Community areas within the Nicholas King Homes development around the Recreation Ground

During late 2021 Nicholas King Homes applied for planning permission for the construction of 21 dwellings (8 flats and 13 houses), including associated works, car parking and landscaping on the two plots of land that had long been earmarked, subject to viability, for a  children’s day nursery and restaurant/pub/cafe.  The Planning Inspectorate have now concluded their investigation and determined that planning permission should be granted.  The parish council had opposed this application and felt strongly that these much hoped-for community facilities were feasible and should be delivered.  Many local residents also objected to the proposals.  Buckinghamshire Council, as local planning authority, were also said by the Inspectorate to be opposed to the application on a variety of grounds.  Planning permission was nonetheless, on balance, granted to NKH.

That, however, is not the end of the story.  The Parish Council understands that Buckinghamshire Council (in conjunction with other local planning authorities) are challenging the Planning Inspectorate’s decision, via a process known as Judicial Review.  They will be seeking a court ruling that the Planning Inspectorate was not properly able to reach the decision that it did, in other words asking that the planning permission should be quashed.  The grounds for appeal are believed to include the Chiltern Beechwoods “Special Area of Conservation”, of which Ashridge forms a part.  There is currently a moratorium on determining planning applications which relate to residential development where the application site is within approximately 8 miles of the Chiltern Beechwoods, which Pitstone is.  The argument runs, it is understood, that if the local planning authority cannot properly determine any such application, the Planning Inspectorate should not have done so either.

Clearly these matters are at a very early stage and the Judicial Review process could be a lengthy one.  If the planning permission is then quashed, NKH’s application will go back to the original decision-maker for further consideration on the correct basis.  That would also be a time-consuming process.  As a consequence, it is unlikely that anything substantive will happen to the two undeveloped parts of Ravensmoor for some time.  The Parish Council is aware that concerns have been raised by local residents about the state of these two areas, and in particular the amount of unsightly litter and debris that they contain.  We have requested that NKH take steps to tidy them up so that our local amenities are not subject to detriment because of the current hiatus.  We will provide a further update when we are able to, about both (1) the condition of the two areas and (2) Buckinghamshire Council’s appeal against the Planning Inspectorate’s decision. 


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