The Planning Inspectorate dismissed the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) submitted by Aylesbury Vale District Council on two main grounds:
a) Insufficient co-operation and collaboration with neighbouring councils
b) Insufficient housing growth to accommodate the districts own requirements or a share of housing needs that neighbouring councils may not be able to supply
They concluded that it was “not justified or effective and it is not consistent with national policy”. AVDC has been forced to withdraw the plan and the further hearings sessions scheduled have been cancelled.
The VALP had provided for significant less housing growth than that previously specified within the original plan to central government targets. The VALP required the villages to accommodate an additional 50 properties each. In Pitstone’s case, this is on top of those already in the plan for the Pitstone Development Area outlined in 2005. In light of the Planning Inspectorate report, AVDC are expected to increase the housing requirement when they produce the revised version of the Vale of Aylesbury Plan, and this has been confirmed verbally but not yet in writing.
The official planning position from AVDC is that it will continue to use the saved Local Plan as a basis for deciding planning applications. Verbally, they have acknowledged that whilst some areas of the Local Plan match the National Planning Policy Framework, other aspects are not as aligned and may be given ‘less weight’ during considerations. The extent of this decision is as yet unknown and unspecified. However, it could pose a threat to several parcels of land within the village that have previously been protected under the RA14 restrictions.