As part of ongoing work on the new Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan (BNDP) a Developers Roadshow was held in Buckingham on Saturday 27th January. A Neighbourhood Plan is a legally enforceable planning document which allows towns to grow in a planned way, in the locations (and to a local design code) agreed on by residents. Not having a plan does not stop new development – but would mean that residents have little say in where and what kind of development is built in the future.
The workshop event followed on from the BNDP ‘Future Scenarios’ consultation, which was held before Christmas 2023, and looked at all of the possible available land for development (those put forward by their landowners at the Buckinghamshire Council ‘Call for Sites’) and split them into three possible ‘scenarios’.
The scenarios were not a draft neighbourhood plan – instead it was a research exercise working towards developing the new BNDP – looking at possibilities for the future, and the consequences of developing in each spatial area over the coming decades. The town growing to the South, West or both were considered, and residents, partners and key local services invited to give feedback on each one. There were also options to submit your own ideas about development.
The early results of the Future Scenarios consultation indicate that Buckingham residents would support strategic growth which delivered good infrastructure.
Similarly, the developers roadshow acted as a workshop: developers were able to speak directly to members of the public in Buckingham – talking together about their approaches to new housing, infrastructure and facilities. Five groups attended: Hallam Land, Charterhouse Property, Phase 2 Planning, Rainier and Buckingham Community Land Trust. The developers were also asked to look at each others designs and think about how they could work together to deliver complex infrastructure projects that would benefit Buckingham.
Some of the ideas discussed on the day included: housing mix (what type of homes should go where), employment sites, tourism opportunities, community led housing projects, green networks, health centres, public transport and cycle routes.
Cllr. Mark Cole, Chair of Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan Working Group, said that: “Everyone involved in updating the BNP was encouraged by the good public turnout for our Developers’ Roadshow, and I thank the prospective developers for their attendance, and engaging with the public about how and where future development might take place in Buckingham. It is important that we maintain a dialogue with them, so that we understand each others’ needs. Their involvement was much appreciated.”