Future plan for district should be put on hold
Archived press release
Date Published: 27/07/10
Question mark over Vale growth
Aylesbury Vale District Council has said that a major plan about where future developments should be located in the district should be put on hold.
The council has asked planning inspector Geoff Salter to put on hold the core strategy for development in the Vale until the impact of new legislation proposed by the coalition government becomes clearer.
The new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has abolished regionally-set housing targets, which allocated 26,890 homes to be built in Aylesbury Vale by 2026. Instead he said councils should decide locally how many homes need to be built in their communities.
This could mean that the housing figure for the district is reduced and therefore not all the sites in the core strategy will be needed.
Councillor Carole Paternoster, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “The scrapping of these targets will not mean the end of all housing growth for Aylesbury Vale. We are pleased that at last we have the opportunity to decide locally the amount of housing growth the Vale needs and where it will go.
“We were asked by the planning inspector to submit comments to him about the effect on our Core Strategy of scrapping the housing targets, his initial comments about our growth proposals for Aylesbury and other policy changes, such as an end to garden grabbing. In our response we told the inspector that he will need to put his investigation on hold until our position is resolved and any subsequent technical and procedural work undertaken.”
Salden Chase, to the north of Newton Longville, between the A421 and the former Oxford to Bletchley railway line, had been earmarked for about 5,400 houses.
Councillor Paternoster said: “This allocation was made solely to meet the requirement of the previous government’s South East Plan, which has now been abolished. We opposed it strongly at every stage. The scrapping of regional figures strikes to the heart of the necessity for this allocation, and I am also mindful of the recent resolution of Milton Keynes Council to oppose this development. These are factors that must weigh heavily as we move forward from here, and cast serious doubt on the future of this proposal.”
Councillors will have the opportunity to discuss the issues around how the council will set its own level of growth at the next council meeting on 8 September. This will allow the cabinet to take account of the views of council and the local community when it considers how to move forward.
Any decision to formally amend the housing numbers in the core strategy will be a decision for council to make later in the year after consultation with the local community.