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Bucks landowner in planning breach as scrapyard makes locals ‘feel scared and sick’

Saturday, 10 February 2024 08:00

By Charlie Smith - Local Democracy Reporter

A landowner who breached planning control by using fields as a scrapyard has been handed an ultimatum to clear the land by Buckinghamshire Council.

Dozens of cars, vans, caravans and pieces of scrap metal have been dumped on the fields south of Huntswood Lane in Taplow in recent months.

Local residents said they were ‘scared’ of the people running the scrapyard and felt ‘sick’ at what has become of the fields, which sit just across from the historic Cliveden House overlooking the River Thames.

The council told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that its enforcement team had received an enquiry about the alleged unauthorised change of use of the agricultural land to a scrapyard on January 3, 2024.

Bucks Council enforcement officers who visited the Green Belt site found that there had been a ‘significant’ breach of planning control, and the owner has been told that the use of the land was ‘unacceptable’.

The council, which is continuing to monitor the site, has told the owner it will take enforcement action if the site is not cleared by February 19.

The landowner, who has been approached for comment, told the council it will resolve the planning breach.

The use of the fields as a scrapyard has caused deep upset among local residents, who say the site has “basically become an industrial site and car breaker yard”.

A dog walker, who did not want to be named due to fears for their safety, claimed there was a “gang of people” running the site.

They told the LDRS: “It makes us feel sick. Before this it was an area where we walked. There are people around who you just have to be careful of.

“You don’t want to be putting cars in nature. We know it’s a breach, but we’re scared to say something.”

The Bucks unitary councillor for Cliveden George Sandy also told the LDRS that the fields needed to be cleared soon.

He said: “I think it is a travesty in so far as that as one approaches the Cliveden estate of the National Trust, what used to be lovely verdant fields has now got a scrapyard building up.”

The site south of Huntswood Lane – where the planning breach has occurred – was recently earmarked for a new six-bedroom home.

In August, the Pegasus Group was granted planning permission for the large property on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

The applicant’s plans for the new housing include the demolition of an existing equestrian building, which is yet to be knocked down.

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