Vil­lagers vote for a plan

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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

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