Dear BNG Supporter
During the period of over six years that I have been involved with Brown Not Green, Christmas has habitually become a time when some announcement from the Council appears at a most inconvenient time for the community to respond! I have just noticed a few developments on the Buckinghamshire Council website and whilst thankfully these are not as time critical as some of the earlier responses we had to make over previous festive seasons, I felt I should bring them to everyone’s attention.
First, the Council has recently opened a survey questionnaire for everyone across the county to participate in, ostensibly to gather some general feedback that will hopefully set the general direction of travel for the new Local Plan. The Council have announced the new Local Plan must be in place by April 2025. Accordingly this Questionnaire/Survey will be a first part of the “evidence base” supporting their new Plan.
The survey can be found at -
I strongly recommend that you invest ten minutes completing this survey.
However, PLEASE SEE ATTACHED UPDATE NOTE as I do have a couple of concerns about this exercise and so the attached note has been prepared to highlight a few questions in the Survey which could be “leading” or which if answered casually, may conflict with later responses. I think it is vital that as many of our supporters as possible respond to this survey, but we all need to beware of some of the aforementioned inconsistencies which might otherwise be used in evidence to support an otherwise unacceptable policy in later years. The attached Update Notes should explain further what I think the areas are to watch out for. I should add that several questions offer you to rate options in your order of preference with one answer being “other” which opens a text box for you to explain. Rather than being lead to some of the answers, you may wish to select “other” and then highlight the work of Chesham Renaissance / Masterplan by emphasising that you may wish to see a more holistic regeneration of Chesham in particular such as that being advanced by Chesham Renaissance that revitalises degraded areas by creating a sustainable mix of uses in the centre of town with improved car parking and potentially more genuinely affordable homes.
I also noted that the Council have recently adopted their Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) on the 7th December 2021. Many BNG supporters will remember that a draft SCI was published around last Christmas (!) and there was a public consultation conducted shortly thereafter and since then I have been concerned that there has been no further announcement. The draft SCI was indicating that opportunities for community consultation and comment on new local plan documents was being reduced. Although it seems the adopted SCI following the public consultation has toned things down slightly, we are still concerned that many people may not notice some of the councils publications and will only have six weeks to respond when they do come out and with greater reliance apparently been given to internet/online responses from the public. Accordingly BNG strongly recommend that everyone concerned about local planning matters should “register” with Bucks Council for planning policy updates.
You will need to enter your email address at the following URL - https://buckinghamshire.oc2.uk/register/process/0
and you should then get notification of all planning policy consultations once you have responded to a verification email that the council will send to you immediately. (Please note my verification email went directly into my clutter/junk folder so please watch out for that!)
I hope that the attached notes will provide some guidance for residents on what they need to know and do and whilst this thankfully is not a time critical exercise I feel it needs to be highlighted to the community and also some care needs to be given to the responses to the questionnaire / survey.
I am unsure how long the aforementioned survey questionnaire will be open for so I would encourage members and supporters to invest ten minutes completing this survey ASAP and registering their interest for planning policy updates as and when they may have some spare time over the festive period. The Brownfield Call for Sites will be open from 6 December until only 29 December.
If anyone has any queries or needs advice please don’t hesitate to contact me directly but I attach the aforementioned notes which I hope are helpful.
Thanks again to all our BNG supporters and wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Phillip J Plato - FIoD DipSurv MRICS
Director – Brown Not Green Chesham Ltd
Members of the Brown Not Green Campaign