The Society has today received notification that there is going to be a Public Inquiry in relation to a new motorway service station on the M25 close to Chalfont St Peter. An appeal has been made by the applicant to the Planning Inspectorate because Buckinghamshire has not determined their planning application. The site would be entirely located within the Green Belt.
Whilst the development of this site is of great concern to the Society due to it being in open countryside, there are also two other planning applications being processed in the Green Belt at Kings Langley and Iver Heath. Whilst it is possible that a case could be made for the need for new services somewhere along this stretch of motorway, there is clearly not a need for three!
The Society has been in contact with the Secretary of State to try to get all the applications ‘called in’, so they can be determined together by the Secretary of State. The response was fairly positive but no decision would be made until the applications had been determined by the local authorities. This has now changed with the application at Chalfont St Peter now being in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate. We are now requesting that the appeal is ‘recovered’ by the Secretary of State so that a view can be taken on all three applications.
The Society has opposed the two applications in the Chilterns at Chalfont St Peter and Kings Langley due to impacts on the Green Belt and does not have a view as to which of the three would be preferable if one were to go ahead. What we want to do is avoid three sites being approved with a significant loss of Green Belt in the Chilterns.