Setback for town plan after villagers revolt

A public consultation event for the Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan in 2012
A public consultation event for the Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan in 2012

Buckingham’s Neighbourhood Development Plan has suffered a setback following a rebellion by some residents of Radclive-cum-Chackmore.

The plan will now have to be amended, adding another six months to the process and leaving the area vulnerable to planning applications by developers following the recent collapse of the Vale of Aylesbury Plan.

BuckinghamTown Council approached Radclive-cum-Chackmore Parish Council last year for permission to extend the boundary of the Neighbourhood Development Plan area into the parish in order to allow for a route for a possible Buckingham bypass linking the A421 Tingewick Road to the A422 Brackley Road in years to come.

No objections were raised and in April the parish council gave its formal agreement.

The Buckingham Plan was due to reach the end of its public consultation period on January 13, after which it would have been submitted to Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) for its six-week ‘publicity’ period.

But a few days before the end of the consultation period, Buckingham Town Council was presented with a petition signed by 30 Radclive-cum-Chackmore residents – out of a total population of about 180 – who disagree with their parish council’s agreement and want it overturned. About a dozen Radclive residents attended the parish council meeting on Monday night.

Parish council chairman Colin Beckett said: “After a very fiery parish council meeting, the council and its members were swayed by the residents to withdraw the original consent to part of the parish being included within Buckingham town’s development plan.”

Mr Beckett added: “When the parish council spoke about it originally, we thought residents of Radclive would appreciate a bypass, given that over the years they’ve complained about traffic using them as a cut-though.”

Buckingham Town Plan officer Sheena McMurtrie said: “Whatever happens, it’s delayed the town plan by six months. AVDC feels it can’t progress it because we’re not acting with the consent of a parish council neighbouring us.

“It looks as though we’re going to have to make a further application to AVDC to amend the plan area.

“This is going basically to mean it’s going to be Christmas before we can get this plan in place.

“All of this is time when developers could sneak in with their applications.”