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Bucks local plan thrown out at council meeting

A local plan in Bucks was withdrawn at a meeting this week, with a view to creating one for the entire county.

Councillors decided that the draft Chiltern and South Bucks (CSB) Local Plan should be thrown out at a Bucks Council meeting on Wednesday.

The plan – which covered areas including Burnham and Iver – set out sites for development in the old district council areas.

The county has since become a unitary authority.

Buckinghamshire Council inherited the CSB plan in April, and cited recent planning inspector comments, the impact of COVID-19 and the new Government White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ as reasons for its withdrawal.

Inspectors also felt that CSB had not co-operated enough with Slough Borough Council to identify sites for meeting some of their housing needs, something Bucks Council has disagreed with.

Cllr Warren Whyte, Bucks Council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “The impact of COVID-19 has been considerable and brought significant changes to how and where we work, future shopping needs and our town centres.

“All this will need careful consideration, and our strategy for addressing these issues should now be incorporated into the new Buckinghamshire Local Plan.”

Bucks Council leader Cllr Martin Tett told the Express earlier this week: “We think the best thing to do now, rather than arguing about the past, is develop a new plan for the whole of Bucks.”

Cllr Whyte added that while the withdrawal of the plan may cause concern about housing land supply in the short term, he hoped this would be ‘mitigated by the fact that 87.5 per cent of the plan area is within the greenbelt - and 43 per cent in the Chilterns AONB, which offers it a significant degree of protection.’

Bucks Council says that work has started on the new local plan for the whole of the area, which will respond to the Government’s planning reforms, identifying areas for growth, renewal and protection.

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