Local Development Scheme

Last updated: 23 February 2021

4. Plans we will work on

In this section we give more detail about the local plans (i.e. development plan documents) we aim to prepare and the key stages they will go through.

We will:

  • begin work on the Buckinghamshire Local Plan
  • complete the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) process

We must produce a local plan within five years of vesting day and we are keen to make a start. However, in August 2020, the Government published a Planning White Paper (PWP) which has introduced significant uncertainty as to the timing and scope of a local plan for the new Council.

While we wait for more detail and certainty over the proposed changes, we aim to do some preparation for the plan which is more likely to comply with later updates to the planning system. We intend to start talking to people about the ambitions and issues where a local plan could make a difference.

Below, we briefly describe what each Plan will cover and the timing of the steps we’ll take to prepare them. We say what area of the county each document covers, and how we will produce them.

4.1. Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan

The Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) is a local plan that covers the area of the former Aylesbury Vale District. It will be part of the development plan.

It will set the spatial strategy for the area up to 2033. It will show where and how much growth can happen across the area. It will set the rules for managing development and show what sites can be developed.

The Plan is being prepared to comply with the laws that currently apply to local plans. It is a ‘transition plan’ in relation to the application of paragraph 214 of the National Planning Policy Framework. Because it was submitted for Examination on or before 24 January 2019, it is being examined against the policies in the previous Framework (2012).

Timetable for Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan

This assumes that we will consult on further modifications over Christmas 2020/1 and arrange further hearings in March 2021, but the VALP Inspector has not yet decided whether further hearings will be needed.

  1. Initial scope of the plan (Reg 18) – April/May 2014
  2. Issues and options – October/December 2015
  3. Draft Plan –July/September 2016
  4. Proposed Submission Publication (Regulation 19) –
    November/December 2017
  5. Submission (Regulation 20) – February 2018
  6. Examination commences March 2018, hearings occur July 2018
  7. Inspector’s Initial conclusions – August 2018, finalised initial conclusions March 2019
  8. Modifications consultation November – December 2019
  9. Further modifications consultation December 2020 – January 2021 (estimated)
  10. Further hearings (if needed) – March 2021
  11. Adoption (estimated) – June 2021

4.2. Buckinghamshire Local Plan

We must have a new Buckinghamshire-wide local plan in place by April 2025.

This local plan will cover the whole of the Buckinghamshire Council area, for the period up to 2040. It will be part of the development plan.

What we will need to say in the Plan will rely on the detail which the Government has yet to provide in the form of new laws, policy and guidance. We are expecting these to follow on from the reforms set out in the Planning White Paper.

Based on the Planning White Paper, at this stage we think that the Plan is likely to include:

  • A vision and ambitions/objectives for the development of the area
  • A spatial development strategy
  • Plans setting out zones for growth areas, renewal areas and areas for protection
  • Detailed rules (policies) for the individual zones, including specific requirements for the development of growth areas and renewal areas.

We will prepare a more detailed timetable once we know more about the new laws, policy and guidance nationally. This could be more than twelve months away, so during 2021 we plan to do some work to gather evidence for the Plan, and to start a conversation about the key issues and ambitions for the Plan.

Once we are working under the new laws, we expect the formal plan process to run (indicatively) from 2022 to 2024.

The later stages of the Plan process, including publication, submission and Examination in Public could take place during 2024 and perhaps into early 2025.

Based on the Planning White Paper, we are proposing to follow these stages:

Stage 1: Plan Shaping

Stage 2: Plan Preparation

  • Stage 2A: Evidence Gathering
  • Stage 2B: Plan Writing

Stage 3: Submission and Consultation

Stage 4: Examination

Stage 5: Plan Finalised