The new Buckinghamshire Council voted overwhelmingly to withdraw the proposed Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan.
For well over a year this is something that we have been campaigning for. I wrote a comprehensive letter in response to the public consultation last year and I wrote an open letter to the Council which I got signed by a number of other groups, councillors and one MP (Joy Morrisey), calling for the Plan to be withdrawn. We got some coverage in the local press, including a half page spread on one occasion!
This is a major success story. It is very rare for a Council to be forced to withdraw a Local Plan. It means that all of our Green Belt (and bits of the AONB) continue to be protected for some years to come and it has avoided some major implications for the environment (the Plan admitted to about 20% increase in carbon emissions if it had been implemented). I cannot claim that CPRE Bucks are solely responsible, we had a lot of help from other groups who did their bit, the Government Inspectors too, not to mention the impact of Covid (!!), but we did play a leading part in the campaign.
Obviously this is not the end of the story. Now the new Unitary Council has to replace it with something, so we must continue to campaign and work to ensure that the new plan is much better than the old one. But it does show that we can achieve things – something many people accuse us of not being able to do.
Trustee and Head of Planning