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Wycombe District Local Plan 'sound' after government inspection

The local plan for Wycombe District is to be formally adopted on Monday, August 19 after a government inspector signed it off as ‘sound’, subject to minor changes.

A housing target of 10,925 homes over the period 2013 to 2033 is included in the plan, a key document required by law setting out the roadmap for sustainable development in the district up to 2033.

It also allocates new sites for housing and economic development and identifies areas which will be protected from expansion.

Once adopted, it will provide the framework to guide planning decisions about where and how development should take place in Wycombe District going forward.

Inspector Nicola Gulley conducted a public examination into the proposed plan put forward by Wycombe District Council (WDC), including a series of public hearings in July and September last year.

The plan is the result of more than five years’ work, including research and consultation with residents across the district.

The main proposals that the council submitted for examination remain unchanged, including some limited release of land from the greenbelt.

Mrs Gulley has not recommended any new sites to be allocated, but has recommended a number of modifications that the council will need to accept in order to formally adopt the plan.

WDC cabinet member for planning Cllr David Johncock (Con, Flackwell Heath and Little Marlow) said: “The new local plan has been a very long time in the making. I would like to thank all the key stakeholders and people who have responded to the consultations.

“They perhaps don’t think so, but their contributions have helped to shape the final draft. That so few major changes have been proposed also demonstrates the professional manner in which our planning officers have undertaken this work.”

He added: "The next stage of the process is to have the plan formally adopted by the council and this is planned for August 19.

“Assuming that the council does indeed adopt the plan, it will mean that we all have a clear vision and a way forward to help us manage and deliver sustainable development.

“It will mean that we can manage what is built where instead of being subjected to speculative developments which rarely puts housing where it is most appropriate and certainly contributes little to the infrastructure needs.

"I am conscious that preparing our new local plan has involved making some difficult decisions about where development goes which will directly affect many local communities.

“However, I strongly believe that we found a fair and objective compromise which has certainly stood up to detailed scrutiny.

“I am personally committed to ensuring that new development in our district is not only of a high quality and but also delivers the necessary infrastructure – that is what our local plan seeks to do and that’s what we now need to deliver."

The plan will automatically be carried forward into the new Buckinghamshire Council when it is formed in April 2020.

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