At its meeting on 21 October Buckinghamshire Council agreed to the proposal that the local plan, published by the two former district councils, should be withdrawn. It is now intended to be replaced by a new Buckinghamshire Development Plan, which it is hoped could be in place before the end of 2024.

The reasons for this decision, and an analysis of its consequences, are in the report prepared for Buckinghamshire Council’s meeting, a PDF of which is available from the post below.

It is too early to say whether the prospect of a revised plan is potentially helpful to our aim to preserve Little Chalfont’s local green belt site (SP BP6) from development. In the interval before a new plan appears, there is a danger that some opportunistic developers might submit applications to develop sites which the now withdrawn local plan proposed to release from the Green Belt.

We would expect Buckinghamshire Council’s Planning Officers generally to refuse such developments, but developers would then probably appeal against such refusal. The outcome would then depend on the decision of an Appeal Inspector and we can only hope for Inspectors’ decisions which uphold the national planning policy to safeguard land from inappropriate or major development within the Green Belt or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The fact that Buckinghamshire Council is already progressing its own Development Plan could also be a favourable consideration for refusal.

The Coordination Group of the Little Chalfont Parish Council and the Little Chalfont Community Association will continue to monitor all relevant future policy statements, actions and expected legislative changes, and circulate updates and further advice to the community, as and when appropriate.

Little Chalfont Coordination Group                                                    22 October 2020