Villagers vote for a plan
PEOPLE in Chalfont St Peter have voted overwhelmingly in favour of having a Neighbourhood Plan.
Eighty-six percent of people backed the ‘Yes’ vote in the Chalfont St Peter Neighbourhood Plan (NP) referendum held on Thursday September 8. More than 1,500 people turned out in a vote designed to determine the future of the village.
Hazel North, parish council planning committee chairman, said: “Chalfont St Peter’s NP is very important at the moment because it must be taken into account by Chiltern District Council’s (CDC) planners who are right now drawing up the 20year Local Plan for the whole district.”
The poll was held to decide on the question: “Do you want CDC to use the NP for Chalfont St Peter to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
The NP aims to give communities more control in planning their local area, but cannot block any developments already part of the local plan.
It was the second referendum held, after the first was quashed by the High Court earlier this year. Villagers voted in favour of the first plan in March 2015, when just over 20 per cent of people turned out and 1,632 people voted in favour.
The outcome was later quashed by the High Court after the judge ruled in favour of an examiner’s report, which said Winkers nightclub should not be designated a community facility. Councillors therefore agreed to hold the second ballot at a cabinet meeting in April, but this time without the inclusion of the nightclub.
Anticipated costs of the poll were expected to be around £10,000 but without any central government funding.
Campaigners have criticised the referendum, saying it is a waste of money and does not justify the effort involved.
Important vote: Chalfont St Peter