Buckinghamshire village backs parish plan for second time after nightclub row

Residents of a Buckinghamshire village have voted in favour of a neighbourhood plan for a second time after a High Court judgement had quashed the result of a referendum held last year.

Chalfont St Peter (picture: Bikeboy, Geograph)
Chalfont St Peter (picture: Bikeboy, Geograph)

In a referendum held yesterday, an amended neighbourhood plan for Chalfont St Peter was backed by 86.6 per cent of residents on a turnout of 16 per cent.

The referendum followed a High Court judgement earlier this year, which had quashed the result of a referendum held in March 2015, in which 79 per cent of voters had voted in favour of a neighbourhood plan, on a turnout of 21 per cent.

Following last year's referendum, but before the plan could be adopted, a legal challenge was made by the owners of a nightclub, who objected to the inclusion of the building in a list of facilities to be protected by the neighbourhood plan.

The inclusion of Winkers Nightclub in the plan came despite an examiner's report recommending that the nightclub should be removed from a neighbourhood plan policy seeking to protect existing community facilities.

Examiner Nigel McGurk held that "evidence has been provided to demonstrate that this is a private facility, rather than a community facility". But the council decided, following a local consultation, to disgree with the examiner's recommendation and put the plan to a referendum.

According to Chiltern District Council, the High Court's January 2016 judgement quashed its decision in relation to the nightclub, and also meant that the March 2015 referendum was quashed.

Given the legal judgement, it was necessary to remove the references to Winkers Nightclub from the neighbourhood plan and for the revised document to be put to a referendum, according to the council.

Earlier this year, Chiltern District Council approved plans to demolish the nightclub building to make way for four two storey homes, according to local press reports.

Other referendum results from 8 September 2016:

- Residents of Lavenham (Babergh) have backed a neighbourhood plan, with 91 per cent voting in favour on a turnout of 36.2 per cent.

- Residents of East Bergholt (Babergh) have voted in favour of a neighbourhood plan, with 94.7 per cent voting in favour on a turnout of 51.2 per cent. 

- A neighbourhood plan for Wye (Ashford) has been backed in a local referendum, with 94.7 per cent of votes cast in favour on a turnout of 43.7 per cent.

- A neighbourhood plan for Wollaston (Wellingborough) has been endorsed by residents in a local poll. Seventy-six per cent voted in favour on a 25 per cent turnout.

- A neighbourhood plan for Eardisland (Herefordshire) has been backed in a local referendum, with 86.3 per cent of votes cast in favour on a 43.2 per cent turnout.


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