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Council agreed to the proposal that the local plan, published by the two former district councils, should be withdrawn.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appears, there is a danger that some opportunistic developers might submit applications to develop sites which the now withdrawn local plan proposed to release from the Green Belt.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
At its meeting on 21 October Buckinghamshire Council will consider a proposal that the local plan published by the two former district councils should be withdrawn, and replaced by material in the new Buckinghamshire Local Plan, which it is hoped to produce by 2024.
The reasons for this proposal, and an analysis of the consequences, are in the attached report (PDF) prepared for Buckinghamshire Council’s meeting by the council officers.
Once a decision is taken, the coordination group of the parish council and the community association will consider the consequences for our campaign to protect Little Chalfont’s Green Belt land threatened by development, and prepare advice for the community.
From recent enquiries it would seem that resolving the Duty to Cooperate matter, covered in the news item below on 15 May, could still be some weeks or even months away. Buckinghamshire Council (the council) has still not submitted its full response to the Examination in Public (EiP) inspectors and there is no indication of when this will take place.
The remainder of the EiP cannot proceed until this issue has been decided and a request from the council for this to be dealt with at a hearing session (as opposed to a virtual meeting), has been agreed by the Inspectors. When such gatherings will again be permitted under the covid-19 pandemic is unknown and could well delay matters further.
Although the Local Plan for Three Rivers District Council has not yet been adopted, developers have submitted two applications for the development of land east of Green Street, one for 800 houses and an alternative for 300. The deadline for objections was 1 August.
The additional traffic on the A404 from either of these applications, if approved, would seriously increase traffic flows through Little Chalfont, and would exacerbate already very difficult queuing problems at Dog Kennel Lane and the approach to the M25.
A transcript of the Parish Council’s objection is available to read from the Key Documents tab of this website.
Although the Examination in Public has still to be re-arranged, the Planning Inspectors have reviewed the Council’s Duty to Co-operate with other local authorities when preparing the draft Local Plan. The Inspectors have written to Buckinghamshire Council to advise that it is their conclusion that the procedures required in regard to the Duty to Co-operate with Slough Borough Council have not been correctly followed. Unless the Council can demonstrate otherwise, the Inspectors cannot consider the Local Plan to be compliant and there is a strong likelihood that the Council will have to withdraw it.
A copy of the Inspectors’ letter to the council can be found here.
A copy of the Council’s initial response can be found here.
We will continue to update our site to keep you informed of new developments…
Stage 1 of the EiP has been postponed – it was due to commence on 17 March – due to Coronavirus.
Stage 1 considers legal, procedural and strategic issues including the spatial strategy, distribution of growth, housing and employment needs and the principle of changes to green belt boundaries – it will not cover individual site allocations.
In Stage 1, the Inspectors were to deal with Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils, however those councils will be abolished on 31 March. Stage 2 will not begin before May, after formation of the new, unitary, Buckinghamshire Council.
The examination of the Plan will then continue with the new unitary council. Stage 2 of the EiP will deal with outstanding matters, including the site allocations, probably in May and June – as soon as dates are know they will be published on this website…
The two Planning Inspectors who will undertake the Examination in Public (EiP) have been appointed. They are Matthew Birkinshaw BA(Hons) Msc MRTPI and David Troy BSc (Hons) MA MRTPI.
They have written to Chiltern & South Bucks Councils to seek a lot of additional information, before they can even consider the dates for the EiP hearing. The latest information available is that, instead of the hearings sessions starting in December 2019, as originally envisaged, they may not commence until the 2nd quarter of 2020.
When the dates are announced, they will be posted on this news page.
The joint response to the Consultation on the Chiltern and South Bucks Draft Local Plan has today (19 August 2019) been submitted to the councils for presentation to the Planning Inspector at the Examination in Public – the date of which has yet to be announced.
A copy of the Joint Representation, together with copies of the accompanying reports from independent consultants are available to read from the Key Documents page.
Chiltern & South Bucks councils have extended the closing date for the Local Consultation to Friday 23 August.
If you have not already sent in your response, this will give you more time but, as nothing has changed regarding the Draft Plan itself or the guidance supplied by the Coordination Group in its leaflet, it is recommended that you go ahead with your response, as soon as you are ready!
The Coordination Group has published the first draft of the response it will make to the Examination in Public.
Please be aware that it is yet to be submitted and that minor changes or additions may be made.
You may wish to include some of the points made when preparing your own response. To view the draft, as well as a guide to preparing a response, click here.