Several members of the High Wycombe Society Planning Group recently attended and participated in the formal ‘hearing’ sessions as part of the Wycombe District Local Plan Examination.
Tuesday 4th September was a particularly important day on which the inspector covered the whole of “Matter 7: Development Framework: High Wycombe”. The single question on which the day focused was “Are the allocated sites soundly based, viable and deliverable?” Although we had previously contributed our views in written form, we had also registered our wish and been granted the opportunity to speak on several of the sites due for consideration.
These sites included the “Reserve sites” which were released under the previous plan: Abbey Barn (North and South); Gomm Valley and Ashwells; Terriers Farm and Terriers House. Planning Group members are very familiar with these sites as the Society has been represented in the WDC liaison groups tasked with determining development briefs over the past couple of years.
Other sites of particular concern in the plan were those deemed to justify removal of parts of the Green Belt or affecting the AONB. We were happy to assist the Booker Commons and Woods Society in its opposition to the proposed site allocations at and near Wycombe Air Park.
The Council Chamber was full to capacity with most of the places in the public gallery also taken up. It was a long day, with formalities and introductions commencing at 9.30 a.m., closing remarks just before 6 p.m. and only half an hour for lunch.
Back in July, Chris Woodman had also contributed on behalf of the High Wycombe Society to some of the earlier examination sessions on more general sections of the plan, where he raised a couple of more general policy matters: the need to make best use of height on sites; and the need to exercise control in appearance of shopfronts.
It is not easy to get changes made to the plan at this stage, so we await the results of the inspector’s consideration of all the issues, with interest.