Aylesbury Vale Area

VALP Proposed Submission

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VALP Proposed Submission

D-WIN001 Land to east of B4033, Great Horwood Road

Representation ID: 127

Received: 08/12/2017

Respondent: Yes 4 Winslow

Agent: Mr Victor Otter

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

Where "made" Neighbourhood Plans (NPs) are part of the development plan, the allocation of sites for housing should be determined by local residents through the mechanism of their NP.

The Local Plan (LP) should not impose such sites - there should be a greater degree of partnership/co-operation between LP and NP.

A specific example of this is in the site allocation for Winslow at para 4.140. But the general site allocation policies at 4.120 and 4.121 are inappropriate in an LP.

Full text:

This policy (and those in 4.120 and 4.121) is unsound because it is:
a) Inconsistent with National Policy
b) Unjustified
c) Ineffective

My views in support of these assertions are as follows:

While the Local Plan (LP) should address issues which are wider than those contained in Neighbourhood Plans (NPs) (e.g. major transport links, other infrastructure matters, total number of houses required across the whole district) it should not impose the specific sites on which houses are built - that should be a matter for the Neighbourhood Plan to determine. It would be acceptable for the LP to make recommendations about suitable sites, but the decision should be made at NP level - by the people who have to live with the consequences of such decisions.

In his foreword to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) the then Planning Minister, Greg Clark, stated "This should be a collective enterprise. Yet, in recent years, planning has tended to exclude, rather than to include, people and communities. In part, this has been a result of targets being imposed, and decisions taken, by bodies remote from them. Dismantling the unaccountable regional apparatus and introducing neighbourhood planning addresses this."

NPPF section 183 states "Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and deliver the sustainable development they need."

So this part of the LP is inconsistent with National Policy.

This level of prescription by the LP is unjustified - indeed, an earlier version of the draft VALP included a co-operative approach with NPs on the determination of suitable sites.
(Paragraph 1.27 of the Draft VALP July 2016 stated "Rather than impose sites on settlements with neighbourhood plans to meet these figures, the council will work with town and parish councils to identify sites which can be allocated through revisions to their neighbourhood plans.")

It will be ineffective - if local residents believe that unsuitable sites have been imposed upon them by the LP, then there will be significant levels of objections to planning applications proposed on such sites - thereby slowing down the delivery of housing; that will not be the case if sites are determined by residents through their NP.

The general site allocation policies at 4.120 and 4.121 are inappropriate in an LP. A specific example of this is in the site allocation for Winslow at para 4.140 - a site which isn't even within the current Settlement Boundary contained in the WNP - which is clearly in conflict with the Spatial Strategy of the "made" WNP.

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