Councillors have voted in favour of withdrawal of the Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire Local Plan.

Buckinghamshire Council convened in a full meeting on Wednesday, October 21, and wrangled for the better part of an hour before determining it would scrap the policy.

The news was welcomed by the Beaconsfield Society, who have campaigned against the plan in a bid to save the Green Belt

They said: “Years of fighting and thousands of hours of work over five years and millions wasted on a plan doomed from the get-go.

“To everyone who came along to our communications evening when you heard we would never win – well we did.”

When it came time to cast its ballot, members voted 165 in favour of the withdrawal, with two abstentions – Cllrs John Read and Richard Scott.

Council Leader Martin Tett voted in favour.

READ MORE: Council wrangles with decision to withdraw Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan

The outcome will affect all wards in the Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire area.

Bucks Free Press:

Influencing its decision was the relative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Government’s “Planning for the Future” White Paper, which details planning reforms in England.

Also driving its decision was a disagreement over the Planning Inspectors’ findings, which determined legacy councils “had not cooperated with Slough Borough Council to identify sites in the plan for meeting some of Slough’s housing needs, which would otherwise not be met”.

Buckinghamshire Council felt withdrawal could “potentially save significant abortive costs” and that the “time is right” for a new Local Plan.

Councillors were permitted to pose queries about the motion to the cabinet member for planning and enforcement, Cllr Warren Whyte.

Cllr Robin Stuchbury asked if this will impact the Aylesbury Vale Local Plan (VALP).

Cllr Whyte said it would not. Adding: “We would wish to conclude the VALP as soon as possible but it’s in the Planning Inspectors’ hands.”

Cllr Peter Jones said the motion gave the Conservative Party a chance to “stand by” a 2015 obligation to preserve the Green Belt.

READ MORE: Buckinghamshire Council could scrap the Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan

The council has acknowledged withdrawal may put short-term pressure on housing land supplies, but it will be “mitigated by the fact that 87.5 per cent of the CSB Plan area is within the Green Belt and 43 per cent in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which offers it a significant degree of protection”.

Cllr George Sandy demanded all votes recorded carry councillor’s names. Cllr Dev Dhillon agreed. His request was approved.

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