm working! But to make sure you are asked to help by writing to the County Planning Officer, Bucks County Council, County Hall, Aylesbury, Bucks, objecting to the proposals contained in Eton R.D.C. applications 60/1654 and 1655 (Farnham Stone Co.) and asking for an opportunity to express local opinion.
We will keep you informed of developments and may subsequently ask you to come to an Enquiry to give us your supper . If there is no Enquiry, we shall be as helpless in averting the disaster as we were in the Poplar Farm case. The secretary, chairman or any member of the Committee will be glad to assist you in writing to the Planning Officer.
Annual General Meeting
We shall be glad to report progress at the Annual General Meeting on November 25th. We hope you will come, and bring your friends to become new members. Given the full support of Hitcham and Taplow we believe that we can win not only the battle we are now fighting over the new gravel threats but also those which are bound to come.