We would appreciate the consideration of our views.
BOOKER COMMON AND WOODS PROTECTION SOCIETY
Response to WDC Cabinet Meeting 17th January 2011
The councillors at the meeting were given very few facts to enable a considered view on the Development of a Sports Village and Stadium Project. The case for intrusion into the Green Belt at Booker has never been proven, 'Needs' of extra sporting facilities has not been shown, WDC financial liability in an extremely risky business venture has not been assessed, Bucks County Council has not been consulted over the cost of the additional road and infrastructure required to deal with traffic congestion of a New Village and transport issues of spectators.
Booker is not represented by a Parish Council but we must have our say.
The Green Belt and our AONB is High Wycombes Gateway to the Chilterns, if it is allowed to be destroyed Urban High Wycombe will spread to Lane End, Stokenchurch and into Marlow.
Sports Facilities need support but the involvement of Business will mean the end of local club participation and control. Booker already has under used Cricket and Football pitches on Fernie Fields Recreation ground and Booker Common. Local participation sport and recreation facilities already exist in the Booker area (tennis, squash, football, cricket, indoor bowls, gun club, judo, fitness clubs etc.). Cressex has a synthetic sports pitch centre for football and hockey. Cressex School provide facilities for local 5 a-side teams and other indoor games. Will locally run participation activities lose out to business orientated facilities. A little extra money would go along way in support of local sport in the hands of enthusiastic club members.
WDC money should not be used to support a Rugby and Football Business Venture, the finance may not technically be called Tax Payer Money but it is Money belonging to the residents of High Wycombe.
Enabling Development (Housing), New Roads and Supporting Infrastructure (Shops, Restaurants, Fast Food outlets, Schools, Doctors etc) will change the Booker area of High Wycombe for ever.
The original consultation and public participation ignored the residents of Booker, we must be part of any decisions about the future development plans.
WDC's consultation did not include contact with the residents of Booker. BCWPS requested a meeting with the council representatives Leslie Clark and Charles Brocklehurst and were told that it was inappropriate for them to comment, we also requested a presentation for our members. The Society had to organise and finance its own meeting at Cressex School and finally the council was persuaded to give us a presentation of the Development Proposals. The presentation took place two days before the end of the consultation period which was insufficient time for residents to consider the proposals and respond in the postal consultation.
Hedley Luxton (on behalf of BCWPS)
BOOKER COMMON AND WOODS PROTECTION SOCIETY represents 300 households in Booker. It was formed in 1982 as a Charity to conserve and protect the rural environment of the area which comprises of the open commons and the surrounding Green Belt and the Area of outstanding Natural Beauty. The Society is run by volunteers and carries out practical conservation work and organises regular clear-ups throughout the woodland and commons. We also make an annual award in cooperation with Wycombe Ranger Service to encourage young people in conservation. The Constitutional Aims of the Society include 'to act against any intrusion or development within the local Green Belt or Area of outstanding Natural Beauty which forms a natural boundary on the western side of the town' and 'to act against development likely to increase ambient noise or air pollution, and where possible to reduce them.