A new name for Slave Hill?
Published: 03 July 2020
In light of the recent Black Lives Matter Campaign the Parish Council and Buckinghamshire Council have been approached by residents concerned that the street name Slave Hill is inappropriate and asking about the origins of the name.
The houses on Slave Hill were built by Leslie Bilsby Developments in the mid-1970s as part of The Meadows development. It is usual practice that the Parish Council is asked to come up with suggestions for new street names, and in looking for suggestions it generally refers to the old maps of the village for names of historical significance. In this instance the proposal of Slave Hill came from a Councillor who recollected that the field on which the houses were to be built was locally known as Slave Hill because the field was hard to work due to the large number of stones on the site.
In the years since the houses were built many have puzzled over the use of the name and to some it has never seemed appropriate. Now Buckinghamshire Council has decided to give the residents who live there the opportunity to decide whether to change the name. This is something that is rarely done and needs careful consideration, particularly having regard to the costs and inconvenience caused.
The Parish Council has been asked to come up with a new name that could be used instead of Slave Hill, so we asked local historian Alan Rose to take a look at the 1820 map of the village which shows the local allotments and furlongs. This map has been the reference for several new street names in recent years. The land on which Slave Hill was built partially falls within Shipton Furlong, so at the Planning Committee meeting held on Monday 29th June it was agreed to propose this as the new name. Buckinghamshire Council has confirmed that it will offer a single alternative name, has checked the Aylesbury Vale street name records to ensure there would be no confusion with any existing names, and confirmed that the name is acceptable.
So what happens next? All owners of Slave Hill properties will receive a letter from Buckinghamshire Council explaining the proposal and the process required for changing the street name. If 20% or less (8 houses) object to the change then the legal process through a Section 18 notice can start. This would all take about 2 months, and If agreed the name would be changed in September at which point the new street name plates can be ordered to replace the old ones. Buckinghamshire Council will be able to help home owners with some practicalities of the change such as notifying the postal service and Land Registry, but other changes will have to be the responsibility of the home owner.