Residents asked for their views on the future of Buckingham

This Saturday 25th November, an open consultation event about the future of Buckingham will take place at Buckingham Community Centre from 10am – 2pm.
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This event marks the beginning of a Buckingham Future Scenarios Consultation with Buckingham residents. Future scenarios are not a suggested Neighbourhood Plan or policy, but starting points for discussion about Buckingham’s possible future, based on months of research about Buckingham and how it might develop over the next twenty years. The consultation event is an open opportunity to have your say about four different scenarios.

Cllr. Anja Schaefer, Mayor of Buckingham, said that “The scenarios consultation is part of a process that involves you, the people of Buckingham, at the early stages of the new neighbourhood plan development. I hope that many of you will come to the launch to find out what it’s all about.”

Cllr Mark Cole JP, Chairman Planning Committee, said that: "The Buckingham Neighbourhood Plan is the town's planning vision, in which residents decide what development they want and where. The 2015 BNP is now being revised, and a Town Council working group has spent the past eight months looking at possible sites for future development as the town grows. We invite you to comment on these at a series of public events over the next few weeks, before a final version is drafted which will carry that vision through to 2040."

Consultation Table and Lego GameConsultation Table and Lego Game
Consultation Table and Lego Game

What has happened so far:

Buckingham’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (BNDP) is now 8 years old. Since January a working group of Town Councillors and local residents has been working intensively gathering evidence to plan for the future.

Six focus groups discussed: design and heritage; eco concerns; business and economic development; transport; arts, leisure and culture; and strategic aspirations.

Two task groups researched potential environmental and development policies.

Consultation Table and Lego GameConsultation Table and Lego Game
Consultation Table and Lego Game

These monthly groups have heard from local groups, both secondary schools, churches, sports and arts clubs and passionate local environment advocates.

Commissioned studies provided through Locality:

Housing Needs Assessment (indicates the minimum number of homes that will be required within the plan period to 2040 as well as what type of homes may best suit the needs of residents. It also considers various forms of affordable home provision.)

Strategic Environmental Assessment.

A High Street study (funded by Buckingham & Villages Community Board and supported by Buckingham Town Council) is also taking place.

Your input so far:

You supplied answers to the questions: What do you value most about Buckingham? What is needed for Buckingham? Where should future housing go? – at drop-in sessions at the Annual Town Meeting in March and Celebrate Buckingham Day in June.

This process is creating “scenarios” as to how Buckingham might develop in the future. These are not yet suggested plans or policies but starting points for discussion and debate. The group has created these by evaluating available brownfield sites for development in Buckingham; then all the land submitted to Buckinghamshire Council’s call for sites for the Local Plan; finally grouping these into potential settlement areas to produce each “scenario”.

What happens next?

The public scenario consultation will run from 25th November – 18th December The best way to take part in the consultation is to visit the event at Buckingham Community centre this Saturday 25th November, between 10 – 2pm. You will be met by one of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group team, who can answer any questions you might have and give paper or digital copies of the consultation form to fill in.

An online version of the consultation form will also be available on the Town Council website from the 25th November.

The consultation will ask local people where they think the development of new housing in Buckingham should take place e.g., do you think using brownfield sites alone is sufficient for the town’s needs – both residential and delivery of infrastructure? If not, should new development be to the West, South, or East of town? Where large developments will trigger the creation of a new facility – for example, a school or road, where should these be placed?

Your views not only matter but are essential.

Additional consultation sessions will also take place on Monday 4th December, 10am – 12 noon, outside Council Chamber/Waitrose, Tuesday 12th December, 10am – 2pm, Buckingham Market, Saturday 16th December, 11.30am – 3pm, Community Fair at Buckingham Community Centre and 25th November – 18th December, online – via links on social media and the Buckingham Town Council website.

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