The Monday Photo
On a lane junction between Dunton and Stewkley is a circular spinney. Right on the edge of the spinney is a white painted piece of concrete in the shape of Concorde
Concorde was the loudest, fastest passenger aircraft half a century ago, and this spot marks the centre of the site where a third airport for London was then planned to be built. It would have changed North Buckinghamshire forever.
If these plans had come to fruition, North Bucks would have been a far less pleasant place to live, but a hard two and a half year battle against the proposals by the Wing Airport Resistance Association resulted in success, fifty years ago today.
Under the Flight Path
If the ideas on a 1970 map of proposals for the airport had come to pass, the villages of Cublington, Soulbury, and Stewkley would be gone. They’d be buried under twenty square miles of an airport more than six miles long by three wide, lying diagonally across North Bucks.
Whitchurch and its surrounding villages would be close to and more in less in line with the runways on the end of the airport, on the South East end. It would have been the same story for Stoke Hammond, in the North East.
The town that’s now Milton Keynes would have been far bigger, extending from its present footprint far enough South East to swallow Winslow.
A feeder motorway for the airport from what would eventually be the M25 was planned. There were various routes, but one route would have taken it a few miles to the East of Aylesbury.
An engraved stone in the spinney says:
This spinney was planted in 1972 by the
Buckinghamshire County Council in gratitude
to all those who supported the campaign
against the recommendation that London’s
third airport should be at Cublington.
Parish councils, organisations, societies
and many individuals contributed towards
the cost of the spinney.
This point is the centre of the area proposed
for the airport.
Midmost unmitigated England.”
I particularly like the last line.
Unfortunately North Bucks is under threat again, as there are plans to build a million new homes in a huge “arc” between Oxford and Cambridge.
We are in the middle of this arc and if it goes ahead, we can look forward to the number of houses in this area being increased by two thirds over what we have already by 2050. That’s four times the projected increase in population of the UK.
If this happens, the quality of life for the residents of North Bucks would fall like a stone. If you feel strongly enough to do something to present this, please contact NEG - Stop The Arc and Let's keep this part of the world as "Midmost Unmitigated England".