This summary and the FAQs below are the results of a very successful collaboration between IHRA and IVRA.
We worked hard to break a 109-page long document into an easy-to-read and digest list of bullet points and questions-and-answers. We also linked back to the original document, so that if you want to read about some of the points in greater detail, you can find the original information easily.
What is the Neighbourhood Plan?
- The Neighbourhood Plan sets out guidelines that would be used to determine planning applications in Iver Parish until 2040.
- It covers the whole of the Parish boundary.
- The Policies Maps show the proposals for each area – Iver Heath, Iver Village and Richings Park.
- The Plan does not cover:
- Pinewood Studios as they are deemed to be of national rather than local importance within the planning context
- Housing growth – this will be considered in the forthcoming county-wide Local Plan, which will need to adhere to The Ivers Neighbourhood Plan should it be voted in
- A relief road. With the Iver Relief Road project abandoned, the Plan aims to focus on alternative solutions to the HGV problem: traffic management and removing HGV sources from The Ivers
The Neighbourhood Plan looks at several main areas of planning:
- Areas between each individual village, plus areas along roads leading out of The Ivers have been clearly identified in the Neighbourhood Plan. These can be seen on this map.
- Keeping these green spaces between each of the villages prevents them joining together and becoming a larger town and helps to retain the individual characteristics and identity of each area.
- These should ideally be kept free from future development. Any developments that are proposed within these defined gaps must be designed so that it does not visually merge the villages into one.
- All of the areas identified for protection are Green Belt land and are therefore additionally protected against development
- Each of the villages contains a number of green areas including recreation grounds, school playing fields and grassed areas within residential areas that are designated Local Green Spaces (Iver Heath, Iver Village, Richings Park)
- These Local Green Spaces are covered by the same protection as Green Belt land when it comes to planning proposals.
- Iver Parish lies entirely within Colne Valley Regional Park, and the Neighbourhood Plan sets out to protect CVRP
- This works together with the policies which protect the Green Belt and Local Green Spaces, maintaining the semi-rural landscape of the area, protecting biodiversity and aiding in keeping the air cleaner.
The design of the villages (pp 31-41)
- The Neighbourhood Plan works to ensure that the individual characteristics of each of the villages are maintained and protected from any new development plans. This includes identified Local Heritage Areas and buildings of significance in each village; a full list of Heritage Buildings can be found in the Appendices of the Plan (pp 92-106)
- Each village contains at least one area identified as having particular importance for its character – see these maps for details on Iver Heath, Iver Village, Richings Park
- Proposals for the change of use and redevelopment of the car repair and storage units at 11-17 High Street, Iver Village, will be supported, provided plans include parking, pedestrian and cycle access, and that proposed buildings are not more than 2-3 storeys.
- New houses in Richings Park should be based on the original pattern book from the estate so that they fit seamlessly into the village.
- A number of potential cycle paths, footpaths, and bridleways have been marked through the villages, and potential bus routes have been identified (see this map).
- There is a focus on ensuring that all new developments work to reduce their impact on air quality and the local environment.
- The Neighbourhood Plan does not include a relief road. Instead, it focuses on managing the current road network and the flow of traffic. The roads marked in turquoise on the map have been identified as in need of traffic management.
- The Plan is in favour of reducing the number of businesses in the Ivers that relies on HGVs (mostly from these sites) in order to ease the number of HGVs on the Parish’s roads.
- Thorney Business Park and Link Park Heathrow & Thorney Mill Sidings are discussed in more detail (pp 70-73), with the Plan supporting development on these sites that results in businesses that do not rely on HGVs moving here.
- New development at these locations should also benefit the environment and include public footpaths and cycle paths where possible.
- A number of facilities, including schools, churches, sports facilities and children’s facilities have been identified in each of the villages (marked on the Policy Maps for Iver Heath, Iver Village and Richings Park).
- These are all seen as highly valuable community resources and must keep their role as facilities available to the community.
- The Neighbourhood Plan defines village centres at Iver High Street and at Bathurst Walk Richings Park.
- The Plan looks to protect the shops and businesses in these village centres and reduce residents’ dependence on travelling to other, larger areas for shopping.
PassivHaus Buildings (pp 67-69)
- The PassivHaus building scheme ensures that new buildings are carbon-neutral, energy-efficient for residents and healthier for the environment (read more on the PassivHaus website)
- The Neighbourhood Plan states that wherever possible, all new development in The Ivers should comply with PassivHaus or equivalent energy efficiency building standards.
Frequently Asked Questions
You are being asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the question: ‘Do you want Buckinghamshire Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan’ for The Ivers to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area? ’
While the plan can’t all be summarised into maps because some of the policies are parish-wide, these maps can help visually understand the plan:
This is an official planning document, published by the Ivers Parish Council and, having gone through consultation with the community, sets out a vision for the
Ivers Parish until 2040. It is designed to establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in the neighbourhood area, i.e. within our parish
The referendum is on Thursday 12th January 2023 between 7.00 am and 10.00 pm.
This is the notice published by Bucks Council:
Everyone who’s on the Electoral Register and entitled to vote in a local election is allowed to vote.
If you are registered, you should have received a poll card in the post.
If you received a poll card, it will give the location of the polling station that you should go to. Please look at the card and locate the polling station in advance.
If you didn’t receive a poll card (see also below), you should contact electoral services and ask for the location of your polling station.
Contact details for electoral services are here: https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/your-council/elections-and-voting/contact-electoral-services/
A poll card alerts people to the fact that there is a poll and tells individuals where their polling station is.
You don’t need a poll card in order to be able to vote but it is sensible for individuals who believe that they are on the electoral register to follow-up if they haven’t received a poll card by checking with electoral services ( https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/your-council/elections-and-voting/contact-electoral-services/ ) to ensure that they are on the register. This will also be a good opportunity to check where you need to vote if you didn’t get the poll card.
Please see the answers above as well.
Individuals don’t need a poll card but they do need the information (am I on the electoral register, where’s my polling station?) that can be supplied by the electoral services.
It’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared: historically the answer is no – you just need to tell the poll clerk your name and address.
But under the Elections Act 2022 there is now a requirement to produce a photo ID in order to vote in person – whether that will be required as early as January 2023 isn’t clear.
So if you can bring a photo ID with you just in case, it’s advisable.
The results should be known quickly after the referendum.
If more than 50% of those voting vote in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan then the plan must be “made” by Buckinghamshire Council within 8 weeks of the referendum.
Buckinghamshire Council cannot refuse to “make” a Neighbourhood Plan that has gone through the full process and has received a Yes vote – see this link for a simple summary of the process: http://www.communityplanning.net/neighbourhoodplanning/pdfs/quick_guide.pdf and this one for more complexity https://www.gov.uk/guidance/neighbourhood-planning–2
This map on page 22 is there to showcase the many development proposals around the Ivers, not what the plan supports:
The plan may actually make it very hard for some of the proposals on this map to get approved.
Throughout the process of developing the Plan, it has been the RAs’ job to seek and listen to your views on it and feed them back to the Parish Council. There are times when residents’ views have varied on the same subject; there are
other issues that could not be considered as they fall outside of the scope of what can be included in a Neighbourhood Plan. The RAs fed everything back however the decision as to what is included in the final Plan was not ours.
Ultimately, as with any other referendum, whether residents vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is a matter of personal choice, but we are here to help if you have questions.
If it is ‘made’ (i.e. voted in), it can then be used in the determination of planning applications for our local area.
This means that the planning committees and Bucks’ Planning officers will need to consider the policies in the plan and this can act as an additional ‘layer’ of consideration when large planning applications are submitted.