Important stage for local plan
First public consultation on joint development strategy for Chiltern and South Bucks expected in January
Councillors at Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils are being asked to endorse the important ‘issues and options’ document ready for public consultation next month.
This is the first public consultation stage in the joint local plan’s preparation and it includes 12 potential options for distributing new development .
It is a statutory requirement for all local authorities to prepare a local plan. This must set out planning policies in the authority area and will be important when deciding planning applications.
The councils decided to prepare a joint local plan in November 2015, a decision made at both Full Council meetings, partly in response to national objectives to speed up local plan making and the risk of Government intervention for those authorities that fail to meet Government plan-making expectations.
Chiltern District Council’s cabinet member for sustainable development Councillor Peter Martin said: “The joint local plan is an important opportunity to steer future development in the districts. Future growth needs to be planned to ensure that we create the sort of confidence that will help attract major investment and ensure that people living in Chiltern and South Bucks reap the benefits of new business, jobs, affordable housing and other facilities.
“This consultation will give people the chance to help shape the joint local plan by telling us what they think of our ideas, and raise any issues they think need addressing.”
South Bucks District Council’s cabinet member for sustainable development Councillor Nick Naylor said: “The government has recently challenged councils nationally to speed up the preparation of local plans (by early 2017) and although both the Chiltern and South Bucks new local plan timetables were progressing independently, the councils will now be preparing a joint Local Plan.
“This will speed up planmaking, allowing the councils to meet government targets.
“It would also have the least financial impact whilst reflecting both councils’ similarities and geographical differences.”
The issues and options consultation document will go before the cabinets at South Bucks District Council on December 17 and Chiltern District Council on December 22.
If approved, the document will be subject to an eight-week consultation starting mid-January in which members of the public will be able to review the options and supporting evidence on the councils’ websites at www.chiltern. gov.uk and www. southbucks.gov.uk and send in their responses.
There will be two further consultation periods prior to the joint local plan being considered at a public examination in 2017.