Brown Not Green Chesham Ltd
A not-for-profit community company
created to protect Green Belt land around Chesham, Bucks
PUBLIC INQUIRY - (21st -29th March, 2023)
Buckinghamshire Council are convening a non-statutory public inquiry to consider BNG’s applications under s.15 of The Commons Act 2006, to have the Land at Lye Green designated as a Town or Village Green (TVG).
The Public Inquiry is being held at:
Flaunden Village Hall
The Public Inquiry is currently on until Wednesday 29th March before an independent expert barrister (Mr Daniel Stedman Jones of 39 Essex Chambers Chancery Lane London).
The public are allowed to attend the Inquiry to listen to the proceedings and the timing of the Inquiry sessions are normally between 10.00am and 5.00pm.
There will also be an evening session on Wednesday 22nd March, 6.00pm until 8.00pm.
WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?-
The full background is within the archived pages of this website. By way of a brief summary, this all started in 2015 when circa 148 acres of good quality farmland at Lye Green NE of Chesham was proposed for removal from Green Belt and allocated for development by the former Council. Initially, half the land was proposed for circa 900 new homes, a convenience store, community hub and for 15 gypsy pitches.
This generated considerable public concern and the face of community representations made by BNG on behalf of our 1,800 supporters, the former Council withdrew their Local Plan in October 2020. However, Land Registry records confirm that a large national housebuilder still has an option over most of this land and as Buckinghamshire Council indicate that another Local Plan is under preparation, the threat remains. BNG are therefore now seeking to have the Land designated as a Village Green.
WHAT IS A VILLAGE GREEN AND WHY ARE BNG SEEKING ONE?-
The statutory test is that “a significant number of people in the locality have used the land for lawful sports and pastimes over the last 20 years”. Some 230 local people who have lived nearby for more than 20 years, have now provided statements confirming their habitual recreational uses of the land for a variety of informal outdoor recreational uses including dog walking, jogging, walking with friends and family, cycling, children playing, picking blackberries, mushrooms etc..
For legal reasons, BNG were prohibited from making a Village Green application until the former draft Local Plan was withdrawn. Village Green designation is not planning policy (which can be overturned in very special circumstances) and so if granted it will protect the Land as it is unlawful to “interfere” or develop a Village Green.
Brown Not Green YouTube channel is now live.
Please subscribe and share. PowerPoint with narration video by Phillip Plato, BNG Chairman, on public update/'What is a Village Green' is live.
South Bucks and Chiltern District Council's withdrawn Local Plan included the removal of 60 hectares of agricultural land from Green Belt to the North East of Chesham and initially for building:
This is despite the land once being listed as an Asset of Community Value.
Click here for BACKGROUND and HISTORY of the Brown Not Green (BNG) Campaign including video and audio clips
Brown Not Green (BNG) think Brownfield land has not been fully explored for local housing need and that Green Belt land should not be looked at as a first choice for development when other less harmful options exist nearer the town centre and the Underground station.
BNG believe the Council have used flawed methodology for identifying sites to meet local housing need and that Lye Green is an unsustainable location. BNG ask how land can be listed as an Asset of Community Value on one hand but have its Greenbelt status taken away on the other hand. Read how the Council have sinced shamelessly revoked ACV Status to try and push their flawed Local Plan through.
BNG support the more sustainable alternatives promoted by Chesham Renaissance CIC Masterplan (another community lead group). This would not only provide more affordable housing but would regenerate the town centre too whilst creating less traffic congestion.
BNG feel the Council's Plan will cause harm to the wider town: