Chorleywood FC’s former chair has questioned Chorleywood Parish Council’s (CPC) assertion that a planning application for new sports facilities fails to deliver “tangible community benefit”.
Savills, on behalf of Chiltern Hills Golf Club, have submitted plans to use land on Green Street for football pitches with floodlighting.
On the Buckinghamshire Council Planning Portal, CPC said the development was inappropriate and should be refused.
Guy Allen, who was chair at Chorleywood FC for eight years before stepping back last year, said: “Chorleywood FC’s vision for the site offers much more than just football. It includes an indoor space for community use, facilities and support for anyone who wants to start a new club, and a 2.5km walking/running track around the whole site, providing the possibility of a local park run.
“Additionally, it would reduce the load of traffic on the Chorleywood House site as well as providing off-street parking for the St Clement Danes School runs, removing the inherent danger of the mass of cars that appear from 3pm each school day.
“I can only assume that CPC’s definition of ‘tangible community benefit’ differs from mine.”
A spokesperson for the CPC said: “The Parish Council has significant concerns regarding Chorleywood FC’s vision for the site. It is now coming to light that the facility is envisaged to be used far more extensively, and for a far wider range of uses, than it being used just for football. This will significantly urbanise this area of the Green Belt and AONB.
“The proposal is also entirely contradictory. On the one hand, Chorleywood FC suggest they are moving key facilities closer to the village, and that existing users can walk and cycle to the facility easily. On the other hand, it wishes to make use of a large car park and provide services to areas far beyond Chorleywood which will require users to travel by car to get to the facility. The proposal simply makes it more attractive and convenient to travel by car, adding further traffic to a substandard highway network and quiet residential streets within Chorleywood. The existing highway network within Chorleywood does not have the capacity to accommodate such a significant increase in traffic.
“Further, far from providing solutions for existing parking problems, the application will exacerbate pressure on the highway network within the village by channelling existing cars off the A404 through the village where there are significant pinch points. This has not been accounted for by the applicant.
“The Parish Council has informed Buckinghamshire Council that, in its opinion, there appears to be a discrepancy between what has been advertised as part of the planning application and Chorleywood FC’s expressed vision of the longer term use of the facility. Unless the site is run by the Council to genuinely serve the needs of local residents, what is planned will effectively be a commercial sports and leisure facility and will attract users far beyond Chorleywood. It is not a sustainable development in the Green Belt and AONB and it would have a harmful effect on the character on Green Street and surrounding residential streets.”
Savills have been contacted for comment.