The Town Council has begun to prepare a Chesham Neighbourhood Plan (CNP). The draft CNP will be published for public consultation in 2021.
We have reviewed the vision and objectives of the Chesham Masterplan from February 2018 and the valuable feedback from our residents and we remain very supportive of the Chesham Renaissance Community Interest Company's initial work and continued efforts. We believe their vision remains valid and distinct to the town and will aim to make it integral to the policies of the CNP:
“Chesham will continue to be a characterful market town, nestled in the Chilterns – a gateway to the beautiful AONB. It will have good commuter links to central London, but will also have its own gravity and appeal, with high quality shops and restaurants, thriving independent businesses, and an appealing cultural offer.
Existing and new residential neighbourhoods will be connected to the station and town centre through comfortable and sustainable walking and cycling links.
The town will provide a good quality of life for all ages and will consequently have a diverse and vibrant community.”
We agree with the 3 key principles for growth outlined in Masterplan:
- Delivering new homes in more central areas of town in key, suitable locations as a viable alternative to continuing peripheral growth into the Green Belt and AONB.
- Intensifying some employment land to deliver more jobs and redeveloping or relocating other poorly located employment land.
- Redesigning movement and access within and through the town to reduce the harmful effects of traffic while ensuring adequate parking provision remains in the town centre to encourage residents and visitors to shop locally.
Our residents also feel strongly about climate change and we will lead by example, building a more self-sustainable town, which is resilient to the effects of climate change and aims to reduce its effects. We believe a fourth principle should be:
- Reducing the carbon footprint of the town through a combination of new build environmental performance, of renewable energy generation and of protecting and improving the town’s green infrastructure.
The CNP will create a clear vision for Chesham addressing shortcomings in the now-withdrawn Chiltern District Local Plan. It should not be necessary to build on precious green belt land and we aim to provide a credible alternative which develops brownfield sites and under-utilised land in central areas of town.
Once adopted, the CNP will sit alongside any future Local Plan and provide a framework for deciding planning applications in Chesham until 2036. It will also ensure the town council receives the higher rate of 25% of Community Infrastructure Levy contributions from developers to fund local infrastructure and community projects.