Winslow Neighbourhood Plan
Winslow was one of the first communities in England to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan, and our first Plan was "made" (took effect) in September 2014. It was supported by more than 98% of votes cast at a local referendum which had a turnout of almost 60%. A copy of that plan can be found here.
A Neighbourhood Plan is the most local component of the area's Development Plan which steers planning decisions that affect the town. The Neighbourhood Plan is required to deliver the strategic policies set out in the District local plan. At present this is the Aylesbury Vale District Local Plan, which was adopted in 2004. A successor local plan has been in preparation for several years, and Buckinghamshire Council is completing this process with an expectation of the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) being adopted during 2021. More information about the development of VALP can be found on this part of the Buckinghamshire Council web site.
Revising the Neighbourhood Plan in 2021
VALP sets the framework for the updating of Winslow's Neighbourhood Plan during 2021. In particular VALP sets a target for additional housing in Winslow to be located on land to the east of Great Horwood Road. At the same time the revised Neighbourhood Plan will need to accommodate Buckinghamshire Council's (BC) latest proposals for a Sports Hub, along with a green business park, on land at Redfield. And once the sports facilities are relocated from the former Winslow Centre and Rugby pitch sites, BC also has revised plans for development of this vacant site within the town. To support the town's community the Town Council has plans for the area which it refers to as the Heart of Winslow – with improvements to the existing Public Hall, and an extended Sports Club building to provide an additional small hall, as well as the creation of a new playground in Tomkins Park to replace the one adjacent to Elmfields Gate.
An initial consultation with residents, businesses and others who have an interest in the town took place between February and 6 April 2021 following Covid-secure procedures, with the ideas for the new Neighbourhood Plan being set out in more detail in a leaflet "A Plan for Winslow to 2033". The text of this can be found here in large-text format.
More than 250 responses were received to this initial consultation (including some received after the deadline which will still be taken into account). These responses contain well over 1000 individual comments, many of which raise multiple issues. The analysis of all the responses has now been completed and a Report of the initial consultation has been published. This will feed into the preparation of the first draft of a revised Neighbourhood Plan which will then be circulated for a formal public consultation – the "pre-submission consultation", probably early in the autumn 2021.
Feedback from that pre-submission consultation will lead to a final draft of the Plan being submitted to BC for approval. After a statutory consultation period BC will appoint an Inspector to examine the Plan and consider any representations submitted during its consultation. If the Inspector finds that the revisions change the nature of the current Plan, he will advise BC that a local referendum should be held to test the acceptability of the plan to the local community. Only after these processes are completed satisfactorily will BC be able to "make" the plan part of the area's Development Plan, alongside the new Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan which should have been adopted by that time.
At any stage during the preparation of the pre-submission draft of the revised Neighbourhood Plan the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group will welcome feedback on its consultations, and will consider any other proposals which might be put forward. Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Plan, Winslow Town Council at 28 High Street, Winslow MK18 3HF.
The Steering Group is also looking for additional members - so if you are interested in this possibility, please drop a line to email@example.com.