Congratulations to all our supporters as we surpassed our fundraising target of £20,000 in April. We are still leaving all the fundraising channels open and will continue to request funds so that we can exceed the original target as surplus legal funds will be required for this lengthy campaign as matters continue to be delayed and fresh issues are likely to arise..
And lengthy this campaign will be as recently the Council has announced again that the publication date for the Local Plan has once more been pushed back and will not be issued this Summer as they had previously indicated. This time, they have not given a new date for publication but it is anticipated to be in the Autumn now.
As frustrating as this delay is for all of us, cloaking Chesham in a cloud of uncertainty, BNG are still working away behind the scenes. We are putting together our evidence base to present to the barrister to formulate a solid legal case.
The next stage that the BNG community will face arises when the Local Plan does eventually get published. We will all have six weeks to put in our personal submissions/objections. The consultation will ask quite technical points and for many people, guidance will be required. BNG are preparing to help our followers on this. BNG together with our retained barrister from Landmark Chambers will be putting together a guide on to how to respond to the Local Plan within the time frame. To receive this guide, you need to be on our mailing list. Sign up here.
In the meantime, there are still ways to keep our campaign alive. We have a new Secretary of State the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, replacing the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP who many of you will have already written to. Nothing will help Mr Brokenshire settle into the nature and demands of his new role than receiving a number of handwritten (or typed) letters (rather than emails) asking him if he will continue with policies to protect the Green Belt outlined in the new draft National Planning Policy Framework. Read Phillip Plato's summary of the key points of the new draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The new NPPF bodes well for our cause adding further protections for the Green Belt.
Certainly, our local Councillors also need reminding that this threat of building on the Green Belt and overloading Chesham’s infrastructure has not gone away. More written letters to them will let them know where you, the voters, stand on this topic. Even if you have already written to them in the past, please write again and ask them what they are doing to protect the Green Belt and to improve Chesham's infrastructure. Postal addresses and advice on writing letters can be found on our How to Lobby page.
Thanks again to all the BNG community. Your financial contributions and messages of support have been much appreciated. Finally, a few words of wisdom oft repeated by the BNG team:
Do NOT assume the lack of news means we have been successful! We were always advised this campaign will be a marathon, not a sprint.