Wycombe District Local PlanThe Risborough Area Under Threat
This year is set to be a big year for the Risborough Area.
As I’m sure you are aware, Wycombe District Council’s new Local Plan that is likely to have a significant and transformational impact on the Risborough Area, particularly Princes Risborough town.
Unfortunately, the Local Plan is unlikely to be finalised until 2017 at the earliest, and that leaves the District exposed to relatively unregulated, speculative development. It also puts WDC under considerable pressure to make quick decisions and demonstrate that it can accommodate a significant number of new homes – a worrying combination of factors.
The Risborough Area Residents Association (RARA) supports the need for more new homes in the Risborough Area – that’s an important point I’d like to make up front.
RARA has never been opposed to growth and development, but as directed by our members, we want to ensure that it happens in a sustainable and appropriate way, and that the local community is provided with a genuine opportunity to help shape what our shared future will look like.
Previous polls, surveys and consultations show that the Risborough Area community is keen to retain the small, market town character of Princes Risborough. WDC’s high level plan for the major expansion of Princes Risborough, would see the development of 2,500 new homes and the town’s population grow from 8,000 to 14,000. Growth on this scale would completely and irrevocably alter the material and social fabric of the Risborough Area – it would create a town with the same population as Marlow but with a town centre only one third of the size.
Much is made of the infrastructure benefits that can only come with major development, but we need to be careful. The potential infrastructure costs to support major development could easily exceed £70 million. Given local and national spending constraints, which are likely to continue for many years to come, people in the Risborough Area are rightly concerned that the essential infrastructure will not be completed before house building starts and/or that funding will run out, leaving the newly expanded town vulnerable and failing.
In previous submissions to WDC, RARA has made clear it understands the need for Princes Risborough to take its fair share of housing from across the District. RARA feels that 600 homes over the next 16 years will provide enough new housing for the town to grow in a sustainable way that ensures the small market town character is preserved.
Our website is very new. This section will be regularly updated to provide more detail on Wycombe District Council’s new Local Plan and the proposed Area Action Plan for Princes Risborough – so please come back soon.
In the meantime you can find out more about WDC’s plans by clicking here.
Help Us Fight the Local Plan
Wycombe District Council’s current plan to build 2,500 homes in Princes Risborough will destroy our small market town for ever. Let’s stand up for Risborough and fight for a better deal.