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VALP Meeting

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Were you unable to attend the extremely important meeting held last evening (Thursday 28th July) at which the Vale of Aylesbury Plan was discussed? If not, here is a summary of how it went, kindly provided by Steve Sharp.

VALP (Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan) meeting — Village Hall Thursday 27 July

The meeting was convened by Haddenham Parish Council, liaising with Haddenham Village Society who had been planning a separate meeting. The meeting was chaired by David Truesdale, Vice-Chair of the Parish Council and Chair of its Planning Committee. Also on the platform were Haddenham's three District Councillors (Judy Brandis, Brian Foster and Michael Edmonds), Tracey Aldworth (AVDC Director of Planning) and Roderick Floud (Chair of Haddenham Village Society).

202 people attended, in addition to the platform party and organisers.

The agenda had been circulated, including a list of issues raised by residents at the AVDC Roadshow on 11th July, together with an outline map of the location of major proposals in the VALP.

The Chair, having established that many present had attended the AVDC Roadshow, made a brief presentation of the background to the need for AVDC to develop a Local Plan for submission to Government by Spring 2017, and its main proposals as they could affect Haddenham. To avoid imposition of a Plan by central government, AVDC was consulting now, with a closing date of 5th September, on a draft Plan. All responses would be considered before AVDC prepares a submission Plan in January 2017.

Roderick Floud spoke on behalf of the Village Society and explained some serious reservations about the draft Plan. These included challenging details of the duty to co-operate, net migration forecasts, the capacity of the north of the Vale to take a new settlement and the impact of Brexit on the ability of the market to deliver large numbers of buildings. He questioned, as did others later in the meeting, the robustness of the AVDC response to need from Wycombe and Chiltern/South Bucks to pass on housing need to AVDC.

Each District Councillor made a short statement, including reference to the AVDC committee structure, membership and decision making arrangements. Judy Brandis said she had raised the question of why any new settlement was not proposed for 'the northern powerhouse' nearer Milton Keynes.

The issues listed from the Roadshow were:

  • The duty to co-operate with neighbouring Councils
  • The combined impact of growth proposals by different authorities (in respect of Thame, Princes Risborough,Bicester, Chalgrove, TWA reservoir)
  • Highway infrastructure (including during HS2 constructioon)Rail infrastructure
  • Loss of high grade agricultural land.
  • Heritage
  • Relationship with Thame. Competition with Aylesbury for employment
  • Deliverability

Comments and questions then took place. A full account (in draft) is available on the Parish Council website or can be read by clicking on the PDF document below the images on this page.

At 9.20pm the Chair summed up and invited each District Councillor to comment. They all expressed opposition to the present draft VALP and encouraged everyone to respond to the consultation within the deadline.

The meeting closed at 9.35pm

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