Buckingham’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (BNDP) became a legal document in 2015, after being positively approved in a town wide referendum, giving residents a say in where and what development they want. Its policies have been used in planning decisions for Buckingham since then.
Since 2015 there have been many changes to how we live, work and shop. Some, such as home working and online shopping, were already present before the pandemic but lockdowns have accelerated adoption of new habits.
The town’s population has also increased, from the 12,000 of the 2011 census to more than 14,000 in the 2021 census, and today is heading towards 16,000 as further housing developments are completed.
Due to this, Buckingham Town Council will be refreshing the Neighbourhood Plan to ensure that the plan works towards building a future Buckingham that suits its residents, businesses and visitors. The new plan will set out fresh policy ideas to ensure the vibrancy of our historic market town. A grant has been obtained from Locality, a national funding organisation to part fund this work.
Neighbourhood Development Plans are important legal documents, and Buckingham’s has been used by planning officers in Buckinghamshire Council, the Local Planning Authority, and the Planning Inspectorate to ensure that new development fits within the BNDP – from big details to small, including that sufficient open private space is provided, which can be seen at new sites like St Rumbold’s Field on Tingewick Road.
After spending January meeting with focus groups delving deeply into Buckingham’s needs, the Working Group is now splitting into two task groups. These are:
- Development Task Group – to covering strategic aspirations, housing sites, transport and business and the design code.
- Environment Task Group –covering the design code, environmental and green spaces policies, arts and culture.
This is grassroots planning, and we need you to be involved – the views and ideas of residents, businesses and other stakeholder really matter. If you would like to take part in a task group, please contact the Town Council office to find out more. You can also take part by following Buckingham Town Council on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A pop-up session will also take place on Thursday 23rd March at Buckingham’s Annual Town Meeting from 7pm.
Councillor Mark Cole, chairman of the Buckingham Town Council Planning Committee and the Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan Working Group said “Buckingham was one of the first communities in the country to make its neighbourhood plan, and it has served us well in the nine years since. Not only the local planning authorities but also secretaries of state have respected it, and until the new Vale of Aylesbury Plan was adopted, we had control over what housing went where. The revised BNP will restore that.”