Beaconsfield Town Council embarked on the Council’s first Neighbourhood Plan project in October 2020. The initial stage sought members of the community to volunteer to help shape the future look and feel of our town. Despite unusual times, we have managed to make a start, through virtual meetings on this long-term project, which would usually take around 2 years to completion. We have made great strides on gaining an understanding about what a Neighbourhood Plan is and how it sits within the bigger Planning Policy framework. We have been reviewing available data and relevant research. The bulk of our work has focused on looking at Environment & Design and Housing. Now our teams will turn their attention to the ‘3 hearts of the town’, bringing together the three pillars of our community centres, namely Working, Shopping and Living.
We look forward to the end of lockdown when we aim to invite the public to view our progress and to seek out views and opinions from residents and businesses. Your thoughts and ideas will really help shape the development of our Neighbourhood Plan. Our aim is to help create a vibrant and thriving community, and also help provide the building blocks to facilitate a greater sense of community in all areas of our town.
Alexa Collins, Town Clerk
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Plan (NP) puts in place a planning policy for a neighbourhood area. It is about the use and development of land and often contains a vision, aims and planning policy. It will relate to the settlement area of the community (in our case the Parish boundary) and as the Town’s setting is flanked with green belt, green belt will be out of the scope of our NP. Issues that maybe included in the NP are housing, employment, design, heritage and transport. If successfully adopted the NP becomes part of the statutory development for the area. As such it has more weight than a Parish or community plan. The NP should not be confused with a Local Plan which will be produced at a higher level and relates to a larger area. Importantly the two must recognise each other and in this respect, whichever is adopted first has an advantage. The failure of the SBDC Draft Local Plan being adopted means that the Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Plan is likely to be finalised before the new Buckinghamshire Local Plan.
Councillor Alastair Pike, Steering Group Chair