‘No’ to District Plan and ‘Yes’ to Chesham Masterplan

The directors of Chesham Renaissance CIC have predicted that residents of Chesham will say ‘no’ to the proposed Local Plan, in stark contrast to the overwhelming ‘yes’ to their own proposals in the Chesham Masterplan.

They view the plan to build 500 homes on green belt land to the north-east of the town as yet another failure of town planning to consider the long-term future of the town, particularly the town centre and the need to build as sustainably as possible.  The alternative proposals, contained in the Chesham Masterplan received the support of over 70% of residents in the consultation held at the end of 2017.

As a result the company has resolved to press on with its own proposals for building one and two bedroom dwellings in the town centre, attract industrial sites to the outskirts of the town and revive the economy of the town centre by making it more accessible and boosting the ‘evening economy’ – reversing the current emptiness of the town centre after 6pm.

Chairman of Chesham Renaissance, Tony Molesworth, commented this week that there was much in the Council’s plan which residents would find very disturbing.

“One of the most curious proposals,” he said, “is to increase the size of the retail area in the town centre by including the Star Yard and Station car parks as available for retail development.  Quite apart from the obvious question of where will the new car parks be, it must be obvious to most that we don’t want more shops in the centre, we want more people. In that respect the Chesham Masterplan offers much the better solution.”

Residents of Chesham should get involved with the District Council’s consultation at https://www.chiltern.gov.uk/planning/localplan. Chesham Renaissance say it’s important to get a lot of views so that the government inspector can see what local people think of the plan.

In the meantime, Chesham Renaissance will continue to promote the Chesham Masterplan.  Having undertaken the preliminary work, it is now moving to the implementation stage and will soon come to an agreement with Kitewood Estates Limited, making that company their preferred first partner for the delivery programme. It expects that Kitewood will soon be able to make the first planning application to start that work.

Chesham Renaissance will seek other partners to undertake Masterplan implementation.  One of the key features of the Masterplan is the importance of social and affordable housing.  Local provider, Paradigm Housing, has been and continues to be important in this process.

Chesham Renaissance CIC

20th June 2109