Winkers identity causes delay of village plan vote
Neighbours wait for dispute resolution
PEOPLE can vote on a plan which will shape the future of their village once a dispute over its contents has been resolved.
A referendum will be held on the Chalfont St Peter Neighbourhood Plan which can help prevent unwanted building developments, protect the area’s heritage and will become part of Chiltern District Council’s (CDC) core strategy, meaning it will be consulted when future planning applications are considered.
The vote was delayed after Chalfont St Peter Parish Council and CDC clashed with independent examiner Nigel McGurk over whether Winkers nightclub, in Denham Lane, should be identified as a private business or community facility.
The councils argue the nightclub is an important community facility like a village pub or sports club and CDC held a public consultation from October to November to ask people for their views.
The authority is considering responses from the consultation and expects to announce within two weeks whether the plan will go forward to a referendum.
Parish council vicechairman John Hatton, who hopes the referendum will take place before the elections in May, said: “The view of the council is that of the community – Winkers should be a community facility.
STANDING TALL: Alex Rukin, nine
The view of the council is that of the community – Winkers should be a community facility’
“It provides a resource for young people to enjoy themselves and meet other people in a safe and convivial environment.
“The plan provides the views of the community as to how they would like to see their village evolve.
“I think developments are inevitable in the village but the plan seeks to give the involvement in what they should be like and gives people the right to have their view on a number of things including green areas, shop fronts and grass verges.”
The referendum will be held through the ballot box in locations throughout the village.
Parish councillors say the plan will improve consultation among villagers before large developments, such as the proposal of 198 homes and a 75-bedroom care home at the former Holy Cross Convent School, get the go ahead.