A current tidal wave of planning applications seriously threaten our special Chiltern countryside. Pressures for more dwellings in the Chilterns originate from Central Government planning guidelines used by County and District councils to calculate housing demand. These demands now threaten the Green Belt and even the AONB.
The Chiltern Society Trustees and the Planning Group have a clear policy on these threats. The Society opposes development, within or affecting the setting of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which fails to conserve or enhance the natural beauty. As a consequence, to be acceptable, new development within the AONB should be small-scale and restricted to land within existing settlements or on brownfield sites. The Society also opposes development in the existing Green Belt which fails to protect its openness, or undermines its five purposes (to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas; to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another; to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment; to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land).
The members of the Chiltern Society Planning Group are the unsung heroes monitoring and as necessary making responses to planning applications and proposals. Their efforts are crucial in the protection of our special countryside. In addition to this key Planning Group activity, the Trustees hope to re-energise the Planning Campaign team working, either on its own or in collaboration with like minded organisations, to protect the AONB and Green Belt.. We will keep you posted of developments!