A petition of nearly 1,800 signatures was presented to Chiltern District Council last night concerning proposals to develop 900 new homes in Chesham.

The signatures were gathered by the Brown Not Green campaign after a new Local Plan emerged, which aimed to develop properties on green belt land.

If the developments go ahead, up to 60 hectares could be removed from the land at a hamlet called Lye Green, North East of Chesham.

The proposals, prepared by South Bucks and Chiltern District Council , come as part of the 20-year housebuilding scheme known as the Local Plan.

However, Lye Green residents fear the plans will result in a loss of identity for their community , as the area would become absorbed within Greater Chesham.

Members of the campaign, who gathered 1,764 signatures, also predicted there would be a 400% increase in traffic if the proposals go ahead.

Phillip Plato, 57, of campaign group Brown Not Green campaign, said it would be detrimental to Chesham.

Mr Plato, of Lye Green, said: “These houses will overshadow our area and will also threaten other nearby communities.

“There's a strong sense of outrage about the proposals because central government's guidance is brown first, green field is the last thing to be considered – and this has been turned around on its head.

“The evidence based upon which they've made these proposals is flawed – there’s no way Chesham can take 900 houses or 30% of the housing needs for both districts.”

The petition is presented to Chairman of the Council, Mimi Harker

In the meeting, Councillor Peter Jones also put forward his concerns to Paradigm Housing Group, one of the South East's biggest housing providers.

He said: “What concerns many residents is that all the house building in the district doesn't seem to come with any infrastructure improvements.

“Things like better roads, more schools and heath centres. Can you help us get the better infrastructure that all this housing is going to need?”

Matthew Bailes, Chief Executive of Paradigm, responded by saying the government needed to do more to help.

He said: “That's one of the greatest challenges, particularly for major developments.

“I think everyone needs to have a voice and say the government needs to join up on this better with the various agencies to support development, rather than providing infrastructure after the homes are built.

Paradigm Housing Group last night put forward their idea to take advantage of disused Brown Field sites.

It was suggested that old garages, which are often too small to fit a modern car inside, could be taken down and replaced with new housing in the area.

Councillors suggest it may be as late as summer or autumn when the future of the Local Plan is announced.