New homes blueprint in Aylesbury Vale to be withdrawn
Archived press release
Date Published: 09/09/10
AVDC was required to plan for 26,890 new homes by 2026.
Aylesbury Vale District Council has decided to ask the government for permission to withdraw its core strategy following the abolition of regional housing targets.
The core strategy for Aylesbury Vale is a document which sets out broad locations for future growth, policies to guide new development and plans to protect the environment between now and 2026.
AVDC submitted its core strategy to the government in 2009 after a lengthy public consultation and it was subject to scrutiny at an Examination in Public (EIP) before an independent planning inspector earlier this year.
But, with the South East Plan’s targets for how many homes need to be built being scrapped by the new coalition government, serious doubts were raised about the wisdom of pursuing the core strategy for Aylesbury Vale. Prior to the election, AVDC was required to plan for 26,890 new homes by 2026.
At a meeting of the full council on 8 September, district councillors unanimously agreed that the core strategy should be withdrawn together with the more detailed master planning for growth around Aylesbury and north of Newton Longville. This decision will need agreement from the Secretary of State because of the stage the council is at in the core strategy examination process.
Councillor Carole Paternoster, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “Over the past few months the new coalition government has made some major changes to the planning system, the most significant of which has been the scrapping of regional housing targets on which our core strategy was based. The revocation means that the South East Plan no longer forms part of the development plan for the district, and no longer has any weight in planning decisions.
“In addition, the new localism agenda being promoted by the government has made it clear that by taking the housing targets away, they expect plans to come from the ‘bottom up’ for future growth. This is a fundamental change in the way planning policy has been developed in the past, and we need to consider how we can enable communities to have their voices heard within the boundaries of national planning policy.
“Given these factors, we believe the only realistic course of action is to withdraw and review the core strategy. This will give us the chance to look again at the level of growth that is right for the whole of the district.”
The decision to withdraw the core strategy will not mean the end of all housing growth for Aylesbury Vale. Development is already committed for some 8,000 new homes at major sites such as Berryfields to the north-west of Aylesbury and London Road in Buckingham, as well as smaller sites in towns and villages.
Various developers have submitted planning applications or indicated to the council that they are likely to be submitting applications for large scale residential development in the near future. These applications will be subject to the normal consultations and will be dealt with through the development control process.
Changes to national planning policy are unlikely to become clear before the end of the year, so it will be some time before the council knows how the planning system will operate in the future. Further consultation with Aylesbury Vale communities will take place in due course.