Current Affairs March 2014

Report of meeting held on 3rd March 2014

12 members were present.

Brenda welcomed back Dennis Morse after a long absence due to illness.

Brenda informed members of the forthcoming social events and suggested that next month’s meeting discusses International issues, looking especially at Global Food Wastage. Dick Darke suggested that Adrian Rolfe, Manager of M&S be asked to attend to give account of M&S policy. Brenda to follow-up this suggestion.

Brenda welcomed Rosie Brake, Planning Policy Officer, WDC Planning Dept, to the meeting. Rosie had been invited to discuss the proposed ‘New Local Plan’. She had bought copies of the presentation given at the TC meeting on Thursday 27th February (to which only 3 members had attended). She went through the presentation expanding on issues of significance and addressing questions as she progressed.

Areas looked at by the report are:

Infrastructure – needs to meet increased population density

Job density – areas for industrial/commercial development

Environment – where can housing/businesses be developed. Much of Bucks is either AONB or green belt

Distribution of existing homes

WDC is required to provide an additional 10,000 plus homes in the next 16 years (2015 – 2031). Sites have been identified for over 5,000, but there are still 4,500 to be allocated. There is very little unprotected land left in Bucks, PR, north of the railway line being one such area, where the proposal is to be build 2,500 houses which would include infrastructure development to sustain such growth; eg

  • Upgrade of sewage system
  • A school
  • A surgery
  • Suitable flood protection
  • By-pass

The area would be developed over the 16 year time period, and WDC would require development to be sustainable and developers would be responsible for funding infrastructure improvements. If smaller scale developments were allowed, over time we would end up with the same increase in population without the necessary infrastructure development.

Rosie gave a very fair account of the issues and several members asked questions, which she addressed. One area of concern was that this large increase in population would spoil the character of the market town. Experience with development in Beaconsfield and Marlow had proved that this should not be the case.

Rosie urged members to visit the exhibition to be held at the Information Centre on 17th March from 9.30am to 4.00pm and also attend a meeting with WDC at the Princes Centre at 7.00pm. She advised members to book for this meeting as it is envisaged as being run as a workshop and therefore places will be limited, if oversubscribed WDC will look at holding another such meeting. Rosie also urged members to look at the documents on the website (www.wycombe.gov.uk/new local plan )and to email the Dept (newlocalplan@wycombe.gov.uk )with any of their concerns.

Brenda thanked Rosie for attending the meeting and giving such a frank account if the situation.

Date of next meeting – 7th April when we will discuss International Issues, in particular ‘World Food wastage’.

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