I have been approached by a number of constituents about the Wycombe District Local Plan and the recent consultation.
As you might be aware, the Plan sets out future plans for housing, employment and infrastructure across the District. The Local Authority has a statutory responsibility to complete such a Plan in line with Government requirements.
I am, of course, sensitive to the concerns of residents who might be impacted by increases in the numbers of houses in and around their towns and villages. The reality of the situation, however, is that there is a critical need for new housing, right across the country.
It would be nigh on impossible for any Council to produce a framework which enjoys unanimous support while, at the same time, meeting its statutory requirements. What Wycombe District Council has sought to do is produce a Plan which is as reasonable as possible, sensitive to competing demands and pressures.
I have made a conscious decision not to involve myself in the development of the plan. Given its importance, I genuinely think that it should be determined by the Local Authority which has a statutory role as well as the residents it directly affects. I am not going to be ‘taking sides’ as I prefer to see what the consultation process produces.
The consultation closes on 8th August after which responses will be considered and a refined Plan will be submitted to the independent Planning Inspectorate for scrutiny. Naturally, I will monitor developments closely.