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Angry villagers in Helmdon are bitter over plans to build a 10-acre light industrial estate.

They packed the village hall to voice their protests over plans by High Wycombe developers Bulkhead Properties Ltd.

The industrial estate would be in the old British Rail yard on the embankments on the outskirts of Helmdon.

Villager Philip Andrews said: "It would be a nightmare if a 10-acre industrial site came to Helmdon."

There was standing room only at the meeting in the village hall and unanimous opposition to the outline plans.

"If they are given the go-ahead it will cause enormous environmental problems to the village," Mr Andrews said. "It will increase the risk of flooding and the amount of traffic going into the site will damage the road.

"We don't want a light industrial site here - I would think almost everyone in the village is against it."

Mr Colin Webster, of Pattishall, bought the land for his company, Bulkhead Properties Ltd. at a British Rail auction.

He said: "We were given to understand the local authority would give consideration for some village units there.

"It is early days yet so we have not really decided what we will do on the site. But any buildings erected will not be overlooking the village.

"We have not even agreed with the water board to pay towards sorting out the flooding problem," he said.

"As for the traffic, most of it will not need to go near the village because we are on the outskirts.

"Quite frankly I can't see what the problem is. I can understand the villagers' concerns. We are prepared to listen to them but the land has to be developed."

The outline planning application, which is not expected to be considered until December 17, says the plans are to develop a mixed local employment facility including some research and development units.

Mr Keith Goldie, chief planning officer for South Northamptonshire District Council, said: "We can see there will be objections in principle to these plans but we are also charged with the responsibility of doing all we can to foster employment.

"At this stage it would be far too early for us to even try to say which way the application is going to go.

Northampton Chronicle & Echo - 16th November 1987

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