Delayed Bucks neighbourhood plan passes examination

A neighbourhood plan that was held up following a legal threat has passed examination and will go to the public vote next month.

Winslow, Bucks. Pic: lutmans, Flickr
Winslow, Bucks. Pic: lutmans, Flickr

The examination of the draft Winslow neighbourhood plan, covering a town in Aylesbury Vale District Council's area in Buckinghamshire, was due to take place in February.

But developer Gladman submitted a legal objection, arguing that the neighbourhood plan is based on housing numbers in an emerging local plan that has been withdrawn by Aylesbury Vale District Council after being declared unsound.

At the time, the neighbourhood plan’s examiner, Nigel McGurk, said the examination should be delayed until a decision on a judicial review of a decision to let a neighbourhood plan in Cheshire proceed to referendum, where similar arguments had been raised by a two housebuilders, was concluded.

That challenge was thrown out by the High Court in May.

In April, before the Tattenhall decision was announced, Aylesbury Vale Council announced that McGurk had decided that the Winslow examination should proceed.

According to the authority, McGurk was satisfied that the government’s Planning Practice Guidance had clarified the issue of the relationship between a draft neighbourhood plan and an emerging local plan.

The draft Winslow plan allocates five sites for 455 new homes in the plan period up to 2031. 

In his report, McGurk said he was satisfied that the document meets the basic conditions of the neighbourhood planning regulations, subject to a series of recommendations.

In his conclusion, he wrote: "The Winslow Neighbourhood Plan is the result of a significant and sustained community effort over a number of years.

"It is a clear and distinctive Neighbourhood Plan, founded upon community consultation and which provides for the sustainable growth of Winslow."

Aylesbury Vale District Council planning officers have accepted McGurk’s recommendations and decided that a referendum for the town will take place on 24 July.

More details on the plan’s examination can be found here

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