CONCERNS have been expressed about how Chesham’s ‘already creaking’ infrastructure will be able to cope with a proposed 1,000 plus new homes.
The Chesham Society and Chesham Town Council hosted a joint Town Meeting at Chesham Town Hall last Thursday (Feb 25) to discuss the impact the new Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan will have on Chesham.
The Local Plan will determine the level of growth needed up until 2036 and how and where that development should be delivered.
The meeting, attended by more than 150 people, was opened by Chesham’s mayor Councillor Peter Hudson who welcomed the attendees crowding the Council Chamber to overflowing so that they could have their say for the public consultation on the new plan.
Attendees also got to watch a video and view a 3D model which shows the Chesham Society’s proposed ‘radical redevelopment plan’ for the centre of Chesham.
Chairman of the Chesham Society Tony Molesworth said: “This drew many favourable comments and constructive suggestions. The audience was encouraged to respond to the local plan. It is important you all have your say to ensure the council takes your views into account, which should be supported by evidence wherever possible.
“It’s our choice – this plan will affect us, our children and grandchildren, so don’t delay, have your say.”
The meeting was told that more than 1,000 houses may need to be built in Chesham as part of the plan.
Mr Molesworth added: “Concerns were expressed about this large number, especially where these can be located and how our already creaking infrastructure can cope.
“There was also a lot of discussion about preservation of the green belt. Large areas of new housing and industrial sites on green belt were a major concern and even building along the perimeter was a worry.
“Infill and use of brownfield sites was much preferred, although this must ensure business and jobs are not lost.”
The meeting was largely a workshop with eight breakout groups discussing six subjects including the town model, housing, greenbelt, business, heritage and community facilities.
Mr Molesworth said: “Valuable detailed comments were obtained. The Chesham Society welcomes new housing provided that the infrastructure is provided up front, green belt’s protected and jobs are not lost.”
To view the Chesham Society’s video for its redevelopment plan for Chesham visit www.getbucks.co.uk.
The consultation runs until 5pm on Monday, March 14.
For more information about the joint local plan or to take part in the consultation visit www.chiltern.gov.uk/planning/localplan2014-2036.