This article was published in May 2012. Please see News & Campaigns for more recent information.

Edlesborough Parish Council
Neighbourhood Plan Update May 2012

You will recall from the previous newsletter, that it was the Council's intention to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish. This was going to be based on the findings of the Edlesborough Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan Survey carried out last November.

The Survey identified that the majority of parishioners that responded favoured no more than 10 new dwellings in each of the three villages over the next 20 years, that individual developments should not exceed 5 houses and that the preferred type of house should include bungalows suitable for elderly residents wishing to downsize but remain in the Parish.

The Council has recently discussed its intention to develop a Neighbourhood Plan with the Local Planning Authority (AVDC). They advised us that whilst we are entitled to develop such a plan under the new Localism Bill, it would be a very costly exercise - somewhere between £17,000 and £63,000, but most probably in the order of £20,000. We have investigated the feasibility of updating the Parish Plan to include the results of the Neighbourhood Plan Survey, but we are advised that would carry very little 'weight' in planning terms.

The Survey also identified some of the infrastructure improvements that residents would like to see in the Parish. We are informed that unless we are prepared to accept significant new development that could provide the funding for those improvements, nothing much is likely to change. The very limited amount of development that the majority wish to see in the Parish over the next 20 years means that the objective of a Neighbourhood Plan would effectively be to limit and shape whatever growth is imposed on us by the new Vale of Aylesbury Plan. The Local Planning Authority's perception of a Neighbourhood Plan is that it should facilitate growth, whereas our Plan would be to limit growth.

Until the new Vale of Aylesbury Plan starts to emerge, we won't know how much regard it gives to the findings of the Edlesborough Neighbourhood Plan Survey. If it affords the desired level of protection against future development in the Parish, then there is little point in committing to the expense of a Neighbourhood Plan. Consequently at the April 2012 meeting of the full Parish Council, it was agreed to put any further work on the Neighbourhood Plan on hold until a draft of the Vale of Aylesbury Plan is published.

Once we know the contents of the Vale of Aylesbury Plan, we will review its implications on the Parish and then make a decision on whether or not to recommend proceeding with a Neighbourhood Plan. If we recommend proceeding with a plan, we will consult further with parishioners to ensure that there is sufficient support for the expense involved and that such a plan would be likely to be approved at the subsequent obligatory local referendum.

Edlesborough Parish Council
5th May 2012