VALP Update 23 June

The VALP timetable has been delayed by 2 months.

A Sustainability Appraisal is being carried out by external consultants, which unfortunately, has not progressed to our planned timetable.  It is a critical piece of evidence and we must ensure there is sufficient time for it to be done properly.  It is important to emphasise that this is an incredibly complex plan, which will affect the Vale for generations to come, and our priority is getting it absolutely right.

The plan was due to be considered by the special VALP Scrutiny Cttee on 11 July, Cabinet on 12 July and Council on 19 July.  VALP Scrutiny, which is open to members of the public, will still take place on 11 July, while the other meetings have been cancelled

Work on the plan will continue during the summer, including continuing the discussions with key stakeholders to ensure we have addressed any issues they may have.  The proposed plan will be considered by VALP Scrutiny at 6.30pm on 26 September, 2017 in the Olympic Room at The Gateway, Cabinet on 10 October and the full Council on 18 October.

The plan will then be published for public comment.  Following that, it will be submitted for independent examination in January, which is two months later than previously publicised.  The Dept of Communities & Local Govt have informally advised us that their priority is to ensure we are progressing with a sound plan, and that they would be comfortable with a short extension of around two months.

Update; Modernising Local Government – Unitary Council

General Election Update (June)

Sajid Javid has been reappointed local government minister and, hopefully, we will have a decision on a Unitary Council soon.

March Update.

The local government minister, Sajid Javid, did not announce a preliminary decision before the official start of campaigning for the county council elections that take place on 4 May.

The announcement will now be made after the elections to avoid interfering with the campaigning.

The 4 district councils in Bucks

  • Wycombe
  • South Bucks
  • Chilterns
  • AVDC

held separate meetings of their full councils on 18 January to formally decide whether to

  • approve their preliminary joint plan to set up Unitary Councils, and
  • submit it to the government for approval.

All 4 councils  agreed to both aspects and the Plan was sent to the Dept of Communities and Local Government the next day.

The plan calls for a Southern Unitary, covering Wycombe, S Bucks and Chiltern councils, and a Northern Unitary covering the AVDC council area. Both are about the same size geographically although the South has a larger population.

This will be considered alongside the Bucks County Council preliminary plan for a single Unitary Council covering all 4 districts, ie the same area they currently cover.

An initial response is expected in the second or third week in March which may favour one, or neither, Plan.

If one is accepted, it will be expanded into the final detailed version for government approval with a target implementation date of May 2019.

You can see the district council’s plan at



Extending Broadband Coverage in the Vale.

AVDC is investing £400,000 to extend broadband coverage to 3,400 more homes and business in the Vale as part of a joint project between local authorities, business groups and BT.

This funding is a combination of the New Homes Bonus that AVDC receives from the government for building new homes and a contribution from SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership).

Further funding for the Vale is also being provided by Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP (BTVLEP), which combined with AVDC’s contribution, is being match-funded by the government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme to a value of £2,035,000.

With the contract for this extension of broadband now signed, BT is finalising its plans for which areas in the Vale will receive fibre first and aim to have all the broadband extension for this phase completed by the end of 2019.

County Council Election Results 4 May 2017

The Tories won 41 of the 49 seats on Bucks County County in the election on 4 May.

Full Details are at

Result in Buckingham West Ward

Charlie Clare, Conservative, 1,593  (50.0%)     Elected, Tory GAIN from Labour
Robin Stutchbury, Labour,     1,366  (42.9%)
David Evershed, Lib Dem,         124  (3.9%)
Elliot Settle, Green,                    103  (3.2%)

The turnout was 39.4%

Result in Buckingham East Ward

Warren Whyte, Conservative, 1,326 (55.9%)     Elected, Tories HOLD the seat
Jon Harvey, Labour,                   506 (21.3%)
Anja Schaefer, Lib Dem,              201 (8.5%)
Nicola Smith, Green,                    120 (5.1%)
Nick Shipp, UKIP,                         119 (5.0%)
Leah Yeoman, Independent,          99 (4.2%)

The turnout was 33.2%

VALP Update April 17

It was necessary to delay consideration of the draft Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) to assess the impact of the Government’s recent Housing White Paper.

Our programme has now been reviewed and arrangements made for a series of meetings in July.  This means that the public consultation period will start later in July, although dates have yet to be confirmed.

 VALP Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, 11 July, 2017 at 6.30pm in the Olympic Room at our offices in Aylesbury, The Gateway.

 Cabinet on Wednesday, 12 July, 2017 at 6.30pm in the Olympic Room at The Gateway.

The final Draft will be considered by full Council at 6.30 pm on Wednesday, 19 July, 2017 at the Gateway.

There have been a number of significant changes to the context of the draft plan since it was published last year, including:

The total number of houses we now need to plan for has reduced from 33,000 to about 27,000 due to an update to our housing requirements, following new household and population projections which were published last year.  Also, the other local planning authorities in Buckinghamshire who are asking us to accommodate some of their housing need (due to national constraints) have found some additional capacity.

As a result of the reduction in our housing figures, we are reconsidering whether an option for a new settlement (town or large village) is needed. We will therefore suggest that this should be deferred until we know the route of the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway.

We have moved away from the proposed percentage approach when allocating development to settlements, and instead are looking at a capacity-led approach.  This essentially means that allocations will be made on the basis of where there are suitable sites in sustainable locations, rather than applying a blanket housing percentage requirement depending on the settlement size.

The changes are set out in more detail in the December 2016 VALP Scrutiny Committee minutes.

This information has been added to the AVDC website, which will be kept up-to-date with any changes:

Update – Vale of Aylesbury Housing Plan

The latest estimates of the need of future housing has resulted in a reduction of 6,000 in the number of new homes that need to be built in the Vale. This is due to the surrounding District Councils reducing the amount of housing they cannot accommodate.

Aylesbury Vale’s total overall need is now 26,800, or 1,340 pa, including about 13,800 where planning permission has already been granted and those already in the pipeline.

A reduction of this size means that to get the Plan passed by the government inspector, the strategy from the draft Plan needs to be significantly revised. Based on responses the following scenarios have been suggested:

• vary the amount of development around Aylesbury
• vary development at the villages and other strategic towns
• remove, retain or increase the new town options
• remove all, reduce or retain development adjacent to Milton Keynes

These amendments will take longer than originally allowed but our revised timetable was then affected by the Government issuing it’s White Paper on Housing.

This was published in February, is 106 pages long, and “updates” the current National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that was introduced by the coalition government to simplify the planning regime.

AVDC, and many other councils,  has asked the government to clarify what they expect to happen with Local Plans that are in the pipeline although we are continuing to progress the AVDC plan as far as possible to avoid unnecessary delays.

Modernising Local Government – Unitary Council

AVDC is holding a special meeting of the full council at 18.30 on Monday, 16 January to decide whether to become a Unitary council.

Important decisions like this are usually scrutinised by an independent AVDC Scrutiny committee. However the effects of switching are so far reaching that scrutiny will be carried out by the full council at a special meeting at 18.30 on Wednesday 11 January.

Both meetings will be webcast and can be accessed via the main AVDC site at

Unitary Councils

A Unitary council is one where the county and district councils are merged. AVDC has been in talks with the other 3 district councils in Buckinghamshire who all support switching to 2 unitaries, one in the north of the county and one in the south.

This reflects the more urban character of the south and the more rural area in the north. The smaller geographical areas will also allow residents to have more influence on what happens locally rather than being in the huge present County Council area.

Residents will then be able to have a single point of contact instead of having to find out which council deals with their query.


A government decision is expected in the early part of the 2017 after which residents will be asked to vote on the proposal.

Report Potholes and Flytipping


Transport for Bucks, part of the county council, has an online system for reporting potholes, other highway problems and problems with Rights of Way, at

I’m not sure if repairs will be any faster though!


You can report flytipping

On roadside verges to Bucks County Council on 01296 395000  or  0845 330 1856, or at,-recycling-and-treatment/fly-tipping/report-fly-tipping/

On all other sites to AVDC on 0845 330 1856 (lines open 24 hours), or at


If you spot anyone dumping rubbish, please make a note of their vehicle details, especially the number plate, and report it. If you have a mobile phone with a camera, why not take a photo as evidence? You can email your photos to

British Legion – Free Holidays

The Royal British Legion (RBL) are offering free one or two week holidays at their four seaside break centres around the UKfor retired members of the armed forces.

Not only are the holidays free but they include all meals and free train tickets or a contribution towards petrol costs.

The only requirement is at least 7 days paid service in the Army, Navy, RAF or Marines including reserve forces like the TA.

A persons dependents, such as partners/spouses, ex-partners/ex-spouses, carers and dependent children, can also be included.

More details can be found at:

If you would like to apply for a break, simply complete the attached form and send it to the address on the bottom of the form:  RBL Holiday Request Form

Please note these are Royal British Legion events and AVDC has no influence over them. The contact details are for the RBL.

Community Lunch

A free weekly lunch service is available on Tuesdays from 12.00 to 2.00 at St Peter & St Pauls church in Buckingham.

If you pop along you’ll be treated to a savoury course such as soup/cottage pie/casserole served with bread, tea/coffee and cakes in this beautiful and historic church.

There’s no need to book, just turn up and enjoy some lovely food and company.

Please note this is a St Peter’s & St Paul’s event and is for information as AVDC has no influence over it.


3 Foscott Way,
Bucks, MK18 1TT

01280 814804
07932 165654
The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.