Bledlow-cum-Saunderton Parish is set mostly within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Parish includes the villages of Bledlow, Bledlow Ridge and Saunderton with hamlets and scattered housing surrounded mainly by farms, woodland and other open spaces. The population is approximately 2,500 people living in 1,000 houses spread over an area of about 10½ square miles.
70% of the Parish lies within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is classified as Green Belt. The built environment is one of small villages and hamlets connected by minor roads, with scores of listed buildings, 14 scheduled ancient monuments and an attractive landscape attracting tourists to the area and making the Parish a desirable place to live.
The area attracts many walkers and there is an excellent network of footpaths and bridleways including ancient routes such as The Icknield Way. Though a rural area, the Parish has three pubs, a village shop, and it is also popular with both cyclists and horse riders.
The Wycombe District Local Plan, which regulates land use and development in the Parish, contains very few planning policy which are specific to the Parish.
In order to close this gap, in the summer 2015 the Parish Council started a project dedicated to developing a Neighbourhood Plan, precisely targeted to the needs of the area. By developing a Neighbourhood Plan the Parish Council believes we can gain more control over inappropriate development while proactively addressing the pressures upon us for more development.
On 2nd June 2016, the Parish Council approved a pre-submission draft of the Plan. The draft Plan then underwent a round of public consultation which lasted from 8th June to 20th July 2016. The comments received during that consultation were then reviewed and appropriate amendments made to the Plan.
On 26th August the Parish Council submitted the final Plan to Wycombe District Council as the competent local planning authority. Wycombe District Council, having checked that the Plan met all required regulations, published it for a further and final round of public consultation on 12th September 2016. On 24th October 2016, soon after the consultation ended, Wycombe District Council sent the Plan to an independent Examiner for review.
On 7th February 2017 Wycombe District Council made an initial decision to accept all of the Examiner’s recommendations included in his Final Report and to proceed to referendum.
Following a potential legal challenge against this initial decision, on 22nd March 2017 Wycombe District Council revisited it and decided to issue a new decision, paving the way for the referendum of 4th May 2017 when the local community voted in favour of the Plan (81.48% of those voting wanted Wycombe District Council to use the Bledlow-cum-Saunderton neighbourhood plan to help it decide planning applications in the parish).
On 23rd June 2017 Wycombe District Council formally adopted the Bledlow-cum-Saunderton Neighbourhood Plan and its Appendices. From this date the Neighbourhood Plan forms part of Wycombe District Council’s Development Plan and will be used to make decisions related to land uses and planning applications in the Bledlow-cum-Saunderton parish area.
Further details on the project are available on the Neighbourhood Plan page of this web site.
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