The NEP actively engages with local planning issues as well as with regional, national or infrastructure planning issues and other consultations that affect Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes and which relates to our priorities for the environment in the NEP area.
The NEP has engaged with all of our Local Authority partners to suggest appropriate content in their Local Plans, particularly related to biodiversity and green infrastructure.
We created and sent a “standard checklist response” to all local authorities across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes at the Issues and Options stage of their Local Plans. This set out the NEP’s expectations for Green Infrastructure, Biodiversity, Water, Energy and Business.Standard NEP Checklist Response to Local Plans
Since the standard response, we have been working with each Local Authority separately and have provided bespoke requests and engagement to encourage the best possible outcome for the environment of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes in local planning, aligned to the NEP’s priorities, strategies and work – including the NEP’s Biodiversity Action Plan, Energy Strategy [external link] and (more recently) the NEP’s Vision and Principles for the Improvement of Green Infrastructure and evolving work on biodiversity accounting. We have also provided bespoke written statements and attended relevant hearings related to the 2018 Inspector examination processes for draft Local Plans in Milton Keynes, Aylesbury Vale and Wycombe.
We have also recently been involved with other local environmental stakeholders in engaging with the Aylesbury Garden Town discussions.
The NEP has responded formally to the following consultations:
In December 2018 we responded to EWR’s Further Environmental Information on the Network Rail East West Rail Transport for Works Act Order. We objected on the grounds that powers to ensure net biodiversity gain were not being sought by the Order despite an overall predicted project loss in biodiversity on all route section, and national policy requirements for net biodiversity gains.
The NEP will continue to respond to relevant consultations and work with our Local Authority Partners to encourage alignment to the NEP’s strategic aims for the environment of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.