Soulbury parish councillors call foul on rushed planning approval

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Photograph courtesy of Google Maps

The parish council in Soulbury near Leighton Buzzard is fighting plans to build a house in part of the village pub’s car park.

Buckinghamshire County Council approved the development at the rear of The Boot on the High Road, eight weeks after the application from Punch Taverns was received.

Vic Wright, the Chair of the Soulbury Parish Council, said the decision was made in record time despite objections from the parish council and local MPs.

Vic said: “The Boot public house is registered as a village asset and as such the land should be offered to the village to buy. “It should have been called into a council planning meeting as has happened in previous applications.

“This planning application has been passed in record time. The county council has 302 planning applications “Waiting a decision” – some have been in the queue for 12 months and are a lot less controversial and easier to pass or fail.

Vic said the Buckingham MP Greg Smith has raised a complaint on his behalf. It is being looked at internally by a senior planning officer, but he wants somebody from outside to scrutinise it.

In his letter to the council Vic said: “Dear Sirs We are rather alarmed at the decision to build behind the The Boot Public House in Soulbury and ask for the reasons and rationale for the development being passed by Planning and the speed this was executed. The Boot Public house is registered as a Village asset. How can a large part of the land be sold off for housing without the Parish Council being offered it. If this is not required what is the point of making a building and land a Village asset?”