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Wycombe development plan

The development plan for Wycombe is made up of a number of documents.

In considering planning applications, we are required to make the decision in accordance with the Development Plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The law requires that these development plans are reviewed every 5 years.

It is possible for the plan to be challenged under s.113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Any challenge has to be made within six weeks of the plan being adopted.

We has now been served with notice of two applications to legally challenge the local plan, which could lead to a Judicial Review of our decision to adopt the plan.

The applications have been made in relation to RUR7 Land off Clappins Lane, Naphill and BE2 Hollands Farm, Bourne End and Wooburn.

There are two stages to the process:

  1. The court has to first give permission for a challenge to be heard. This is based on an initial assessment of the claims made by the applicants and the Council’s response to those claims.
  2. If permission is given then claims will be heard in the High Court and a judgement will be made whether the contested parts of the plan are quashed and if the remainder of the plan should remain in force or not.

In the meantime, this does not change the status of the plan. It is still adopted and decisions on planning applications will be made in accordance with policies in the plan.

Update 24 August 2020

Following the rejection last month by a High Court judge of the legal challenge to the Local Plan by local residents group, Keep Bourne End Green (KBEG), KBEG have now applied for permission for the case to be heard in the Court of Appeal. We do not have any indication of timescales for when there will be a decision on this.

Update 23 July 2020

The judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Holgate, has now issued his judgment following the 2 day hearing on 23 and 24 June. He has dismissed the legal challenge. You can read the judgment below:

High Court Ruling on Wycombe District Local Plan

Update 21 May 2020

The hearing for the Judicial Review has now been set 2 days on June 23 and 24. We currently do not have details of how the hearing will be conducted in light of the current movement restrictions. Once we have more information we will update the website.

Update 23 March 2020

The “permission hearing” for the KBEG legal challenge took place in the High Court on March 18  – the judge decided to grant permission for a full hearing in the High Court on all but one of the grounds in KBEG’s original claim.

There are no timescales for a hearing at present. We will provide an update as soon as we have a date.

You can read the ruling below:

Note: The decision document is a scanned document and is not accessible. If you require the document as an accessible format please email webmanager.wyc@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Update March 2020

The Council has now been notified of the date for the oral hearing for the legal challenge submitted by Keep Bourne End Green to the Local Plan. This will be on March 18th in the High Court in London. Details of the court and timing will be published on the Justice website after 2.30 pm on 17th March on the Justice website (external website).

The oral hearing is an opportunity for all parties to set out their position for a judge to determine whether a legal challenge should be heard. This is a right offered when an application for Judicial review has been refused by a Judge. 

Update 16 January 2020

Just before Christmas the Council received the news that the challenge by Keep Bourne End Green in relation to the allocation of Hollands Farm (BE2) in the Local Plan had been unsuccessful.  Judge Waksman considering the case reasoned that the issues raised in the challenge were those of planning judgement rather than legal issues.

Part of the process allows the challenging body to request that the request for a judicial review be heard at an oral hearing if permission has been refused. Keep Bourne End Green have made this request. We are waiting to hear when this hearing will take place.

You can read the full decision below.

Note: The decision document is a scanned document and is not accessible. If you require the document as an accessible format please email webmanager.wyc@buckinghamshire.gov.uk.

Note: The decision document is a scanned document and is not accessible. If you require the document as an accessible format please email webmanager.wyc@buckinghamshire.gov.uk.

Update 11 December 2019

We have successfully defended the inclusion of the Clappins Lane site in the adopted local plan. On 29 November Judge J Lieven agreed that there were no legal grounds to challenge our decision to adopt of the local plan. The judge confirmed that the challenge was to the merits of the decision and that there was no “arguable error of law”.

RUR7 is a greenfield site that is allocated for approximately 64 dwellings. We were challenged over whether the allocation and the subsequent development of the site would be "major development" in the Chilterns AONB, whether there was justification or “exceptional circumstances” to remove the site from the greenbelt, and whether we had considered reasonable alternatives to this site.

You can read the full decision below:

Note: The decision document is a scanned document and is not accessible. If you require the document as an accessible format please email webmanager.wyc@buckinghamshire.gov.uk.

We are still awaiting to hear if the second legal challenge will be successful in getting to the High Court.

 

Local plans

The Local Plan is a plan for the future development of the area, drawn up by us in consultation with the community. It guides decisions on whether or not planning applications should be given planning permission as well as how much and where future development can take place.

In Wycombe we have two local plans. Both of these plans must be looked at when considering planning applications in Wycombe:

  • Wycombe District Local Plan (WDLP) - sets out how future development should take place for the whole area
  • Delivery and Site Allocations Plan (DSA) - refers mostly to town centres but also contains Wycombe-wide development management policies

You can view the plan documents and find further information below.

The Wycombe District Local Plan defines how future development should take place for the whole area and was adopted on 19 August 2019.

The Wycombe District Local Plan:

  • sets out strategic policies
  • allocates new areas for housing growth
  • allocates new areas for employment growth
  • sets out development management policies for housing, economic growth, placemaking, historic conservation, the AONB, flood risk and water quality, the green belt and rural areas, and safeguarded land for essential infrastructure

You can view the adopted plan documents below.

Adopted plan documents:

You can view the allocations online on MyMaps by selecting the 'Planning Policy' map category.

 

The Delivery and Site Allocations Plan for Town Centres and Managing Development (DSA Plan) was adopted 16 July 2013. It refers mostly to town centres, but it also contains Wycombe-wide development management policies.

The DSA remains a part of the Development Plan for the Wycombe area following the adoption of the Wycombe District Local Plan on 19 August 2019. The adoption of the Local Plan included the deletion of DSA polices PR3 and PR4 relating to Princes Risborough, and development management policies DM17 and DM18.

The Delivery and Sites Allocations plan:

  • allocates the framework for High Wycombe, Marlow, and Princes Risborough town centre
  • allocates areas for redevelopment in High Wycombe and Marlow
  • sets out development management policies for transport, employment sites, mixed-use sites, area and town centres, green networks and infrastructure, green spaces, conservation and biodiversity, and infrastructure and delivery

You can view the adopted plan documents below

Adopted plan documents:

You can view the allocations online on MyMaps by selecting the 'Planning Policy' map category.

 

Neighbourhood plans

A neighbourhood plan is a document that sets out planning policies for a local area. The 'made' (adopted) neighbourhood plans in the area form part of the development plan for Wycombe:

See neighbourhood planning for details of the neighbourhood planning process in Wycombe and the background information for adopted and in-progress plans.

Minerals and waste plans

Buckinghamshire Council are responsible for minerals and waste planning and produce a Minerals and Waste Plan. These documents show the policies and proposals for carrying out mineral extraction and waste management development.

The Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2016-2036 was adopted on 25 July 2019.

The Buckinghamshire Minerals and Waste plan:

  • sets out a spatial strategy for minerals development
  • allocates land for sand and gravel provision
  • sets out development principles for mineral extraction
  • sets out a spatial strategy for waste management
  • sets out the capacity needs for waste between 2016-2036
  • sets out the control and management of minerals and waste development

You can view the document on the website linked above.

 

These documents can be viewed at Council Offices, Queen Victoria Road, High Wycombe HP11 1BB. 

Supporting documents

The Development Plan is supported by the following documents:

The Wycombe Local Development Scheme [PDF | 1.06MB] sets out our work programme for the main planning policy documents we intend to prepare over the next three years. In particular it includes:

  • what local plans we intend to produce
  • the subject matter and geographical area the plans relate to
  • the timetable for the preparation of the documents
  • the status of each document

Our Local Development Scheme was last updated in August 2017.

 

The policies maps (also known as the proposals maps) shows the location of adopted planning policies within the Local Plan on a Wycombe-wide map. You can also view our adopted planning policies on MyMaps.

We are in the process of updating our policies maps to reflect the adoption of Wycombe District Local Plan. The previous policies maps can be viewed below:

 

The statement of community involvement (SCI) sets out how and when we involve the community in the development of planning policy and guidance documents.

We have reviewed the content of the SCI in light of legislative changes. We have updated the neighbourhood planning section of the SCI to reflect the new legislative requirement for us, as a local planning authority, to set out our policies in relation to advising on neighbourhood plans and neighbourhood development orders. We adopted our revised statement of community involvement (SCI) in July 2018.

 

The Wycombe monitoring report contains information showing how our planning policies are performing against key indicators. It is our authority monitoring report (AMR).

This includes information on housing delivery, employment, environment and infrastructure including developer contributions. This report now contains an update on our five year and long term housing supply. We have also published a partial update to the five year housing supply position.

See also previous copies of our Wycombe Monitoring Report:

 

We are able to demonstrate more than five years’ supply of specific deliverable housing sites in the Wycombe area (from a 31 March 2018 base date).

This accords with paragraph 73 of the 2019 NPPF, which requires local planning authorities to identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide a minimum of 5 years’ worth of housing. This statement is intended for planning practitioners and stakeholders with an existing knowledge of the issues. To learn more about these issues please see the online National Planning Practice Guidance.

Buckinghamshire Council Update

On April 2020 Buckinghamshire Council was created and became the local planning authority for the area previously covered by four local planning authorities, namely Aylesbury Vale District Council, Chiltern District Council, South Bucks District Council and Wycombe District Council, as well as Buckinghamshire County Council who was responsible for Minerals and Waste Planning. National planning policy sets out a requirement for local planning authorities to demonstrate a five year supply of housing against their housing requirement.

We have produced a statement that sets out how that five year housing land requirement will be assessed for the new local planning authority, you can view this below:

 

For frequently asked questions on the local plan and planning policy, please see our FAQs page.