Council: ‘We can’t support all housing policies in neighbourhood plans’

View - AVDC offices, The Gateway, Aylesbury PNL-140807-104657001
View - AVDC offices, The Gateway, Aylesbury PNL-140807-104657001

The lack of a Vale-wide housing plan will impact on the validity of individual neighbourhood plan housing policies it was claimed this week.

Aylesbury Vale District Council is still working on its plan for housing, after a first version was thrown out by the government.

And according to Carole Paternoster, portfolio holder for strategic planning, the fact that no plan is in place, means that the council may be forced to approve developments, even if they fall foul of individual town plans.

Mrs Paternoster was speaking in response to questions from Winslow councillor Llew Monger at AVDC’s full council meeting on Wednesday.

Mr Monger asked if the council would make it clear that ‘where neighbourhood plans are in place this council would support them by refusing planning applications that are in conflict with them?”

The question came a week after secretary of state for communities and local government Greg Clark directly intervened in a planning meeting, where 130 homes for Buckingham which were outside of rules created by the town’s forthcoming plan were being discussed.

Mrs Paternoster said: “ We have now received an email (from Mr Clark’s office) saying they do want to see what our decision would be.”

She added: “These plans cannot be effective until a Vale of Aylesbury local plan comes into force.

“AVDC supports neighbourhood plans 101%, we go out of our way to support communities who have neighbourhood plans. We are one of the only authorities in the country that has an officer dedicated for neighbourhood plans.

“We can’t say that we will support all the housing policies in neighbourhood plans, but we will give all the help and support we can.”