Concern Over Cliveden

The planned redevelopment of the Cliveden Estate in Buckinghamshire by the National Trust has come under scrutiny from the local authority after the trust formally announced its plans to build sustainable housing on a derelict plot of land there.

The property was bequeathed inalienably to the National Trust during the Second World War by Lord Astor, and was recently earmarked in South Buckinghamshire’s Local Housing Plan as appropriate for housing.

Consequently the trust has been consulting for three years with local communities, as well as planning and environmental experts on how best to develop the derelict hospital site.

The proposed scheme involves the construction of 191 homes catering for a mix of differing housing needs. It has been confirmed that 20% of the homes will be affordable housing, which is in short supply in the south east.

However, critics say that the land is inappropriate for redevelopment and are accusing the trust of working with commercial developers in its own interests.

Euan Felton, the chairman of the Cliveden Campaign which aims to put a stop to the plans, criticised the trust for being ‘more interested in making money out of the site… rather than staying true to its principles.’ The group also argues that the trust is fostering a ‘Disney-like attitude towards Cliveden’, compromising its founding purposes through such behaviour.

The Campaign is appealing to the National Trust membership to join local people, councils and institutions in opposing this proposal by voting in favour of the Members’ Resolution against the development to be put to the Trust Annual General meeting in November.