AVDC’s Local Plan – How can you have your say!

We all may have an opportunity to influence the AVDC planning process for the better. If all goes according to plan, AVDC should publish their updated local plan for our area by the end of June 2017, and this should be available on their website .

In the last version of the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan it had been proposed to lift the green belt classification from RAF Halton main site. If this were to go ahead it would allow planning for many more houses on the site than would be currently allowed.

If AVDC continue to propose this in this latest version, then WE will all have the opportunity and need to voice our objections during the six-week consultation period. This will mean that when the AVDC Local Plan is reviewed by the inspector they will have to explain what objections they have received, and what they have done about it.

Obviously keeping the Green Belt classification will reduce the number of houses built on the site (only allowing a relatively low density of housing) and keep an open feel to the area. This would benefit the whole area and not just Halton, Wendover, Aston Clinton and Weston Turville.

The three technical reasons for objecting to the reclassification of Green Belt land within the Camp area are:

  1. Under the rules there must be exceptional circumstances apparent to justify the reclassification. Developing a Local Plan is not enough, wanting to build more houses is not sufficient, helping the Defence Infrastructure Organisation make more money from selling the land is not an exceptional circumstance. So, there are NO exceptional circumstances existing to justify this change.
  2. The proposal by AVDC has totally ignored the setting of this plot of land and its importance both to the local landscape, its environment and the historical context. The plot of land contains part of the AONB and this classification serves as a controlling buffer zone to maintain the setting of the Chilterns AONB. The proposal also ignores Halton House and its park land setting completely.
  3. The current analysis of how the site fails to meet the NPPF criteria is incorrect and full of errors and speculative figures. They have said the plot is industrialised – everyone who visits the area of the site say that it feels open and green. The analysis that 52% of the site is already built upon is completely wrong – viewing the parcel of land they are referring to, woodland accounts for approximately 40% and using a DEFRA definition, and map, the built-up area is approximately 25%, the remaining area is open space or listed buildings. It would appear that the analysis has been written independently for AVDC and devoid of any real analysis of facts, basing any report on a ‘goal seeking’ basis – trying to justify why the Green Belt status should be lifted so the DIO can sell the land for as much money as possible without regard to the immediate area and its surroundings.

We would urge everyone to review and respond to the Local Plan when it is released, if you see anything at all you don’t like or do not understand, then please log a response to the consultation, your views need to be lodged and registered.

This will mean AVDC will be forced to explain their plans to the Inspector, and how they are addressing any of the issues raised.

AVDC’s position and their decisions will impact all of us both in Wendover and in Halton over the next ten years.

You should, and you need to, have your say.

Brian Thompson

Written by: 35