It is a while since I have penned a column in this paper and, in spite of the excitement caused by the general election, it is good to be back in the swing of “business as usual”.
I’m hoping that we’ll get a determination on the Dinton wind turbine very shortly. Readers may recall that I gave evidence to the public inquiry back in January, where I was engaged in a robust exchange of views with supporters of the application. I am hopeful that the new Secretary of State, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, will uphold AVDC’s rejection of the application, but we wait with fingers crossed to hear the outcome. Concern about planning continues to dominate my mailbag. At my most recent constituency advice surgery – now up and running again after the general election (call my office for details) – I gave an interview to Haddenham.net about the upcoming referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan, which will take place on 16th July this year. Although Buckingham constituency residents are usually robustly in favour of my giving a view on local matters, I am clear that on Neighbourhood Plans it is local residents, rather than me, who are, rightly, in the driving seat. I will make representations on planning matters when requested to do so, as in the case of the Haddenham Glebe proposal, but when it comes to determining the future of their village it is local residents who should have the final call. Whatever the community decides, I will back their decision fully. I would, however, stress the importance of voting, both as a general principle and on this issue in particular. As the (relatively old) saying goes, “Decisions are made by those who show up.”