Proposals show significant changes planned for town
Need to engage local people to ensure the character of Beaconsfield is preserved
The Beaconsfield Society and Beaconsfield Old Town Residents’ Association have come together with other civic leaders to form Local Plan Watch in order to help with responses to the Emerging Local Plan, a document put together by South Bucks and Chiltern District Councils which could determine how development takes place in the two districts over the next 20 years.
An initial consultation, which is taking place at the moment will be followed up with a further consultation later in 2016, and adoption of the final plan in 2018.
Emails to local community group members have been sent out detailing what is known about the process and to invite them to attend a meeting, set to take place at Beaconsfield Town Hall on Friday, February 5 at 7.30pm.
Alison Wheelhouse from the Beaconsfield Society said: “Since the consultation was opened up, the timeline to get evidence based feedback into the process is really challenging - just eight weeks.
“We have a challenge ahead to both engage local people and to get them to understand the full impact of what has been announced in this consultation. Beaconsfield faces some significant changes because of current proposals.”
She added: “We want to work with the local bodies involved to make sure Beaconsfield gets a fair CHESHAM and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan visited Chiltern Open Air Museum in Chalfont St Giles recently.
As a long-standing patron she was keen to see the work that took place over winter, which included replacing the floor and rebuilding a daub oven in the Iron Age roundhouse, and to show her support for the Museum’s hard-working team of volunteers.
The new oven will be used in school workshops to demonstrate how people cooked in the past, and Cheryl enjoyed getting into the spirit of things by dressing up as an Iron Age lady.
Mrs Gillan also met Beverley and Crystal, the two Old English goats who moved to the museum a few months ago, and took them for a walk around the Village Green.
She also fed the two cows in their winter home among the historic farmyard buildings, and was introduced to the Wellhead water spirits who speak when visitors roll gold coins into the well.
The Water Spirits were installed thanks to a Catalyst grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and have been instrumental in raising additional much needed funds for the museum’s running costs. crack of the whip and the character of Beaconsfield is preserved and the green belt protected.”
The community organisations have set up a Local Plan Watch Group which is investigating the process so far and reviewing all the materials currently provided.
It is researching some elements and asking questions of planning teams to fully understand and explaining how the plan has been pulled together so far and it is likely to develop.
It is in the process of setting up a mailing list in order to keep people and businesses in the town up to speed on the issues.
A spokesman for BOTRA added: “This plan seems to suggesting a vast amount of green belt land being released for housing development surrounding the Old Town in particular and that will lead to dramatic changes and enormous strains on local infrastructure.”
The consultation lasts until March 14, and more information on the local plan can be found by going to www. so u t h b u c k s . g o v. u k / p l ann in g / localplan2014-2036.