Winslow Neighbourhood Plan approved by AVDC Councillors
At a meeting of the full Council of AVDC on 10th September a proposal to ‘make’ the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan received unanimous support from members of the Council. Cllr Llew Monger thanked the Winslow community, the Town Councils’ consultants, rCOH Ltd and the staff at AVDC Forward Plans team without whom, he said, we could not have got to this stage. ‘Making’ the plan means that it is now adopted by AVDC and forms part of the wider District Plan. The policies in the WNP now carry maximum weight in planning decisions affecting Winslow. We are the first community in Buckinghamshire to have a fully adopted neighbourhood plan.
Winslow Referendum Result was the Best in the Country
The referendum turnout of 59.5% and votes in favour of 98.2% has now been confirmed as the highest yet to be recorded in any referendum held so far. The turnout figure is around double that for local elections and on a par with the turnout at General Elections. The result has led to groups from all over the country getting in touch to seek help and advice on how to run their campaigns.
Judicial review of WNP set for 11th & 12th December
The Judicial Review (JR) of the WNP will be held at the High Court in London on 11th& 12th December. The JR has been called for by Gladman Developments who are challenging some aspects of the way the WNP was prepared, the conduct of the external examination by Nigel McGurk and AVDC’s decision to go ahead with the Referendum. Gladman’s challenge has been described by AVDC’s barrister as ‘without merit’. Let’s hope that the Judge agrees!
Winslow Neighbourhood Plan
Now that the Plan has been approved by the community in the Referendum it must be 'made' by Aylesbury Vale District Council. This means that AVDC must make it part of the wider District Plan which they are currently developing. All planning applications within the Winslow Neighbourhood Area have to be considered against the policies of the WNP.
Gladman continued legal challenge
Gladman has already made it clear that they will continue to challenge the WNP and they are seeking a Judicial review of the making of the Plan, its examination and AVDC's decision to hold the Referendum. The Judicial Review hearing will take place in London on 11 and 12 December and AVDC's legal team has described Gladman's case as 'without merit'. However, that will not stop Gladman from trying! We will want another large showing of PINK in the public gallery!!
Little Horwood Road
The appeal against the refusal of this application was completed in May. Beacause of the Neighbourhood Plan the final decision will be made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and we expect to hear the result in late October. Obviously the fact that the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan has been completed since the appeal will influence the decision and we expect the appeal to be dismissed.
A total of 2312 people voted in the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan Referendum on Thursday 24th July 2014 and the result was a staggering 98.2% in favour of the Plan. The turnout was 59.5% which was almost as high as a General Election turnout. The 98.2% YES vote was the highest yet recorded in a Neighbourhood Plan Referendum anywhere in the country.
The moment the result was declared!
Speaking at the count, after the result was declared, Steering Group Chairman Cllr Llew Monger said, "This is an amazing and very gratifying result and I am truly humbled by the scale of the support for the Plan. Our community has delivered a Neighbourhood Plan of which we can be truly proud. We have been in the National spotlight in recent weeks as we have had to fight off two legal challenges from Gladman Developments but the result tonight makes all the effort worthwhile."
Cllr Monger thanked all those who had voted YES and praised the many people who have been involved in the preparation of the Plan over the last 18 months. More than 200 comments were made at drop-in sessions and more than 100 residents made detailed written submissions. Local organisations, businesses, individuals, neighbouring Parish Councils and both the District and County Councils all contributed to the Plan.
More than 70 residents offered to help with the YES campaign by delivering leaflets, setting up Facebook and Website pages, putting up banners and posters, helping on the information stall and making donations to pay for the campaign.
To all who have been involved we offer our sincere thanks.