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Princes Risborough's expansion to go ahead

Princes Risborough's expansion to go ahead

Published by Dan Gooding at 12:23pm 22nd August 2019.

Princes Risborough's huge expansion will go ahead, after the district council signed off on its local plan.

The town could nearly double in size by 2033 under Wycombe's proposals, which have taken five years to draw up and get approved.

The Local Plan is a key strategic document required by law which puts a framework in place which will be used to determine planning decisions and becomes effective immediately.  

The vote followed a recommendation to approve the plan from WDC's Cabinet.

Wycombe District's Local Plan sets a target for the number of new homes to be built in the District, and allocates the sites where the new housing will go.

In addition it sets out sites for economic development and identifies the areas in the District which will be protected from development.

Key elements of the local plan include:

  • a housing target for Wycombe District of 10,925 homes from 2013 up to 2033
  • the major expansion of Princes Risborough
  • a number of sites allocated for housing or employment development, including some limited release of land from the Green Belt
princes risborough
Princes Risborough could nearly double in size

Wycombe Cabinet Member for Planning and Sustainability, Cllr David Johncock, said:

"The Plan gives us a strong framework to secure quality development and infrastructure.

"We will work with our communities to achieve this, particularly on the major new sites in the Plan such as Hollands Farm at Bourne End and Amersham Road, Hazlemere.

"We have already started this work for the Princes Risborough Expansion Area through the recently published draft Planning Guidance.

"Now that the Council has adopted the Plan, there is a clear vision and a way forward. The Local Plan means that we can manage developments in a way that we find acceptable.

"It will mean that we can manage not only what is built, but also where it can be built. It puts us in charge of our future rather than speculative developers.

"Yes, there are some local residents still not happy with the outcome but I believe that we found a fair and justifiable compromise solution to our needs for housing and the Inspector largely agreed that view."

The new Local Plan is the result of more than five years' work including detailed technical research and extensive consultation and involvement with local residents across Wycombe District.

During the process the planning team received well over 5,000 comments and has had numerous face to face community meetings and events involving many hundreds of people right across the District.

At the Council meeting on Tuesday night Cllr Johncock thanked everyone for all their valuable contributions during the whole process.

As well as extensive community input into the draft document, the local plan was also subjected to independent scrutiny by a government appointed inspector, Mrs Nicola Gulley.

She conducted a series of public hearings in July and September last year as part of her public examination into the Local Plan which Wycombe District Council was proposing.

Members of the public, developers and key stakeholders presented their evidence to her in person.

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