The Chiltern Society envisages a future where protection and enhancement of the landscape, significant biodiversity gains and tackling climate change are all addressed when planning decisions are made. In responding to a recent questionnaire from Buckinghamshire Council concerning their proposed Local Plan, the Society has also suggested that the Plan needs to address the issue of competing land uses such as housing, biodiversity and food production.
We consider that It is essential that the Plan includes a brownfield before greenfield policy to maximise the reuse of land and protect areas of AONB, Green Belt and open countryside. Pressure for development needs to be taken off the Chilterns, including making provision for the likely extension to the area of the AONB as set out in the Government’s response to the Glover Review of national landscapes.
Nature recovery and landscape protection and enhancement must be at the core of the Plan and be fully integrated into all proposals. This includes full contributions to nature recovery and Biodiversity Net Gain with enhancement being provided on site rather than allowing developers to pay financial contributions instead. In particular, we expect strong protection for the Chilterns Chalk Streams, avoiding development that would physically impact on their corridors or increase water abstraction to supply new homes.
A further consultation on the Local Plan is expected later this year. You can read our full response here.